Friday Roundup: Celebrate National Preservation Month

Happy Preservation Month! We hope you’ll take a moment to show your love for our local history and architecture with a few of these ideas and activities:

Visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a new set of daily informative activities you can do to celebrate this year’s theme “Tell the Full American Story.” There is reading material, videos, images, interactive maps, and petitions and letters of support you can join and share.


Click to view the full letter. The donation form is at the bottom.

The French and Indian War Foundation is looking for your help! The organization has launched a fundraising campaign to help them retire the debt on the Baker-Hardy House, and every donation will be matched by the Wilkins Family Trust. The Baker-Hardy House serves as the organization’s resource center, and the hope is once the mortgage is paid off, other long-term goals for interpretation can take place. See the letter and donation form image for more information and how to contribute to the campaign.


The four City-owned museums (Abram’s Delight, Hollingsworth Mill, George Washington’s Office, and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters) reopen for the 2021 season on May 10th. Each museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am-4 pm and on Sundays from 12-4 pm. Stop in and see some familiar faces, learn about our local history, and the view the current exhibit at the Hollingsworth Mill: “Quaker Families of Winchester & Frederick County.”


Demolition
Do you recognize this building? It may have been in York, PA. Share anything you know to help us flesh out our image captions!

We have been captioning images on our Flickr page, and we recently had an unidentified building in the midst of demolition come up on our randomizing program for captioning. Our suspicion is the building may be in York, PA, based on the demolition sign on the building. The slide’s imprinted date on the cardboard is November 1979, and it appears we had a series of three images of this building from different angles to use during informative slide presentations. We suspect the image may have been shared with us by our preservation consultants from Pittsburgh who assisted PHW in the 1970s. If you are familiar with the York area and can provide any further information or possible context on this series of images, please drop us a note!


Help us recognize local preservation projects and preservation leaders by nominating a person or project for a 2021 PHW Preservation Award. We are tentatively hoping to host awards in June, and as such, the award nomination form has been updated. Projects completed between June 2019 to May 2021 are eligible for this combined round of recognition. Awards are open to BOTH Winchester City and Frederick County. People or projects may be nominated by anyone (including the potential award recipient or family member) AND you may nominate an unlimited number of projects. Applications DO NOT need to be complete, but should at least have enough identifying information that the project can be further discussed by the award committee. Return applications or suggestions to PHW, 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601 or by email at phwinc.org@gmail.com. Applications should be sent by May 28, 2021 for consideration for a 2020 or 2021 award.

Friday Roundup: Two Grants, Mutual Assurance Policy Database, and Dr. John S. Lupton

Pink Dogwood at the Hexagon House
Pink dogwood is in bloom in the backyard of the Hexagon House.

This week, PHW was informed of two upcoming grant opportunities from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. First, do you live in a town of less than 10,000? Your project may be eligible for the Hart Family Fund for Small Towns. Funds range from $2,500 to $15,000 and applications are due May 3.

Second, applications are now open for the June round of the National Trust Preservation Fund Grants. Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds encourage preservation at the local level by providing seed money for planning and education projects. Grants range up to $5,000 and applications are due June 1. Find the online eligibility guidelines and application here.


We have completed the database entries for all the Winchester Mutual Assurance Policies that are in hard copy at PHW’s office. The database has been added to our Google Drive if you are curious to see our holdings. While we had previously assumed our policies were identical to the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, that is not the case. We lack many of the earliest policies, but have a number of others extending into the 1860s. We used the information from the Archives database as the starting point and modified certain entries to update potential addresses of properties. The updates came through using the adjacent property owners listed in the policies and cross referencing the footnotes in Russell’s “What I Know About Winchester.” In general, the Archives may have copies of the pages PHW does not own. Information may still not be 100% accurate or complete, and only the Winchester holdings in PHW’s collection were indexed. You can also check out the Library of Virginia for more finding tools related to these records.


