Holiday House Tour 2022 – 306 East Piccadilly Street

306 East Piccadilly Street, the Old Stone Church

The Old Stone Church dates to 1788 according to the date incised on the western wall. The church has watched Winchester grow from a frontier outpost to a modern city over 230 years. The limestone Georgian-style meeting house is the last complete example of the churches that once lined the gentle hill just outside the original town limits.

The simple structure is typical of the austere stone meeting houses erected by the Presbyterian settlers. It bears numerous similarities to the Paxton Presbyterian Church constructed in 1740 in Paxtang, Pennsylvania. The broad window openings have upper and lower sashes of twenty panes, an unusual feature in a Valley church. A smaller window in the north wall, with six-over-six sash, lights the pulpit. Massive shutters with raised panels are used at each of the windows. Additionally, the entrance doors have raised panels and a ten-light transom above both entrances. Hardware for the shutters and doors was handwrought by a Philadelphia blacksmith.

The church’s present appearance is due to a major restoration effort begun in 1941. The building suffered damage and indignity throughout the Civil War, after which, it was used as the Winchester Colored School and a Virginia State National Guard armory. Through a sensitive, scholarly restoration, the building now resembles its original state, and thus provides insight into the religious life of Virginia’s early Presbyterians.

Now owned by the Old Stone Foundation, this group seeks to continue this work in maintaining the building. The next major challenge for Old Stone Church is a modernized and efficient heating system. The group plans in the future to use the building as a museum.

PHW is grateful for the support of Belle Grove Plantation, one of our half page advertising sponsors of the Holiday House Tour.

Holiday House Tour 2022 – 216 South Cameron Street

216 South Cameron Street, the home of Theodora and Rodger Hargraves

This circa 1880 Italianate-style home is a blend of traditional and modern construction inside and out. From the second story to the roof, the house reflects its historic nature with its side-gabled standing-seam metal roof, scrolled modillion cornice, and 2/2 double-hung windows crowned with brick jack arches. The first floor of the building was modernized after it was struck by a vehicle in the mid-twentieth century. A picture window and a brick stoop with an integrated flowerbed were installed during the façade reconstruction. Before entering the home, look up to see the stained-glass transom window above the paneled front door.

Theodora Hargraves purchased the building in 1976 as a single woman, raising her daughter and operating the Winchester Art Company here. She was joined by her husband Rodger in 1989. The wreath on the front of the house will be a nod to the missing architectural detail and will reflect the traditional design aesthetics of the Historic District. One room will feature the photography by Tracey Robertson, the owners’ daughter, as part of the holiday decorations. A hand-crafted peacock piñata will be hung in the rear garden which will be seen as visitors exit the home (no bird bashing pole will be provided).

PHW is grateful for the support of The Winchester Little Theatre, one of our full page advertising sponsors of the Holiday House Tour.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at 202 South Washington Street

By Jennifer Wolgamott

This poem is a bit of bonus content for 202 South Washington Street. It may be too long to hear during the tour itself, so we wanted to share it now!

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even JB Russell’s spouse.

Throws of labor, bricks and stone in 1890 were placed

Three stories, a basement, four arches with such grace.

The stockings were hung by the 9 fireplaces with care

Who knew in 2022 someone’s stockings would again be there?

Merchant and banker James Russell all snug in his bed

With visions of electric lights and 34 radiators dancing in in his head.

With Mrs. in her kerchief and Mr. in his cap

They dreamed of a coal boiler during their long winter’s nap.

When near and far there arose such a clatter

They jumped from there beds to find out the matter.

It was here, it was there, it was 1,640 feet of iron pipe

The sound was not Christmassy, it was in fact ripe

By the 1980s a boarding house it had been

The thought of which now is a crime and a sin

But that was then, and this is now

The magnificent house had to find 2022 somehow

Away to the window I flew like a flash

To find out who would save it I turned back a wooden sash

When what to my wondering eyes should appear

A diminutive architect, her plans were quite clear

Lifting the house to tomorrow was not for the faint

The wall colors alone took 120 gallons of paint.

640 pieces of slate tile went up on the roof

And 4 brand new heat pumps and condensers is no spoof

With a little elbow grease so lively and quick

One knew in a moment this rehab would do the trick

Slower than eagles the subcontractors came

The architect whistled and shouted and called them by name

When they met with an obstacle, no quarter was given

And 22 historical glass panes add to the comfort of liven.

So, on this magical night the sleigh lands on the new rooftop

With new brick and mortar chimneys, Santa won’t have to stop.

The house is now ready, with nothing to dread

Historically modern with 7 rooms just for bed

The bathrooms, the closets, materials and light fixures

Placed so the old and the new are perfect mixtures.

The jolly old man can go straight to his work

After filling the stockings he can turn with a jerk

And laying a finger aside of his nose

And giving a nod up the chimney he’ll go

And as he ascends just before he goes out of sight

He will say “Merry Christmas to all who renovate and restore, and to all a good night.”

PHW is grateful for the support of The Peter Bullough Foundation, one of our half page advertising sponsors of the Holiday House Tour.

