December 2020
A Message from the Executive Director
Happy Holiday Season from Waterford! I hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday, although I know it was a different Thanksgiving than usual for many. We were happy to share the holiday with many of you during our Home and Holiday Sale. Thank you to those of you who tuned in to the streaming sale preview videos and shopped the sale to support our artists and support the Foundation!

This December we are looking back on a memorable year. To say that 2020 has been challenging is an understatement, but we are proud of the work we were able to accomplish. Read all about it in our lead article below. Also read a recap of our Home and Holiday events along with an overview of socially distanced events happening tomorrow. Don’t miss our volunteer and Board member profiles this month where we recognize individuals who always answer the call to help for jobs all around the village. Read on to find out about new offerings at the Waterford Craft School, and don’t forget to read to the end for a story from Waterford’s past about Christmas celebrations. 

This time of year many are thinking about giving back. If you are in a position to donate this year, please consider an end-of-year gift to the Waterford Foundation. Our work to preserve and share this National Historic Landmark village is made possible through the generosity of supporters like you. This has been a tough year of cancelled and adapted events and activities, so your support this year is especially critical. If you are able, please visit our website or our Facebook page to make an online donation, or send a check in the mail to the address below. 

Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Stephanie C. Thompson
Executive Director
2020 Year in Review
My how times have changed since January 2020. We began the year optimistic for engagement with our community and supporters at our planned classes and events. In January we celebrated the retirement of longtime Preservation Director Margaret Good, and in early February we welcomed the community to the Old School for a community meeting. But by mid-March we were adjusting to operations under quarantine, as our staff transitioned to working from home, our Board and committees began meeting via video conferencing, and our planned classes and events were rescheduled, adapted, or cancelled. While 2020 was certainly not the year we had hoped and planned for, we are proud of what we have accomplished under the circumstances. Here is a recap of some of our favorite moments of 2020:
  • Held a Virtual Annual Meeting, electing four new Directors.

  • Hosted the COVID-19-safe wedding of Jon-Erik & Jackie Hauffman at John Wesley Community Church.

  • Shared stories of Waterford’s racial divide, in response to the death of George Floyd
  • Began the process of amending the Schooley Mill Easement with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
  • Shared the history of the Phillips Farm and new rules for Covid safety on the trail
  • Held a Covid-safe Floorcloth class

  • Hosted our very first virtual class: Watercolor Magic for Kids

  • Hosted our second Colonial Camp with instructor Brett Walker
  • Hosted our first virtual Historic Waterford Trail Run with 84 runners participating
  • Shared Nick Spokes mapping project showing the success of Waterford’s preservation work over the last 70 years in GIS mapping data

  • Held the 76th Waterford Virtual Fair featuring video homes tours and artist demonstrations, streaming live preview videos from the online Old Mill Sale, virtual Waterford Craft School workshops, and Taste of the Fair packages for a Covid-safe “unmasked” Waterford Fair experience.
  • Held additional Covid-safe Waterford Craft School classes, including Stained Glass 101 and Splint Seat Weaving.
  • Published The Thinkin’ Rug by Bronwen Souders, a historical fiction, young adult novel set in Waterford’s post-Civil War African American community.

  • Announced an agreement reached with a group of community supporters to further protect the Schooley Mill Barn and Field while retiring the remaining debt on the Foundation’s Line of Credit.
  • Hosted the Landmark Holiday in Waterford Home & Holiday Sale.
Thank you for supporting the Foundation and local artisans during the sale. Photo OP at the Bond Street Barn will be open through December 28th. & Holiday Sale.
Volunteers of the Month:
Bill & Sue McGuire
Do you know what each of these architectural features have in common? They have all been repaired or repainted by the McGuires this year! Bill and Sue have consistently answered our call for help as long as they have been involved with the Foundation, and we are so glad that their commitment continues even though they no longer live in Waterford! Thank you Bill and Sue, yet again, for helping us to preserve these historic buildings!
The Thinkin' Rug
Young Adult Novel Set in the Black Community of
Waterford’s Post-Civil War Past
By Bronwen Curtis Souders

“… through a young person’s eyes …we discover how family choices, made out of fear and from a place of love, during the enslavement period, affected the generations that followed. a wonderful story of individual, family and community perseverance.”