Last, as we noticed the apple trees blossoming around town, we felt it was a fortuitous time to share a story on Dr. John S. Lupton, credited as the pioneer of the local orchard industry. He was the owner of a particular plot of land we have been researching in downtown Winchester, which led to a bit of newspaper archive reading. One article in particular stood out for painting a picture of the early struggles of a fledgling apple orchard (other articles specify his apple of choice was the Newtown pippin). The article states:

“In all that has been said about Frederick county’s great apple industry, little note has been taken of the men behind it — those who bore the brunt of the early campaign and who were at times in danger of becoming penniless should their fruit fail of expectation. In this connection it is no exaggeration to call Dr. John S. Lupton the “grand old man” of the apple industry. . . . At times the future seemed black and hope almost blasted, but he persevered, with the splendid result of today, when he can look out upon prolific trees and his wide acres of fruit. . . . It is a known fact that he went hungry and ragged and sacrificed his credit before that orchard came into bearing, and had it been one year later bringing forth its fruit, he would have been a financial wreck. . . . However, when he realized handsomely from his orchard (which is now thirty-four years old) what numbers were ready to profit by his experience: for in the wake of the orchards followed the cooperages, cold storages, heavy shipments of fruit etc., with the employment of labor that all these industries mean, and what business man of Winchester, whether he be liveryman, hotel keeper, merchant, banker or professional man has not felt the benefit to the community of this fruit industry? The apple business brings money to those who were fixtures here, hence the money is spent right at home. So it is perhaps not putting it too strongly to say that no man deserves more credit for the material development of our community than Dr. John S. Lupton.”

Read Father of the Fruit Industry in Shenandoah Herald, November 17, 1905 (republished from Winchester News).

Friday Roundup: Community Survey, HTC-GO, and the Frankfurt Kitchen

Have you taken the City’s new Community Survey? The results will be part of the 2021 Strategic Plan update, which will guide the City’s future decision-making process for the next five years. Be sure to get your feedback in by April 30.


It’s been making the rounds in preservation circles, and PHW agrees: Urge Your Representative to Cosponsor HTC-GO! Last week, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Brian Higgins (D-NY) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced a new version of the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO) in the House of Representatives. It includes temporary tax provisions that will bring relief to projects impacted by the pandemic and permanent provisions that will add value to the Historic Tax Credit (HTC), improve access to the credit and increase investment in smaller rehabilitation projects. Introduction of companion legislation in the Senate is expected soon. Locate the name and phone number of your House Representative at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. In your outreach, please share the HTC-GO Fact Sheet as a link or attachment.


Last, for a bit of history on modern kitchen design, we invite you to visit Open Culture’s article “Discover the First Modern Kitchen – the Frankfurt Kitchen – Pioneered by the Architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (1926).” Much of what we experience in a kitchen today was influenced by her assembly-line, efficiency-minded innovations. Be sure to watch the embedded videos to see the kitchen layout and the famous “golden triangle” between the sink, countertop, and stove in action!

Watch the Frankfurt Kitchen on YouTube (with German title cards).

Friday Roundup: Battlefield Grant and Tree Maintenance

We were notified of a  Battlefield Interpretation Grant opportunity from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (NPS ABPP). These grants are to fund projects that use technology to enhance battlefield interpretation and education. Eligible sites include those associated with the American Revolution, War of 1812 or the Civil War. These competitive grants are open to state, local, and tribal governments, other public entities, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. Eligible activities are diverse and may include content development, consultation with stakeholders, audience research, fabrication and installation, costs associated with Section 106, and more. This grant requires a non-federal cost share of at least 50%.

The application deadline is May 5, 2021. The funding announcement and application materials are available on Grants.gov. For more information, head to the NPS ABPP website or check out this informational webinar on Battlefield Interpretation Grants. Contact abpp@nps.gov for assistance or questions.


