Invitation to Join Proposed Northern Shenandoah Valley Branch of APVA

The group of individuals signing this letter will be hosting an organizational meeting of a proposed Northern Shenandoah Valley Branch (Clarke, Frederick, Warren, and Winchester) of the APVA on Monday, June 30th, at 5:30 pm at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester.

The APVA is our primary state-wide, citizen volunteer, non-profit general preservation organization in Virginia. It was founded in 1889 and its first major activity was the rescue of the site of Jamestown, which it still owns and sponsors, along with about thirty other of the some of the most historic sites in Virginia. Its primary work since the beginning has been to enlist citizens state-wide in the cause of advocacy for historic preservation, and not just of “famous” or elite sites, but of all the places and landscapes that have been important to Virginians over the last 400 years. APVA and its members and local branches address not only decision-makers in state and local governments, but also private companies and individuals whose decisions affect the historic fabric and landscapes that have been and continue to be part of our lives. It is also an important educational and research organization, with annual conferences, Preservation Trades weekends, periodicals, the annual “Most Threatened List”, programs of archeology, study, and interpretation at the many sites it owns or controls, and much more.

At the organizational meeting on June 30 we will:
– introduce everyone
– hear more about APVA from a representative, who will answer questions
– hear from one or more of the organizing committee about the plans
– sign up new members (and list current APVA members)
– elect initial board and officers, and appoint any committees needed initially
-set a meeting schedule (quarterly is the usual for local branches of APVA, but it is up to us)

For more information please download the full text of the letter in PDF format here and visit the APVA website at

Winchester City Comprehensive Plan Public Input Sessions

The next Winchester City Comprehensive Plan Public Input Session will be held at Quarles Elementary School beginning at 6:30pm. One of the exercises that the facilitator has attendees do is to identify the community’s strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats. PHW has a specific interest in Winchester’s future policies and plans with regard to historic preservation. Issues such as Housing, Neighborhood Preservation, Economic Redevelopment, Transportation, Education, Land Use, Recreation, and Environment will also be discussed.

If you cannot attend this meeting, the meetings in July are Monday, July 14th at John Kerr Elementary and Tuesday, July 22nd at Frederick Douglass Elementary.

For more information on the Comprehensive Plan please see the City’s website at:

A Midsummer Night Garden Party

Belle Grove Plantation would like to invite you to “A Midsummer Night Garden Party” Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. at the Inn at Vaucluse Springs. Enjoy a sumptuous feast at the historic Inn, nestled on 100 acres south of Stephens City. Originally owned by Lord Fairfax and Yost Hite, subsequent owners served as military and political leaders for the Valley during the Colonial Period. Vaucluse was occupied during the Civil War and an account in the words of the Jones family and their relatives can be read in the book Defend the Valley. From 1801 to 1965, it was owned by the Rice family of Winchester. John and Bettye Chumbley purchased the property and added a mill and other buildings to the site. The present owners, Neil and Barry Myers, bought the property in 1995 and have transformed the manor house and its surrounding buildings into an bed and breakfast inn. Today, the Inn is acclaimed as one of the “Top 10 Romantic Hideaways in the East”.

A splendid summer night buffet will be presented by the Myers and fine wines from Salute will accompany the meal. An enchanted and entertaining evening is planned to delight guests. Gather around the craggy boxwoods and view the Blue Ridge Mountains. All proceeds from the event will benefit Belle Grove Plantation.

To make a reservation, call Belle Grove Plantation, 540-869-2098. The cost is $50.00 per person.

PHW Is not affliated with this event. We provide notice to our members for their interest.

Public Meeting

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources will hold a public information hearing to discuss a proposed Winchester Historic District Boundary Increase. The meeting is scheduled for May 12 at 7:00 PM in the Rouss City Hall Council Chambers. Public comment may be sent to Director Kathleen Kilpatrick, VA Dept. of Historic Resources, 2801 Kensington Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221. For a copy of the proposal and/or a boundary map, contact Jean McRae, VA Dept. of Historic Resources, 804-367-2323 x-102 or

Public Presentation

A public presentation by officials from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and EHT Traceries will be held on February 14 at 7 pm in Council Chambers at Rouss City Hall. The presentation will explain the steps necessary to complete an exterior survey of buildings in Winchester’s Historic District. You are invited to attend and ask questions.

Preservation News

A portion of the flat roof on the Taylor Hotel has collapsed under the weight of improperly draining rainwater on Thursday, October 25. The Taylor Hotel is a Winchester and Civil War landmark.

A structural assessment of the building has determined the front and back portions are structurally sound, and the owners intend to renovate.