— Donna Bohanon, Chair, Black History Committee Friends of Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, Virginia

Click here to view a preview of
the Thinkin’ Rug
featuring author Bronwen Souders! 

Click here to order your copy of The Thinkin' Rug!
Meet Our Board: Sharyn Frank
Sharyn Franck has assisted multiple communities over her many decades of community development and volunteer work. In 2008, she was a co-founder of the nonprofit Arlington Boulevard Community Development organization (ABCD), established to improve the quality of life for residents of Kingsley Commons and Kingsley Park, low income communities in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County. While at ABCD, Sharyn created programs through a public/private partnership to distribute laptops to families who could otherwise not afford them, provide English language and citizenship classes to residents, and even help create a soccer team for children in the community. Since moving to Waterford in 2012 and retiring from ABCD in 2015, Sharyn has been a member of the Waterford Foundation and serves on the Education committee and Archives subcommittee. For the past two years she has volunteered with the Second Street School Living History Program as one of the docents portraying 1880's school teacher, Miss Nickens. Sharyn has also been an active member of the Waterford Citizens Association, serving as vice-president for two years. She is currently on that organization’s traffic committee. Sharyn is currently serving as chairperson of the Foundation's Education Committee.

What’s new with the Waterford Craft School
It's been a whirlwind of a year here at the Waterford Craft School! Cancellations and delays were balanced by our good fortune in being able to provide opportunities for learning, both in-person and virtually this year. In mid-November we wrapped up our final Virtual Fair Q&A, "Make Me Mine" Leather Clutch, with instructor Lisa Parmer-Ditty, which had been rescheduled. Students stitched supple leather into contemporary works of art, then gathered online to socialize and show off their creations. The students are ready for a fancy trip to the grocery store, and a celebratory night out when things finally get back to normal.
While next year's classes would normally have been published already, we've delayed the release of the 2021 session to better-adjust to the pandemic. Recent vaccine data seems promising, and we'll release class information in the new year. In the meantime, to help you get you through the darker days of winter, we've packaged up some hope in the form of two, online-but-social classes with instructor Megan Wakefield! In late January, we invite young people to dress up and gather on a Sunday afternoon for Tea Time for Kids!  Adults, we have something for you, too.  The quiet winter months are the perfect time to plan a garden. If you struggle to grow vegetables and herbs, gain confidence in this series of four, one-hour workshops in Beginning Small Space Gardening. Learn how to select a garden site and prepare soil, choose the right plants for your small space garden, keep plants alive, and grow healthy food for you and your family. This class will culminate in a social seed swap outside the Old School in late March. An optional one-on-one consultation with the instructor can be purchased for an additional fee. Both classes make great Holiday gifts. Waterford Craft School gift certificates are available on our website in $25, $50, and $100 increments.

As always, if you have suggestions for classes, or have created something that was inspired by a Craft School workshop, we'd love to hear from you. Send your comments and images to 
Thank You to Our New & Renewing Members!
Memberships provide a vital portion of the Waterford Foundation's funds to pay for the upkeep and repair of thirteen properties protected by the Waterford Foundation, as well as programs like the Second Street School living history program, the Waterford Craft School, the Waterford Fair, and special programs throughout the year. We would like to thank the following new and renewing members who have joined or renewed in September & October 2020!
New & Renewing Members: November 2020
Ms Steffanie Burgevin
Mr. and Mrs. David & Carolee Chamberlin
Ms Joan Henry
Ms Sarah Holway
Leesburg Garden Club
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald and Carol L. Rothrock
Ms Kathryn A. Steckelberg
Our Sustaining Members are: Mr. John Caron & Ms. Nancy Doane, Mr. and Mrs. Goode (Joe and Annie), Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Hale (Bob and Susanne), Ms. Joan Kowalski, Mr. Ed Lehman and Ms. Edith Crockett, Robert and Stephanie Thompson, Mr. & Mrs. Mark Sutton, and Mr. & Mrs. Brandon & Clare Synge.

To become a sustaining member, click here and choose "recurring donation" to set up a monthly gift!

