News & Announcements

The latest news and announcements from Friends of Happy Retreat.

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

December 2020 Rising Sun Newsletter

December 2020 Rising Sun Newsletter

Over the past year, we have been exploring ways to leverage historic preservation tax credits to finance the remaining restoration of Happy Retreat. In a nutshell, combined Federal and West Virginia state historic preservation tax ... read more

Fall 2020 Update

Fall 2020 Update

Hello Everyone, Thank you for checking back with us. Here we are approaching Fall already and we are all anxious to get back to normal. Hopefully it’s in the near future for us. Unfortunately we were unable to celebrate the ... read more

August 2020 Update

August 2020 Update

Hello again Fans and Patrons, Another update from all of us here at Happy Retreat. We are still working toward being able to open up the house for your visiting pleasure. Of course we are still under the social precautions due to the ... read more