On Saturday, September 15, 2018, the Bee Line Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution will dedicate a plaque to honor the military service of Charles Washington (1738- 1799), founder of Charles Town and builder of Happy Retreat. The plaque will be dedicated at a ceremony at Happy Retreat and then placed at Charles Washington’s gravesite.
The research into the life and military career of Charles Washington undertaken in support of this dedication is described in the article written by Darla Treat Courtney for this issue. It brings to light new facts of his biography and gives us a more complete picture of his contributions to the Revolutionary cause. We are grateful to the Bee Line Chapter for this important commemoration.
We continue to peel back the history of Happy Retreat by uncovering physical evidence. Last year, the paint analysis conducted as part of the Historic Structures Report revealed the chronology of the first floor of the west wing of the house. The physical evidence provided by the 24 layers of paint found on the door and two windows of the front room established with certainty that that portion of the house dates to the time of Charles Washington.
Now, as reported in this issue, the archaeological work of Dr. Charles Hulse has helped us understand the chronology of the stone kitchen, both the era of its construction and how it was used. Further archaeology is underway, thanks to a grant from the State Office of Historic Preservation. Through this practice of patient and careful evidence-based analysis, we are gradually understanding the history of Happy Retreat.
Meanwhile, there will be lots going on at Happy Retreat this fall.
- Our Third Annual Craft Beer & Music Festival takes place on Saturday, September 8. This has become an established event for Charles Town that everyone looks forward to.
- The Eastern Panhandle Cotillion Club is hosting a benefit dance for Friends of Happy Retreat on Saturday, September 22.
- The Charles Washington Chamber Music Society will perform concerts at Happy Retreat in October and November.
- The Happy Retreat Book Series will present author William Threriault in October.