As you may have seen, we lost one of the mature white pine trees behind the Hexagon House in the high winds of last weekend. Luckily, the tree did not fully fall after cracking near the base, as it was propped up by a second large pine tree. We were very fortunate that no damage was caused to the house, grounds, or neighbors, and the tree was removed safely. This prompted us to find some articles on maintenance and care of historic trees that so often accompany our historic homes:

Preserving history: What you need to know about historic tree and site care: Interview with Sam Hill in 2019 on historic tree care and maintenance, with an eye toward issues related to caring for such trees on historic sites.

Considering trimming or getting rid of an old tree? Not so fast. “Ultimately, the fate of an old and compromised tree comes down to the owner’s comfort level for risk or to the sentimental attachment to the tree.”

Tree Care – Best practices from Historic New England experts: Explore the White Papers on various tree and shrub related policies and practices (scroll down for additional landscape topics as well).


In PHW Office news, we have completed recreating the hand-colored 1897 Sanborn maps that were used for the meetings with City Council to establish the Winchester Historic District. The close examination of the map was fascinating and an intriguing look into the diversity of Winchester businesses and dwellings close to the turn of the 20th century. Our next project, spurred by a research request, is organizing our Mutual Assurance Society photocopies into a more searchable format for future research requests. These insurance policies are some of the only ways to explore now vanished buildings in the era before Sanborn maps documented the core downtown.

Daffodill Along the Trail
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Friday Roundup: Grants and Recreating the Colored Sanborn Maps

Before our weekly update, we wanted to share that the National Park Service has several grant deadlines approaching. The Underrepresented Community Grant Program grants are due March 31. Learn more about URC or Apply to URC via Grants.gov. The Historically Black Colleges & Universities Grant Program is also due March 31. Learn more about HBCU or Apply to HBCU via Grants.gov. Last, the Tribal Heritage Grant Program deadline is approaching May 5. Learn more about THG or Apply to THG via Grants.gov.


An original portfolio page.

As some of you may know, when we returned to the Hexagon House in 2006 we uncovered a treasure trove of PHW articles that had been left behind in the move to the Kurtz Building. One of those items was the portfolio of colored Sanborn Fire Insurance maps that were used in our presentation to City Council lobbying for the creation of the Historic District. The maps languished forgotten in the basement at the Hexagon House in a damp spot and have been very badly damaged. In addition, the rubber cement used to mount the maps to display boards has also greatly discolored the paper and made the color-coding hard to discern.

Coloring of the assembled map commences.

During one intern program several years ago, we assembled the individual 1897 Sanborn map pieces into one larger map. At long last, we have unrolled this assembled map and begun the task of recreating the color-coding from the portfolio sheets on the wall-sized map. While it will not have quite the same feel of a portfolio of individual pages, we hope the fully assembled and colored map will provide the same impact of seeing the amount of historic building stock left in the historic downtown. (We must note, however, that we are exactly recreating the color-coding from the portfolio, and that work in itself was preliminary before the more in-depth architectural surveys of 1974-1976 took place. The color-coding is only for historic purposes and not intended to be a 100% accurate representation of the age, building material, or significance of any property colored or uncolored in the maps.)

Friday Roundup: Women’s History Month

Annual Meeting 1979
Katie Rockwood at PHW’s 15th anniversary year meeting.

March is women’s history month, and PHW’s past is filled with women who believed in Winchester’s architecture and sought to improve the quality of our historic downtown. Perhaps none did more for PHW in our founding years than Katie Rockwood. Before PHW had an executive director, it had Katie, who worked tirelessly coordinating the original publication of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture. Her coordination skills were also utilized in the 1976 architectural survey of Winchester (plus a few add-on surveys after the fact) that guided the National Register of Historic Places listing for Winchester’s Historic District, PHW’s targeted areas for the Jennings Revolving Fund, and Board of Architectural Review decisions. Much of the basis of the historic walking tours of Winchester still in use today came from her pen. Schools benefited from her knowledge and enthusiasm for Winchester’s buildings in their teaching curricula. She coordinated countless events and touched countless lives as she moved with grace and dignity through the often fraught trials of saving importance places for fifteen years.