Next month, we will acknowledge our new and renewing December 2020 members!
Make a Year-End Gift to Support Preservation and Education in Waterford
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our fundraising events and programs. We are proud that we were able to shift the Waterford Fair and the Waterford Historic Trail Run into virtual events, but the bottom line is that the adapted events raised significantly less than what we need to support our ongoing mission. Our Waterford Craft School and Second Street School Living History programs have also been impacted. We adapted these programs to accommodate current needs, restoring critical Second Street School and other African American heritage content to our website to support virtual learning, developing new online craft school classes, and holding in-person classes outdoors or further reducing class sizes for safety indoors. 
We remain adaptable and resilient, but we need your help to succeed!
We recognize that many of you may not be in a position to give this year. If that is the case for you, I invite you to stay engaged with us, and make your voice heard as we continue to grow and adapt. But if you are able to give this year, I urge you to continue your support with a gift to this end-of-year campaign. Help us to raise the critical funds we need to keep our preservation and education mission going strong. 
Join millions of others who give back during the holiday season by making a gift during our year-end appeal. Support the Waterford Foundation and help us reach our end-of-year campaign goal.

There are four easy ways to give:

Stories from Waterford: Christmas Celebrations

While Waterford is now on the edge of bustling Washington, D.C. suburbs, for most of its history the village was a remote rural community. Waterfordians knew how to celebrate holidays with local products supplemented by goods shipped in by the village’s enterprising storekeepers, and businessmen. Before refrigeration, seasonal foods such as oysters were brought in for special occasions. Frank Rinker (1853-1924) ran a butcher shop at 15479 Second Street (The Old Insurance Building) where at Thanksgiving and Christmas he sold oysters, at $6.00 a gallon—a rare delicacy then at that high price. Orders were placed about ten days in advance and they were received a day or two before the holiday. The gallon cans, packed in ice, were shipped up on the railroad to Paeonian Springs. Later, when Minor James got a Model T truck, he would drive to the wharf in Washington and get them. Arthur Jackson, a chauffeur for the Chamberlins, would drive one of them to Florida near the holidays and return with oranges for the family. All the families, black and white, remember extra baking. One family remembered Christmas was the only time of the year they had “store nuts”—the rest of the time they gathered hickory nuts and black walnuts—driving them through an auger hole in a heavy board with a wooden mallet.

Eleanor James, who lived on Bond Street shared a recipe for Christmas Beer in an article for the Times Mirror:

“As soon as Thanksgiving was over, preparations for Christmas began. There was a traditional Christmas drink in Waterford that was made in almost every home; it was called Christmas or Lemon Beer. It consisted of three gallons of warm water, three pounds of sugar, three lemons sliced thru, one yeast cake and twenty hops. You boil the hops (tied in a piece of cloth) for ten minutes. You make this in a five-gallon stone jar. After adding all the ingredients, you stand the jar in a warm place for twenty-four hours to work; stir every once in a while. It will bubble and you can see it is working. Then strain, put in jars and it is ready to drink when cold. Do not use water that has chlorine in it to make this beer. During Christmas holiday visiting, this was the drink most often served to young and old alike. Though all used the same recipe, each tasted differently and “How did your beer turn out this year?” was a question often asked.”
Paxson’s Store stood next to the Pink House at the intersection of Main, Second, and Water Streets.
We tend to romanticize the times in the village but people were working hard; times were tight; gifts were handmade and or utilitarian. Nevertheless, there still was a magic there, that John Divine captured in his memories of L.P. Smith’s Christmas store:

“For several years Mr. Lem Smith rented the closed Paxson’s store during the holiday season and used it as a Christmas store. Oh! What a thrill it was to see so many things near and dear to a little boy’s heart. There were little red wagons, sleighs and tricycles, then, for the girls, dolls and games. No mall today can give the pleasure of that little Christmas store. When the holiday was over, there were no after-season sales. Mr. Smith simply packed everything away and set it out again the next year to thrill us all over again.”

Find this and other Waterford stories in When Waterford and I Were Young, by John Divine with John and Bronwen Souders.

Waterford Foundation Staff
COVID-19 Action Plan
Due to safety precautions for COVID-19, the Waterford Foundation office is closed is closed to the public. The staff are teleworking and we are available via email, phone or on video calls and are happy to help with anything you need!

Our staff has updated all of our policies and procedures to make sure the Old School is clean, sanitized and ready for events and programs. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns! Check out our newest website page introducing our Waterford Staff.
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