We hope you all have been enjoying the spring-like weather as much as we have. The nicer days have let us visit approximately half of the Revolving Fund houses for our yearly review. Kent Street and the cross streets will be our last to do, pending weather and meeting schedules.
We are also close to the halfway point of unpacking and sorting our Flickr photos – uploading them to our locally hosted gallery is going to be a while longer, and as you may notice, captions on the photos are probably not happening any time soon on the public side. As we complete the transfer of albums and captions, we will be deleting them from Flickr. Ideally we would like to get under 1000 photos on Flickr mark by the time of the next renewal request in January 2024. Even if we don’t make it by January of 2024, all of the text data is in two zip files; it’s tedious but it is all retrievable on whatever time frame it takes.
On the plus side, the photo migration made us dive back into the hard copies and a few more unidentified images were pulled out for a fresh look. One of the luckiest IDs was for a modest house with little surrounding clues to identify location, only the house number on the building. We successfully honed in on the house number and guessed based on a map search that it was one of the row on North Frederick Pike/Fairmont Avenue. (We’re still scratching our heads over this slide, though – it’s our last unidentified slide image and we’d like to get it filed appropriately. Leads are appreciated!)
We are slowly easing back into work after our winter break. We hope you all had a joyful holiday season and are ready to start the new year off on the right foot. We expect to resume our daily photo captions on Facebook and Twitter next week.
We have one small request for our Bough & Dough Shop wrap up. If you have small, gently used gift bags to dispose of, PHW would like to replenish our small gift bag supply. We thought we’d ask now in case you need to eliminate some clutter soon after Christmas. We are particularly looking for bags in the 8″x10″ size and smaller range. Feel free to leave the bags inside the cabinet on the back porch at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St.
Thank you in advance, and see you next week on social media!
Please note ,the PHW Office will be closed the week of July 4-8 for a bit of rest and recharging before we start tackling our summer and fall activities. We’ll catch up with everyone when we return on July 11. Enjoy some photo captions on our Facebook or Twitter in our absence, and have a great holiday weekend!
Paper bag update: We are so tickled with the paper bag drop off response! Thank you to everyone who has helped out. We are mostly looking for smaller bags at this point – think sandwich bags or small gift bags instead of the grocery store bags. The contactless drop off bin will remain outside on the back porch for your convenience.
Historical program: The Friends of Handley Regional Library System present an informative free local historical program in the Handley Library Robinson Auditorium on September 25 at 2 pm entitled “Judge Richard Parker: A Man of His Times.” Judge Richard Parker was born in Richmond, Virginia and studied law at the University of Virginia. He was elected judge of the thirteenth judicial circuit in 1851. He was living in Winchester when he served as the judge in the trial of John Brown and his men after the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859.
On-demand training: The National Preservation Institute has a number of of demand online courses related to cultural resource management. There are both free and paid courses available. If you are looking to brush up or learn new skills, check out their course offerings.
Yellowjacket update: The Hexagon House is still inundated with yellowjackets. The board room remains completely unusable at this time. Please be patient, as the interior and porch swarms are more resistant to treatment than the yard nests.
Holiday House Tour sponsorships: There’s still time to reserve a spot in our Holiday House Tour program booklet. Full, half and business card size spaces are still available. If you’re interested in reserving a spot, contact PHW at email@example.com for more information.
Our Friday post this week ended up with a surprise feline in each section. See if you can spot them all! 🐈
This week, we took inventory of our Bough & Dough Shop supplies for the upcoming year. We request your assistance in donating gently-used paper bags of all sizes. We will be putting a receptacle on our back porch at the Hexagon House where you can drop off bags if no one is available at the office. Thank you for helping us keep our expenses low by using recycled and donated materials!
Some of you may be familiar with the unofficial PHW cat brigade and the health tribulations of the elder statesman, Severus. After a rough year through 2019 and 2020 with weight loss, high blood sugar, and other complications, he received a clean bill of health from his bloodwork this week. We hope we’ll be able to enjoy his grumpy and hissy (and occasionally greasy, like his namesake) antics for many more years.
We will be virtually attending the second “Dismantle Preservation” online conference next week between our normal office routines. Last year’s recordings are available online, and if you’re intrigued by any topics in this year’s event, you can join the conference through their website. In lieu of registration, the organizer recommends a $10/day donation or to support highlighted organizations through social media or email newsletters. (We admit we were suckered in by the “Cats and Brutalism” talk scheduled for July 28, 4:00-4:30 PM, but there are also more traditional topics.)
