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Waterford Foundation Newsletter        January / February  2018

A Message from the Executive Director
Tom Kuehhas,
Executive Director
The Foundation's offices have been a busy place since the holidays and there's lots to cover in this issue of our newsletter!

Our Land Use Committee has leadership responsibility for developing and putting into place a sound landscape preservation strategy for the National Historic Landmark, including the village and the open space surrounding it. You'll find out what's on their agenda in the coming months!
We are so excited to be hosting our second 5K event in April, and are grateful to the cadre of new volunteers who have done so much to make this an annual event that's eagerly anticipated by area runners.
See what we have in store for 2018 Craft School sessions. Be sure to visit our website at to see the variety of courses being offered this spring and early summer.
Local historians Bronwen and John Souders contribute a fascinating story, with a twist, featuring one of the many thousands who immigrated to America as indentured servants and labored in obscurity to pay off their passage to this country. 
As always, we appreciate your support!


Tom Kuehhas
Executive Director

Historic Waterford Trail 5K Run/Walk

Step away from your electronics for the day and travel back in time at the historic Waterford trail run/walk.  The Waterford Foundation invites you, your friends and family to experience this unique trail run through a quaint, National  Historic Landmark village and its surrounding fields and trails.  

While the run/walk is the main event, there will be something for everyone, from food to live entertainment and rich history, including a docent-led walking tour through the once-Quaker village.
Waterford is special because it looks almost exactly as it did over 200 years ago, with its open fields and farmland intact.  You'll be running through some of those fields, so you may get muddy ... but that is half the fun!  

Registration opens February 1.

Event information:

5km run/walk - Starts at 9:00 am. The course will involve approximately 70% trails, fields, unpaved road, and 30% of paved road. You will have 1 hour to complete the race.

1 mile fun run - Kids 1 mile Fun Run starts at 10:00 am and each finisher will get a small reward at the end. Parents you are welcome to run with them and you do not need to fill out a separate registration.

Historic Waterford Village walking tour - At 10:30 am. Walk with us through Waterford today and discover what makes this place so memorable. Hear the stories of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. They built a thriving town from wilderness; they endured a long and bloody war that threatened to destroy their homes and their lives; and in good times and bad they held tightly to their vision of a special place. Today their 18th and 19th century homes, mill, forge, corner store, Quaker meeting house, the one-room schoolhouse that served the African-American community, and the surrounding 1,420 acres of farmland, compose a National Historic Landmark. Walking tour lasts approximately 30 minutes.

Waterford Trail Blazers - Waterford Elementary School running program.  You need to be a Waterford Elementary School student and have an adult over 18 years of age, who will have a race number (but will be untimed) to run with you during the event.  Any questions contact the Waterford Elementary School PTO.

2018 Waterford Craft School Schedule Announced

The Waterford Craft School announces its 2018 schedule of classes, its largest offering yet. The Craft School seeks to teach and preserve traditional methods used in craft and building arts. Classes are targeted for those 18 and up who want to learn make-by-hand skills in traditional crafts such as basketry, fabric arts, building arts and more in historic Waterford, Virginia.

The 2018 sessions include one and two-day sessions. One-day classes consist of eight hours of instruction on a  Saturday; two-day classes include 8 hours of instruction on Saturday and five hours on Sunday.
  • Session One- April 7-8, 2018
  • Session Two- May 5-6, 2018
  • Session Three- June 2-3, 2018
  • Session Four- July 8-9, 2018
Courses include designing with dried flowers, creating your own floorcloth, marbling, basket making, splint-seat weaving, rug hooking, making a milking stool, jewelry making, weaving, caning, and herbal medicine. In addition, there are courses that teach about old home maintenance, including windows, mortar and brick walks.

Tuition is $95 for one-day classes, and $175 for two-day classes. Materials fees range from an additional $20 to $100. Class size is limited and special lodging rates are available; lunch is provided on both days. Discounts are available for early registration and Waterford Foundation members.
Gift certificates are available if you want to give a special gift for Valentine's or Mother's Day!

To register, contact the Waterford Foundation at 540-882-3018 or visit .

Call for Amazing Artisans - Applications Now Being Accepted!

Be part of history and exhibit and sell at the 74th Waterford Fair. We are now accepting applications for juried demonstrating artisans who produce amazing work in the following mediums: basketry, clay, fiber/textile, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, and wood.
Artisans may apply via  ZAPP through April 13, 2018. Zapp is FREE for artisans use. 

Apply before 5pm on February 20th and save $15 off the application fee! For more information about the Fair and the Artisan Prospectus visit .

If you know an exceptional artisan who has not participated in the Fair but you think should please pass this information along to them or forward their contact information to Fair Director Tracy Kirkman at


Land Use Committee Seeks to Update National Register Nomination

National Landmark Marker
The Foundation has long wanted to update Waterford's National Register Nomination.  Waterford was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 as an historic district.  In 1970, it became a National Historic Landmark.  Then, in 1972, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors named a smaller area of Waterford as a local historic district. 

The 1969 National Register nomination for Waterford is sparse.  A modern nomination would include a more detailed narrative documenting the historic significance of the district.  It would also include a complete inventory of all the properties (approximately 135) in the district, as well as photographs of all these resources and their history.  The history of the people living here would also be included, allowing us an opportunity to include the rich Quaker, African American, agricultural and commercial history of the village.

