Happy Retreat History

The Ownership of Happy Retreat by the Hammond Family, 1800-1837

The Ownership of Happy Retreat by the Hammond Family, 1800-1837

As detailed in previous issues of our newsletter, Charles and Mildred Washington were forced by poverty and ill health to deed their interest in Happy Retreat, consisting of the house, outbuildings and about 800 acres, to their son ... 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

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

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

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