Similarly, the PastForward conference is now open for registration. The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s conference will be online again this year November 2-5. The conference subthemes include Promoting Equity and Justice Through Historic Preservation, Sharpening Essential Practices of Preservation, and Adapting to a Changing Climate.
Although Flickr does not provide stats for our entire viewing history, it looks like we may have broken our previous record for number of image views in a 24-hour period. We had over 29,000 views, primarily of the Millbank property album, on July 13. Our overall most-viewed image on Flickr is still the 1974 image of the Zayre store at 130 Delco Plaza, one of the long-forgotten collections unearthed from the basement of the Hexagon House (hence the unfortunate staining on the image.)
Since we began the caption project this January, we’ve seen more traffic on Flickr and more people finding our images with relevant, surprising and sometimes amusing text searches (our favorite this week is tiger nuts, the term used to find our feline festoon-holder on the Handley Library). We hope the images are proving informative and useful, and the increased captions are adding more depth and context. If there is an album, building, or photo in particular you would like us to focus our captioning efforts on, drop us a note on social media or at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re happy to take requests!
Did you purchase or were you gifted a copy of the reprinted Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture book and found some pages were out of order? We were alerted that a copy given out at our Annual Meeting had this printing error. A quick perusal of our other open boxes has not turned up any more printing errors, but if you find one, we will be happy to swap out your printing error copy for one that is appropriately bound. Just let us know at email@example.com or 540-667-3577.
While the PHW Office will be closed Monday, July 5 in belated celebration of the holiday, we have a fun historical tidbit from our archives to share for the holiday.
As you may have seen our current banner on social media, one of the artifacts entrusted to PHW is a flag of 48 stars donated by Gardner G. Phillips, Jr. The flag once hung in Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church on Cedar Grove Road. After a renovation of the church in the 1960s, coinciding with the retirement of the 48 star flag on July 4, 1959, this flag was given to the Phillips family of Clearbrook. In June 1993, the flag came into the possession of PHW through the Kurtz Cultural Center as a place where the flag, with its ties to a local church, could be held safely.
Although it does not appear the flag was ever used in a Kurtz display, it was kept safely in our small archival object holdings. It is clear the flag saw a great amount of use before coming to our organization, as it has begun to pull at the seams and a few areas where it was likely hung also show damage. This holiday provided the perfect excuse to do some regular archival maintenance to inspect the flag and refold it in a different manner to prevent damage and creasing.
First, we did a bit of cleaning up of our MailChimp mailing list during the lead-up to the Annual Meeting. A few new member emails have been added (hello and welcome!) and a section of bounced and unsubscribed emails have been archived. If you know someone who is not receiving the weekly emails and wants to stay informed, remind them to sign up in the opt-in form. If you unsubscribe from our mailing list, we cannot add you back in manually at the office, as it needs your confirmation you want to receive emails again. This is done in compliance with anti-spam laws through MailChimp. Thank you for understanding!
Second, next week will be a busy one for the office as we prepare the snail-mail Annual Meeting invitations in advance of the June 27 meeting, as well as some out of the office meetings. Please remember to call or email ahead of a site visit to the Hexagon House, as we may not be in the office.
We hope to help you find out what you member renewal status is with this Annual Meeting mailing, as we know last year we lost all sense of time. Look for your member renewal date (to the month of your renewal) in the membership form block in the Annual Meeting invitation and check its accuracy. Don’t receive a mailed invitation? That means you have fallen off our recent membership list. We hope you will chose to renew and catch up with old friends and familiar faces at the Annual Meeting, which will be our first real event since Holiday House Tour 2019(!).
Third, if you would like to join PHW or renew your membership, remember we are offering copies of our reprinted Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture book (a $25 value) as a thank you for your continued support. Copies can be picked up at the Annual Meeting or by arrangement through the PHW office. The reprinted edition was lovingly remade from the original to be as faithful as possible to Walter Kidney’s text and James R. Morrison’s photographs. The revisions and updates were limited to correcting errors and expanding on some omissions from the first publication (like a much-needed index). The book is a perfect introduction to Winchester’s architecture and broad history of development patterns. It may especially appeal if you are new to town, or want to share your appreciation of Winchester with someone less versed in architectural history.
Fourth, we were thrilled to be able to visit the Clowser House in Shawneeland last weekend to see all the progress made at the site. If you were not able to attend, you can catch photos of the event at our Flickr album. The Foundation is doing an amazing job documenting the history of their site and the family connected to the homestead, and PHW is proud to have helped them begin the journey five years ago to preserve their ancestral home for generations to come.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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.
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.
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!