Holiday House Tour – 202 South Washington Street

202 South Washington Street, the home of Jennifer Wolgamott

As you approach the front door of this brick Romanesque Revival style home, look down. A white marble slab engraved with “J. B. Russell” welcomes you to this circa 1890 masterpiece. By the time James B. Russell built his magnificent home on the corner of Washington and Cork streets, he had served as a Frederick County deputy sheriff, a Winchester City councilman, businessman, and President of the Union Bank.

The first story of the façade is defined by three round-headed arches providing a recessed entry to the home. A soldier course of bricks delineates the first and second stories of the building, while a basketweave brick frieze encircles the top of the second story. An integral porch supported by Tuscan columns and capped with dentil molding is located in the central bay of the second story. Directly above it, a dormer clad with slate shingles with a half-hexagonal-on-hip roof overlooks the front yard.

Recently purchased by Jennifer Wolgamott, the home survived a period of use as apartments remarkably intact. The interior features pocket doors, oak wainscoting, period fireplace mantels, and stained glass windows.

PHW is grateful for the support of Colony Realty, one of our full page advertising sponsors of the Holiday House Tour.

Holiday House Tour 2022 – 119 East Clifford Street

119 East Clifford Street, the home of Vickie Williamson

This vernacular brick building was likely built circa 1850 by Philip Hansucker, who apprenticed wagonmaking with Philip Sherer of nearby 125 E. Clifford St. The families became intertwined further when Hansucker married Caroline Sherer, Philip Sherer’s niece, on Christmas Day, 1849. By 1860, Philip Hansucker took on Sherer’s wagon and plough making business and brought his brother into the enterprise as a blacksmith. He served as a Winchester city councilman from 1861-1865. Shortly after the Civil War, the Hansucker family moved to Millwood.

As is common with vernacular buildings, the home was expanded throughout the 19th and 20th centuries in architecturally compatible ways by its new owners, particularly through adding dormer windows, additions to the rear of the building, and a Colonial Revival style porch with a half-hipped roof supported by Tuscan wood columns.

Initial work to preserve the building was undertaken circa 1974 by Lawrence and Catherine Bell, including restoring the wide pine flooring and opening fireplaces. The home received a Winchester Historic Building Plaque in 1984. The current owner has been working for two years to use her interior design skills to bring new life to this old home. Her eclectic collection includes found objects and antiques, beautifully repurposed to blend with elements of modern décor. Christmas tree ornaments honor the owner’s favorite southern traditions, and garlands of fresh greenery adorn old pine mantels. Visitors will see the old outbuildings in the back yard, likely used in the wagonmaking business.

PHW is grateful for the support of Lisa T. McCoig, one of our full page advertising sponsors of the Holiday House Tour.

Friday Roundup: Weekend Events

While PHW prepares for Holiday House Tour and Bough & Dough Shop, we wanted to share a few other events by similar organizations that our readers might enjoy this weekend:

Winchester Little Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol is opening today. While the show appears sold out, there is information on their website about seeing if last minute spots open. If you nabbed tickets, thank you for supporting one of PHW’s partner organizations, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy this holiday treat!

Belle Grove Plantation, another one of PHW’s advertising sponsors for the Holiday House Tour, is hosting Inalienable Rights: Free and Enslaved Blacks Crafting a Life in the Shenandoah Valley this weekend. They will be open free of charge and feature special programming on African American history with special guests from The Slave Dwelling Project and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Check the link for more details!

If you enjoy the arts and crafts at the Bough & Dough Shop, you may want to stop by the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley this weekend for the Virginia Gourd Show and Sale. The theme for the 2022 competition is “Gourdigami” in honor of the MSV exhibition ORIGAMI IN THE GARDEN. Gourd artisans will be on site selling art and raw gourds for your own crafting purposes.

The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society is hosting Maps and Surveys of Winchester November 12 at 10:30 AM in Rouss City Hall. Presenter Tim Youmans will begin the program in council chambers. Afterward, participants are invited to visit the original 1832 Frederick County Clerk’s Office located in the Feltner Building. Judge David S. Whitacre will share reminisces of his grandfather’s and uncle’s tenures as Clerk of the Court. For more information, contact Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society Executive Director Cissy Shull at 540-662-6550.

Holiday House Tour 2022 – Bough & Dough Shop

The Hexagon House, 530 Amherst Street, site of the Bough & Dough Shop

At the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst Street
November 18-December 11
10 AM –5 PM
Open Wednesdays-Sundays. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thanksgiving. See our listing on for full list of dates.

Please wear a face mask while shopping indoors.

Do some holiday shopping while picking up your Holiday House Tour tickets at the Hexagon House. The shop features décor, ornaments, sweet treats, small gift items, and fresh greens for holiday decorating. The Shop will once again encompass all of the first floor of the historic Hexagon House with fresh greenery outside on the rear porch and yard. Browse the selections from over twenty-five local artisans and non-profits. The shop is constantly replenished with items, so watch our Shop-specific Instagram @boughanddoughshop for new arrivals and updates throughout the event!