So it is one of the goals of the Foundation to seek help with updating our nomination this year.  We are seeking grants to hire the expertise needed to complete an update.  With a more extensive history collected and documented, we will be better able to expand our educational programming as we share those findings.  As neighbors decide to place their property under easement, a more current nomination will provide the historic content they need to do that. It will also provide them with information required to qualify for tax credits that might be available when placing a property under easement. The expanded documentation will also help with the Foundation's grant applications to support our mission.

Our colleagues in the preservation community have long encouraged us to pursue this initiative in order to create an even stronger nomination, thus enhancing our preservation efforts. We are meeting with representatives of the National Park Service, Virginia Department of Historic Resources and Loudoun County soon to get this started.  

Help the Landmark, Help the Foundation, Help Your Community

Tracy Kirkman and Volunteer Kathleen Hughes
As a grassroots organization, the Waterford Foundation relies on volunteers to do so much, from serving on our Board of Directors and standing committees, to making magic happen at the Fair, "playing" Ms. Nickens at the Second Street School, and a myriad of other projects. 

Have an hour? Great! Have a few hours a month? Wonderful!  Please consider joining us in our preservation efforts so future generations can enjoy this special place. Contact Tracy Kirkman at to find out more.

The Sins of Christopher Fiddes

Sometimes a query from a Waterford descendant will, as below, reopen a neglected chapter of the village's rich history.

Of the hundreds of thousands who emigrated to North America from the British Isles before 1800, the great majority were not free. Most had bound themselves to a number of years' servitude in exchange for their trans-Atlantic passage or had entered into contracts as apprentices, hoping to learn a trade. Many of the remainder were felons who accepted a period of bondage in the New World rather than face notoriously harsh punishment in the United Kingdom, even for minor transgressions. One of the latter unfortunates summed up
his plight:
Forc'd from your country for to go
Among the negroes to work at the hoe,
In different countries void of relief
Sold for a slave because you prov'd a thief . . .
Waterford's settlers drew from such indentured arrivals to supplement their own labor. And not infrequently, problems arose. At some point in the 1760s, Quaker Francis Hague, brother-in- law of the town's founder, Amos Janney, took on an Irish offender, Christopher Fiddes, probably
"to work at the hoe" on his farm at the north edge of the village.

Unfortunately for  Hague, Mr. Fiddes ' s contrar ian inclinations had accompanied him to Virginia. In August 1769 the new hand was "detected" gambling in a local tavern. At the time he was described as a " servant " of Mahlon Janney, Amos's son and Hague's nephew. Perhaps Francis, who was nearing 70, thought that the younger Mahlon might better be able to deal with the refractory Irishman. After all Mahlon had hauled into court that same year would-be runaway Duncan McDonald, and had additional time added to his term of service. But Christopher proved a hard case. Within weeks Francis was obliged to post a notice in the Virginia Gazette :
Run away from the subscriber, living in Loudoun County, near the Quaker meeting house, about  12 miles below the Blue Ridge, an Irish convict servant man named Christopher Fiddes, about 5  feet 9 or 10 inches high, and pretty well set. He had on when he went away a light coloured  linsey jacket, a cotton ditto, a felt hat, two homespun shirts patched on the back with new linen, two pair of trowsers home made, a good pair of strong shoes, and a large flag handkerchief. He is very talkative, and of a very proud bold behavior, very near sighted, is a lover of strong drink,  and very subject to take too much when opportunity offers, and is then very ill behaved; he walks briskly but heavy, taking long steps with a proud air, and is very subject to set his hands on his sides when speaking to any person; has a down look, and is marked with the small pox, tho' not deep, but plainly seen. Any person taking up and securing the said servant, so that he may be had again, shall have a reward of THREE POUNDS, with all reasonable charges, paid by    FRANCIS HAGUE.
No subsequent mention of Fiddes has been found, suggesting that he made good his escape. Despite the setback, both Hague and Janney continued to employ indentured laborers, as did many others in Loudoun at the time, as the system, when it worked, benefited all. In 1773 for example, Hague took on a new apprentice, an 18-year-old lad "bound to be a farmer." But in this instance, at least, he was taking no chances. The new boy was a relative, Amos Hague. 

Waterford Mourns Passing of Marie Anderson and Joe Keating

We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of long-time Foundation members and valued volunteers Joe Keating and Marie Anderson. Our condolences go to their families. Both Marie and Joe will be sorely missed!

Have You Included the Waterford Foundation in Your Estate Planning?

Help preserve the Waterford National Historic Landmark for future generations. Include the Waterford Foundation in your estate planning.

You can provide support for the Foundation's efforts at preservation and education, while meeting your financial, tax, and philanthropic goals.

Your bequest to the Waterford Foundation allows us to continue our mission of protecting and preserving this beautiful landmark we all love. 
2018 Waterford Foundation Board of Directors Meetings

The Foundation's Board of Directors will be meeting at 6:30PM on the following dates at the Old School. Guests are always welcome!

February 20       August 21
March 20            September 25
May 15               October 2
June 19              November 20
July 17               December 18

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