Historic Preservation

Happy Retreat historic preservation/restoration notes and updates.

October 2021 Restoration Update

October 2021 Restoration Update

Showroom Great progress has been made on the restoration of the Show Room. As reported in the May issue, a window which exactly replicates the original window in the east wall has been installed in the west wall, replacing a 20th ... read more

Historic Letter from Frances Bassett Washington to Martha Washington (March 1793)

Historic Letter from Frances Bassett Washington to Martha Washington (March 1793)

Introduction: HISTORY AT IT’S BEST FROM INSIDE HAPPY RETREAT, by Marjorie Gaestel Those that know me know that one of my favorite Happy Retreat subjects is the portrait of the lovely Frances Bassett Washington that hangs in one of our ... read more

Historic Sewing Machine Donated to Happy Retreat

Historic Sewing Machine Donated to Happy Retreat

Friends of Happy Retreat is appreciating a personal donation given to us by a descendant of Charles and Mildred Washington. This sewing machine belonged to Francis Washington, Jr. and his wife Lucy Walters Washington and their daughter read more

July 2020 Restoration Update

July 2020 Restoration Update

Restoration of the smokehouse and stone kitchen is nearing completion. Over the winter, master carpenter Dave Kardok prepared the framing for the new roof. Many of the original rafters were simply split logs with the tree bark still on read more

Another History at its Best

Another History at its Best

A little trivia about Happy Retreat. Hello from inside Happy Retreat on Her 240th Birthday My favorite thing to do as the historian of Happy Retreat is look behind Happy Retreat’s walls, under her floorboards, in closets, read long ... read more

SHPO Archaeology Grant

SHPO Archaeology Grant

Friends of Happy Retreat (FOHR) has received an $11,000 grant from the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to undertake a detailed archaeological survey of the Happy Retreat property. When FOHR was first organized ... read more

April 2018 Restoration Update

April 2018 Restoration Update

We are completing plans on two important restoration projects. The first is the plan for the restoration of the smokehouse and stone kitchen. The restoration plan is being developed by architect Kevin Lee Sarring, who is working with ... read more

December 2017 Restoration Update

December 2017 Restoration Update

Roof. Restoration of the roof on the central portion of the house is complete. The standing seam metal roof was scraped, repaired where necessary, then primed and painted. The soffit molding along the eaves on both sides of the house ... read more

Newly Renovated Charles Washington Hall, Fall, 2017

Newly Renovated Charles Washington Hall, Fall, 2017

Bushel & Peck farmers’ market is Located in Charles Washington Hall Charles Town Art & Revitalization read more

September 2017 Restoration Update – Smokehouse/Kitchen

September 2017 Restoration Update – Smokehouse/Kitchen

In June, workmen from Belfor, an international property restoration company, came to Shrink Wrap the roof of the smokehouse/stone kitchen, replacing the deteriorating blue tarp which had been covering the roofs of these buildings. ... read more