Due to her importance to PHW, she features in a number of our history of PHW blog posts previously written. If you would like more details on some of the items she worked on, you may wish to read:

Surveying for the Historic District

PHW Is Gifted the Lozier House

PHW’s 15th Anniversary

Architectural Walking Tours Shed Light on the Downtown

The Assessments of Downtown

The Baldwin House, 522 S. Loudoun St.

PHW and Winchester lost Katie at the tragically young age of 44. To help keep her memory alive, a memorial fund was started in 1991. In 1996 PHW named its preservation award for outstanding work on a Jennings Revolving Fund property in her honor.

From the Winchester Star editorial on April 11, 1991 following her funeral: “Those of us who know Mrs. Rockwood only by that work [in historic preservation] cannot truly share in the grief of her friends and family. But the whole community — those of us who live here now and those who will live here in the future — will share in and benefit from her legacy.”

Friday Roundup: Preservation Advocacy Week and Historic News Stories

Preservation Advocacy Week -2021, hosted by Preservation Action & National Conference of SHPOs, is going virtual on March 8 – 11, 2021. In-depth advocacy training, policy briefings, networking opportunities for Historic Tax Credit advocates will take place March 9th. Participants will be able to participate in virtual Capitol Hill visits March 10th. Registration is now live, and to participate in Capitol Hill visits, please register as an “advocate.” If this is your first time participating in the conference, please email Michael Phillips at mphillips@ntcic.com to assist in connecting you with appropriate registration links and individuals coordinating the conference.


The recent snowy weather is ideal for doing some reading in historic news articles. Like any good treasure hunt, you never know what you might find when you start a general search. While some searches turned up nothing, we stumbled across a deep rabbit-hole of stories related to the Hotel Evans on Piccadilly Street while attempting to find information on the Hotel Evans of Sharp Street. If you would like to follow the saga of attempted murders related to James M. Jack, son of the proprietor of Hotel Evans, the stories found so far are:

Jack Shoots Officer Down. (Times Dispatch, Number 17654, 16 August 1907)

Shoots Wrong Man. (Daily Press, Volume 12, Number 193, 16 August 1907)

Policeman Shot While Doing Duty. (Evening News, Volume 16, Number 40, 17 August 1907)

Shot Hits Policeman. (Culpeper Exponent, Volume 27, Number 19, 23 August 1907)

J. M. Jack Sent To Staunton Asylum. (Shenandoah Herald, Volume 90, Number 47, 22 November 1907)

Speaker Byrd Retained. (The Times Dispatch, February 25, 1913)

Mrs. Jack Recovering. (The Washington Herald, March 04, 1913)

Jack Is Freed by Pittsburgh Jury. (Times Dispatch, 17 May 1913)


To lighten the mood after the above saga, a story for our friends in Stephens City: Remember when a Little Virginia Town was Taken by Polecat Army? (Culpeper Exponent, Volume 43, Number 27, 11 October 1923)

If you have a Winchester or Frederick County topic or building you would like investigated for a future blog post, drop us a note on any of our social media outlets. Results are not guaranteed, but anything we can find will be shared.

Show Your Support for PHW!

While we work on one of the major membership renewal batches for our snail-mail list in the coming week, we also wanted to reach out to our social media and email followers. We appreciate your support and interest in PHW as evidenced by you reading this post, but what you may not know we are also an organization with membership dues.

A substantial portion of our ability to provide research and images for free to the community is derived from our membership dues. Individual support from people like you who read, react, and share our posts and links helps us keep the lights on and the research flowing. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Winchester’s history and architecture.

