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!

Valentine Roundup: PHW’s 57th Year

Happy birthday, PHW!

Most of the world will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on Sunday. This is also the weekend PHW marks its first officially organized meeting in 1964, during the grassroots movement to preserve Winchester’s architectural heritage. We will be marking PHW’s 57th year in 2021!

To get you in the Valentine spirit this weekend, we have gathered a few newspaper stories from around Virginia of Valentine celebrations of yesteryear.

Jolly Comic Valentine Party (Clarke Courier, 17 February 1904) “A most delightful Comic Valentine Party was held at the residence of Mr. A. Moore, Jr. . . . Cards and dancing were indulged in until a late hour, when refreshments were served. Everyone present had a merry time.”

Valentines for the Lady Fair (Morning News Item, 12 February 1907) “For St. Valentine’s Day comes Thursday, which is a good two days before pay day. If each young man’s particular affinity expects some material expression of her admirer’s adoration and it’s ‘up to him’ to cut down temporarily, at least, personal expenses.”

Valentine Parties (Morning News Item, 14 February 1907) “Although this is the Lenten season, it is understood that a number of valentine socials and a few select dances will be held this evening. It is said, however, that those who rigidly observe Lent will not be in attendance.”

A Valentine party (Peninsula Enterprise, 19 February 1910) “The interesting features were the shooting at a heart by each guest with a bow and arrow, and the fishing from a lover’s pond for the name of his or her intended. After punch, fruit, jelly and cake were served the favours were drawn from a Valentine pie.”

West End Hotel Valentine party (Times-Dispatch, 25 February 1912) “The parlor and halls were decorated in ferns, potted plants and red hearts, the color scheme being red. Many games were played, but the fortune telling by Mrs. A. P. Goldsmith and Cupid’s post-office, where Miss Brownie Delp presided, were the main features of the evening.”

Valentine parties delayed (Culpeper Exponent, 12 February 1920) “On account of so much sickness it was decided it would be best to postpone the entertainment until it is safer to bring the children together.”

Valentine Bridge (Crawford’s Weekly, 21 February 1931) “A very realistic castle lighted within and flying cupid’s flag, stood in the hallway where the guests were greeted, and pretty hand made tallies bearing cut-out Cupids paired off the partners for bridge”

Surprise birthday and Valentine party (Farmville Herald, 22 February 1935) “Due to the weather and condition of roads there was only a small number present. . . Miss Mollie was presented with some nice and useful gifts including an autography album in which many of her Sharon friends had written wishes of love and scripture verses and a large white birthday cake and home made candy in a large heart shaped box in red.”

Valentine costume party (Sun, 12 February 1937) “Guests came in costume and games suitable for the occasion were enjoyed. A prize for the most original and the most beautiful costume was given.”

Enjoyable Valentine Party for Service Men (Farmville Herald, 19 February 1943) “No paper decorations were used because of fire hazards and because of war shortage, but gay big red and white balloons bobbed from each light in the game room and lent a festive air.”

If all this talk of parties has you in the mood to celebrate, you may want to visit Click Americana’s website to pick up a vintage sweet heart-shaped cake recipe (1949), ideas for setting themed tables (c. 1950), and some Valentine games (c. 1900). Celebrate safely and responsibly this weekend!

Merry Christmas!

Thank you all for following and supporting PHW this year. If you were not able to visit the Bough and Dough Shop in person, a few photos of the artist setups are available on our Flickr page. The office will reopen January 4 by appointment as we get back to our regularly scheduled activities of promoting and preserving the architecture of Winchester and Frederick County. We wish you a healthy and happy holiday season. See you in 2021!

Friday Roundup: PHW Celebrates 1K Posts!

It’s been a long time in the making, but with this post, PHW has reached a social media milestone – 1,000 published blog posts! Our oldest post dates to March 2007, advertising a lecture by Christopher Owens of Reworks, Inc. The blog was not on a regular posting schedule until a website facelift in February 2012. Two years later, we outgrew our mailing list for the blog posts and transferred to MailChimp as our weekly email service in December 2014. This year with the pandemic, we have now increased our posts across all social media – the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s been a journey to reach this point as we experimented with content and formats. Thank you for being with us as PHW stepped into the digital realm!

As a thank you to our readers, we are holding a small contest for some thank you gifts. Comment on this post or any of our social media channels by Wednesday, October 7 for a chance to win one of five prize packs! This includes the 2019 Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture book, a vintage Apple Blossom pin, and a notecard pack featuring Winchester buildings. Winners will be selected at random, and you only need to comment once to be entered. The winners will be selected by Friday, October 9. Thank you for being one of our followers, and good luck in the drawing!

PHW’s Spring Update and Virtual Limestone Launch

Spring is just around the corner, and so Preservation of Historic Winchester draws closer to the end of another year. We usually take this time to let our current members know what we accomplished last year and invite you to renew your membership. This year, we are reaching out to all our members and social media followers to let you know some important news.

Last year was filled with high points like the 275th anniversary of the founding of Winchester activities, the republication of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture, and the presentation by Tom Mayes of Why Old Places Matter. The end of 2019 was capped by the Holiday House Tour and the Bough and Dough Shop, both successful fundraisers and educational programs.

At the same time, the year was marred by losses of buildings in the Historic District and to our own membership. All those who passed will be sorely missed, but perhaps none as much for the day to day operations of PHW as Sherry Bosley. After essentially acting as a volunteer secretary for the past fourteen years, the hole she left is still being felt. To honor her legacy of willingness to learn and humble yet unwavering work ethic, the PHW board approved a scholarship for local students bearing her name.

While we hope you will renew your membership, we also hope you will be generous enough to add a few extra dollars to the scholarship fund. We are currently just over $2,000 of an initial $10,000 funding goal. Our aim is to encourage students who have a passion for historic preservation who can continue the memory of Sherry Bosley and the goals of PHW.

