Historic Preservation

Happy Retreat historic preservation/restoration notes and updates.

Archeology at Happy Retreat’s Summer Kitchen/Smokehouse

Archeology at Happy Retreat’s Summer Kitchen/Smokehouse

This is an archaeological dig supervised by Dr. C. Hulse to find artifacts for determining construction dates and for learning about daily life at Happy Retreat and the building’s foundation restoration needs, among other goals. ... read more

December 2016 Restoration Update

December 2016 Restoration Update

We are moving forward with restoration of the house on all fronts. We are fortunate to be guided by so many knowledgeable people East Wing. During the 1940s, The East Wing was completely gutted due to termite damage and then remodeled, read more

Home of George Washington’s brother becomes a national treasure

Home of George Washington’s brother becomes a national treasure

Happy Retreat is being renovated and will hold events for the public. By Nina Kapur | nkapur@whag.com Published 06/24 2016 05:22PM CHARLESTOWN, W Va. West Virginia has a long list of historical sights, but one location in Charles Town ... read more

Happy Retreat named National Treasure

Happy Retreat named National Treasure

Washington Family Home Named a National Treasure Nation’s largest preservation organization partners with Friends of Happy Retreat to create a new cultural center for Charles Town community Washington (June 18, 2016) – Today, the ... read more

Piecing the Past Together

Piecing the Past Together

An example of how photographic and documentary evidence has helped us understand a piece of Happy Retreat’s past came when the 1960s era screen porch was removed last fall. The porch foundation was masonry, with gravel infill. As the ... read more

Setting Restoration Priorities

Setting Restoration Priorities

Because it was built in phases by different owners during different architectural periods, Happy Retreat presents special challenges to historic interpretation and restoration. It is believed that the original house that Charles ... read more

Historic Structures Report Underway

Historic Structures Report Underway

The consulting firm of Maral Kalbian, LLC, of nearby Berryville, Virginia, has been hired to prepare a Historic Structure Report (HSR) on Happy Retreat. The National Park Service provides this description of a historic structure ... read more

Progress on Welcome Center

Progress on Welcome Center

A brick garage was built behind Happy Retreat by C. Magnus Conklyn and his brother, J.P Conklyn, who owned the property from 1920 until 1945. Its design mimics the Greek Revival architectural style of the portions of the house built in read more

Happy Retreat Progress

Happy Retreat Progress

Pictured here is removal of the screen porch which was built in the 1960s. As the porch foundation was removed, a set of stone steps was unearthed. Documentary and photographic evidence indicates these steps were added in the 1940s and read more