News & Announcements

The latest news and announcements from Friends of Happy Retreat.

History at it’s best: “Keeping it in the Family Series”

History at it’s best: “Keeping it in the Family Series”

By Marjorie Gaestel, Happy Retreat Historian And the beat goes on, the heartbeat that is. The Friends of Happy Retreat are happy to introduce you to a new Happy Retreat ancestor, Jesse David Washington. Jesse David Washington, son of ... read more

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

October 2021 Rising Sun Newsletter

October 2021 Rising Sun Newsletter

In March of this year, I received a phone call from Katie Tertell, who told me she was calling from Ireland. She is a cellist and said she was organizing the first ever Appalachian Chamber Music Festival. She asked if Happy Retreat ... read more

CANCELED: Jefferson County Historical Society Picnic

CANCELED: Jefferson County Historical Society Picnic

Date: September 22, 2021

The JCHS annual picnic scheduled for September 22nd at Happy Retreat has been canceled due to Covid. We look forward to seeing you in 2022, Please stay Safe. read more

Intensive Chamber Music Workshop

Intensive Chamber Music Workshop

Date: August 18, 2021

An inspiring, unforgettable day that will cultivate your love of chamber music. This is a half-day, intensive chamber music experience. No previous chamber music experience necessary. We welcome applications of all levels and ... read more

Appalacian Chamber Music Festival Programs Announced!

Appalacian Chamber Music Festival Programs Announced!

The Appaclacian Chamber Music Festival announced the festival programs for this summer! read more

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

May 2021 Rising Sun Newsletter

May 2021 Rising Sun Newsletter

Friends of Happy Retreat, like the rest of the world, is gradually emerging from the pandemic. Although we were not able to hold events over the past year, work on restoration and planning continued. As reported in our last newsletter, 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