While we may need to curtail in-person activities for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus restrictions, we invite you to follow our weekly updates on social media for further programming changes or updates. The PHW office will be open by appointment only for the foreseeable future in keeping with the arts and historic preservation community response.

The much anticipated Limestone book launch party on April 3 and 4 was one of the casualties of the coronavirus restrictions. In an effort to make the book accessible, it is now available for purchase on PHW’s website. Orders will be shipped in as timely a manner as possible.

Thank you for continuing your support of PHW as we live through a period of change and uncertainty. We will do our best to continue supporting our members, the community, and the city.

Welcome to 2020 from PHW!

While the office will be closed until January 6, we wanted to send out a Friday post welcoming you to the new year. We still welcome feedback on the Bough and Dough Shop, the Holiday House Tour, or any other aspect where you think PHW needs to improve. The first discussion of the Tour and Shop will be held January 13, so for best discussion and consideration, get your comments in to the PHW office before then. You may reach us by email at phwinc.org@gmail.com or by phone at 540-667-3577.

We hope you will join us in looking forward to a fruitful and successful year ahead!

Friday Roundup: End of Shop Survey

The PHW office will be closed next week for winter vacation. In the meantime, we hope you will fill out the Bough and Dough Shop 2019 feedback form. Responses collected will be added to the report in the January 13 PHW board meeting for our after-event debriefing. The survey consists of three open-ended questions to help us plan the types of vendors and items you want as well as other ideas for improvement.

Thank you, and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season. We’ll see you again in 2020!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from PHW!

Friday Roundup: End of Summer Events

We had a fantastic time at the open house last Saturday. If you couldn’t make it, you missed a chill afternoon full of art, food, and creativity. Don’t worry, though! You will get to enjoy the fruits of these labors (plus our upstairs neighbors ShenArts) starting in late November at the Bough and Dough Shop. If you haven’t yet, you can pick up an informational packet with an application form here.

Do you enjoy transcription of historic documents? The Library of Virginia has made the records of the Equal Suffrage League available for transcription. As part of the 2020 commemoration of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote, the Library is asking volunteers to help transcribe these records that document women’s campaign for the vote in Virginia. You can learn more at their blog, Out of the Box.

September in Winchester always conjures up Patsy Cline. Get your fix tomorrow with the Patsy Cline Block Party. The annual event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 31, 2019 in front of the Patsy Cline Historic House, 608 S. Kent St., Winchester. It is an old-fashioned style block party with live entertainment, food concessions by Shaffer’s BBQ and souvenirs staged on Kent St. between Monmouth and Germain streets. The block party is free to attend with tours of the historic house offered at the reduced price of $5 for the day. Four performances by returning and new entertainers includes tribute singers performing Patsy songs, singer-storyteller, and groups performing songs of her genre.


“From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester” will be held September 15.

“From Disaster to Redemption: George Washington and the Making of Winchester” will be held Sunday, September 15 at the George Washington Hotel, beginning at 1:30 PM. This free presentation will be a lovely celebration in a lovely place, with a dynamic speaker, Dr. Carl Ekberg. Join the French and Indian War foundation and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society for this 275th anniversary of the founding of Winchester event. Everyone is welcome! More information is available on the French and Indian War Foundation’s website.

Last, PHW will be closed on Monday, September 2 for Labor Day. Enjoy your long weekend as you say goodbye to summer!

Rockin’ Independence Eve and July Schedule

Come to Old Town on July 3 for an evening of activities!

PHW will be at the July 3 Rockin’ Independence Eve again this year. Our table will be in the same spot in front of the Godfrey Miller House at 28 South Loudoun St. as last year. Be sure to stop by, say hi, and see what fun activities we may have going on!

The PHW office will be closed for the first week of July (July 1-5). We will be back to normal on the week of July 8. Catch up with the PHW reps at Rocking Independence Eve, or leave a message for us and we will get back to you then.

Although it is said every year, it is worth repeating to be careful while enjoying the summer holidays, particularly grilling and fireworks. While both activities are a staple of summer celebrations, they can be hazardous to both people and buildings. If you need a refresher, you can find safety tips at FEMA and NFPA for these and other summer safety issues like pools, campfires, and storms. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July celebration!

Happy Bloom!

It’s a short post this week as we know you are all focused on Apple Blossom this weekend. If you get a few quiet minutes, we have a little bit of reading for you to enjoy:

May is Preservation Month! The National Trust has a suggestion of 31 activities to celebrate and enjoy historic places near you. They also have a discussion post going on the forum for other activities from across the country. You can celebrate with PHW next Friday, May 10, at 522 S. Loudoun Street, starting at 5 PM for our free Happy Hour.

One of the things the national preservation movement is moving toward is a focus on supporting community, not just properties of significance. It’s a monumental ideal, and if you’d like a glimpse at some of the thoughts preservation professionals are having for our “future significant” buildings, stories, and communities, there was a good discussion post at the end of April you may want to check out.

You’ve probably been doing some spring cleaning to get ready for the Bloom. Preservation Virginia has a few tips for cleaning some historic items. We will reiterate that if you are at all unsure or you feel the item is too delicate, the best course of action is NOT to attempt cleaning. You can make things much worse by being too aggressive or using the wrong materials.

We also want to thank all our “spring cleaners” who have dropped off bags and packing materials at the Hexagon House. It is a small thing, but we are so grateful for your help. Your donations help us keep our Bough & Dough Shop overhead costs to a minimum by not purchasing new bags and bubble wrap. We also share with our upstairs neighbor ShenArts so they can safely transport pieces between the gallery and the Hexagon House. We will still gladly take more bags and bubble wrap through the spring and summer.