Featured Vendors: Angel’s Roost Quilts, Basket Cases, Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop, Nina Burke, Lorraine Candell, Capers in Crochet, The Card Shop Bakers, The Clowser Foundation, CLS Cloth, George Davis, Eye of the Needle Embroidery, Fripperies, Hailewatercolors, Heartsong Hill Designs, Dave Hickman, J&W Farm, Karen’s Kollection, Susan Keenan, Lighthouse Woodworking, The Merry Beader, Libba Pendleton, The Primitive Peddler, Ree’s Treats, Mike Robinson, Donna Sheets, Doris Vanderpool, Very Merry Mittens, and Virginia Pottery

Other Information: The Shop may close for inclement weather; in general if Winchester City Schools are closed, the Shop also will not open. Watch our Facebook page or call 540-667-3577 for inclement weather announcements.

PHW is grateful for the support of the Bank of Clarke County Foundation, our second generous sponsor of the Holiday House Tour.

Holiday House Tour 2022 – Owl Be There! Overview

Preservation of Historic Winchester welcomes you back to our 46th annual signature fundraising event. Guided tours of three private homes will lead you through building styles of the 19th century, while the fourth site will take you to a Georgian-style church. Stop by our pop-up holiday shop for sweet treats, holiday décor, and fresh greenery before or after the tour. You don’t want to miss our year-end celebration – Owl Be There!

Owls may not be a traditional Christmas bird, but they are a recurring winter motif. According to Iroquois tradition, hearing the call of an owl nearby was a sign snow was on the way. Since the non-migratory birds may be easier to spot in the winter, owls and chilly weather have become deeply associated with each other. The owl was chosen as our 2022 mascot for his symbolic associations with wisdom, protection, and winter.

Date: Sunday, December 4
Time: Noon-4 PM

Tour Sites:

119 East Clifford Street
202 South Washington Street
216 South Cameron Street
306 East Piccadilly Street

Admission: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

Ticket Sale Locations: Kimberly’s, Winchester Book Gallery, Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, The Bough & Dough Shop at the Hexagon House (starting Nov. 18), and online through Eventbrite (starting Nov. 15).

Other Information: The tour will not be rescheduled for inclement weather. Call (540) 667-3577 or watch our Facebook for announcements. Be prepared to spend some time waiting outside and wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. No photography inside private residences, please!

Free parking is available at nearby surface lots and on-street. Please be mindful of residents’ driveways when utilizing on-street parking. City autoparks are self-service and open 24 hours a day. Rates at Braddock, Court Square, and George Washington Autoparks are $1.00/hour. Loudoun Autopark is $0.50/hour.

PHW is grateful for the support of the Stephanie Ryall, Realty One Group Old Towne, our major sponsor of the Holiday House Tour.

Friday Roundup: Loudoun Street Update

We would like to share an update on yesterday’s Board of Architectural Review public hearing on demolition. The row of townhouses at 514-520 South Loudoun Street was approved for complete demolition last night, citing safety concerns for the structures. There had been some hope to try to save the front of the homes with their ornate woodwork, but closer investigation revealed they were all heavily rotted. Rehabilitation would involve almost every piece of the building being repaired or replaced. It was acknowledged it could be done, but the end result would, in effect, be a new structure.

The ability to sell the property as the alternative to demolition by the city was brought up, but allegedly this option was not available in the blight remediation per the court process. The reasoning given was that by selling the property, the blighted condition would not be remediated (even if it was sold to an entity willing to undertake rehabilitation or demolition). The property is not currently going to be changing ownership.

This is definitely a loss for the historic district on multiple levels. We know a number of people were hopeful there was some process to get the buildings into new ownership for an investigation of rehabilitation. At this point it seems unlikely any new construction will happen on that lot for the foreseeable future. The parcel is planned to be seeded with grass post demolition. The only small consolation is that the structure will not be in place to continue posing a risk to its adjoining neighbors.

If you would like to review the submitted documents from the meeting, they may be found on the city’s website.

Friday Roundup: Halloween Edition

We are hard at work behind the scenes getting all the final touches ready for Holiday House Tour and Bough & Dough Shop 2022, so excuse the abbreviated Friday post! First, we wanted to share the news about the Daughters of the American Revolution and William G. Pomeroy Foundation Historic Marker Program. From their news announcement:

The multiyear marker program, which has been named “Revolutionary America 1775-1783,” coincides with the celebrations leading up to and during the nation’s 250th anniversary, the United States Semiquincentennial in 2026. The DAR will receive funding from the Pomeroy Foundation for at least 250 historic markers for sites across the country beginning in 2022 through 2027. All DAR chapters nationwide are encouraged to submit a grant application upon the identification of a significant point of interest. Chapters interested in participating should email the DAR at to request information about applying for a marker grant.

Second, if you’re a fan of both horror movies and historic architecture, these breakdowns of iconic haunted house sets should come as no surprise. One element seems to be fairly consistent in our collective idea of what a haunted house ought to look like. (Hint: check out those roofs!) Watch Architect Break Down 5 Haunted Houses From Scary Films at Youtube.

Next week we should begin our coverage of Holiday House Tour and the Bough and Dough Shop in our blog. Keep an eye out here and on our other social media channels for links to house descriptions, ticket sale information, and other tidbits.