Please help us keep sharing our love of Winchester’s architecture and history in 2021 by taking the next step and becoming a member. Individual memberships start at $30 and are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

If that amount is a bit more than you feel comfortable spending, however, we invite you to make a one-time (or recurring) donation to PHW in the amount of your choice. You can also support us passively if you shop at smile.amazon.com and make PHW your charity of choice – there’s no additional cost to you, and a percentage of the purchase price is sent to us automatically.

We would be grateful for your generosity, whether it be through becoming a member, making a tax-deductible gift to PHW, making an earmarked donation to the scholarship fund, contributing in-kind donations, or by adding your name and interests to our volunteer database. All kinds of support are welcome and appreciated. Thank you in advance for supporting PHW and Winchester’s architectural heritage!

Friday Roundup: Historical Articles, Applications, and Archived Video

We enjoyed the article “Thanks to the Internet Archive, the history of American newspapers is more searchable than ever” from Nieman Journalism Lab. While we don’t quite have anything of such importance or national relevancy in the PHW archives, we do enjoy searching the newspapers that are becoming more available for researchers. Two articles that stood out this week are a description of building a house that rotates to catch sunlight all day long, as well as a small slice of life on Christmas dinners on Braddock Street long ago. We have also had fire stations on the mind this week, so to nod to the ongoing adaptive reuse taking place at the Sarah Zane Fire Company building, here is a short note on the old engine donated to the fire company by the aforementioned Sarah Zane.

The National Fund for Sacred Places provides training, planning grants, technical assistance, capacity-building support, and capital grants up to $250,000 to congregations of all faiths for rehabilitation work on their historic facilities. Submit your letter of intent by March 15 to keep these places as an important part of our national cultural heritage. You can also register for an introductory webinar for the 2021 grant cycle on February 10th at 2 pm ET.

Applications are due February 23 for the Spring 2021 Fellowship ARCUS Leadership Program. This leadership development program is for anyone who identifies as an emerging leader in the cultural heritage, public history, and historic preservation movement. The Spring 2021 Fellowship workshops will focus on Developing an Inclusive and Antiracist Approach to Cultural Heritage Leadership. Learn more and apply at ARCUS Leadership Program: Fellowship Spring 2021 Application. Not interested in a fellowship? Individual courses are also available at arcusleaders.com.

Last, from the PHW archives, check out our Lunch and Learn lecture with Chuck Swartz on How to Green Your Historic Preservation Project.

Friday Roundup: Nominations, Grants, and More

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places list. The list features buildings, cultural landscapes, cemeteries and archaeological sites that face imminent or sustained threats to their integrity or survival. Nominations are due by February 26th and can be submitted online at preservationvirginia.org. The announcement of the 2021 Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places list will take place May 11, 2021.

The National Park Service’s Underrepresented Community Grant Program (URC) works towards diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places. URC grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), and are administered by the NPS. Projects include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites. Applications are due March 31, 2021. Apply via Grants.gov.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the Bough and Dough Shop survey for planning our 2021 event so far. The feedback survey will be used to adjust the event for the next year in regards to timing, location, and the types of artisan vendors you would most like to see. There is still time to voice your opinion before February 8. Find the survey online at SurveyMonkey.

PHW has been following the discussion on the Conditional Use Permit for the conversion of the Selma property to a bed and breakfast with an event center. As many others have noted, the bed and breakfast aspect raises no concerns for PHW and is to be lauded for finding a new use for the property without damaging its historic character. As a neighboring business, we are in favor of a review period and slightly restricted event capacity to see what noise and congestion may arise from the proposed outdoor events. If you have not, you may also want to review the agenda material for the request at the City of Winchester site.

We often find interesting tidbits while we are correcting text in the Virginia Chronicle. A short article on Fine Woodwork stood out for the mention of fine artistry, as well as the use of sycamore wood, in the RMS Queen Elizabeth. The ship itself has been lost, but happily, a promotional photograph of the “Canterbury Pilgrims” does exist. You can see what this panel looks like at Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.