We have had another successful year thanks to the support of so many people. Generous donors have helped us move forward with major restoration projects, both inside and outside the house. New roofs, gutters and downspouts and major repairs to the brick masonry now effectively protect the house from moisture – the greatest threat to any historic structure. The beautiful parlors are now fully restored and have hosted concerts, receptions and other events. Work has begun on the restoration of the smokehouse and stone kitchen, two of the most historic structures on the property.
Our wonderful volunteers — who now total over 200 – have brought their hard work and enthusiasm to our Wine & Jazz Festival, our Craft Beer & Music Festival, the Charles Washington Chamber Music Society concerts, the Happy Retreat Book Series and our Christmas Open House. Without them, none of these events would be possible. We established an important connection with the Charles Town Kiwanis which we look forward to expanding in the years to come.
The Jefferson County Historical Society will soon be opening their archives for research. This is an important step in making Happy Retreat the vibrant center for history we have long envisioned.
Looking forward to 2019, our first goal will be to raise the money we need to complete our events kitchen. A kitchen for caterers to use will allow us to make the house and grounds available for event rentals, providing a reliable source of income towards our goal of financial sustainability.
We also look forward to reaching out to our broader community in 2019 to increase the participation of other groups and organizations in programs at Happy Retreat. We are in the planning stages for several exciting events which we will showcase in our first newsletter of the new year.
Thanks to everyone who helped make 2018 another great year for Happy Retreat!