June 2020
A Message from the Executive Director
Dear Friends,
The recent outrage and demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd have awakened many in our country to the longstanding racial divide that persists despite decades of perceived progress towards racial equity. We are learning that sharing personal accounts of the everyday impacts of institutional racism can be an eye-opening experience for white Americans. We are always humbled to be able to share the sites and stories of Waterford’s African-American community, but too often we focus on their successes and gloss over their struggles. In our newsletter today, we are sharing stories from both black and white residents of Waterford in the early 20th century, who describe their experiences on either side of the racial divide in our historic village. I hope that reading these memories inspires thoughtful reflection for you as it did for me.

In the remainder of this newsletter you’ll find updates on many of our activities. Our Land Use committee is working on an amendment to the easement on the Schooley Mill Barn to strengthen protections for the historic structure and open fields. The Waterford Craft School is adapting to the coronavirus safety precautions by offering remote workshops. Our Fair committee is considering the options and making plans for protecting our Waterford Fair visitors this fall, and we have opened a new online shop to feature work from Waterford Landmark Artisans. Meet our volunteer of the month and one of our newest Board members. Lastly, don’t miss an opportunity to celebrate the fathers in your life with a gift basket featuring local producers.


Enjoy reading, and stay safe!
Stephanie C. Thompson
Executive Director

Stories from Waterford: The Racial Divide
Bond Street Buddies, c. 1888
Understanding and empathizing with another’s perspective and experience is a challenge, particularly in turbulent times. History gives us the facts of the past, but these facts must be carefully studied and interpreted to inform our present and future. As recent events have shown, there remains a significant divide in the experiences of Americans of different races. To change the future we must understand the experiences of the past. 

In early 20th century Waterford, white residents recognized but did not fully understand the impact of the different experiences between the races, as demonstrated in these recollections from two of Waterford’s white residents:
“I never sensed any racial tensions or feelings among the people of Waterford… Segregation was practiced, but I was not aware of white people treating black people with cruelty, or speaking harshly or disrespectfully of them.”

“Waterford had a population of about three hundred fifty in my youth. Half were Negroes, who were definitely second-tier citizens in that community. They were not treated with disrespect by the whites, merely with indifference. … The issue then, as today, was access to economic opportunity and precedent, with precedent coming first. In our community one was either in or out of the economic opportunity arena. Entrance into that select group was usually by birth, but could be forced by an aggressive few. No blacks made it to my recollection. Few whites, including us, made it either. Everyone in their place and no boat-rocking.”

These white residents recognized the different experiences, but they did not foresee how those differences would negatively impact the black community in a systemic way. Recollections of Waterford’s black residents show a much deeper understanding of the impacts of racial inequity, as in this recollection:

“my best buddy was the white guy that lived right across the street. In the summertime, when we were really young, we used to take naps together, and he’d visit my house. And right around the corner there was another boy and girl - we’d play together… and when they got ready to go to school, they would go to the school right [next door]... and I’d have to go way out on the other end of town. We thought, ‘This is the way it’s been. This is the way it’s supposed to be.’ We never paid too much attention… but when you started going to high school, you knew there was a difference. [You asked yourself] why can I only go as far as the eleventh grade and my buddy is going to twelfth grade? But you didn’t know what to do about it.”

Other memories show more overtly offensive behavior towards the black community, such as this one of a black teenager carrying water back to his home from the community well. As he passed a group of white youths, they teased him and spat in his water pail. Smiling as he recounted this story, he said “I didn’t tell them it wasn’t drinking water -- it was for the wash.” While it may be easy for some to dismiss this behavior as that of misguided youth, older whites were also known to spit at their black neighbors. 

The Waterford Foundation’s education mission is to “increase the public’s knowledge of life and work in an early American community”. While we celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of ordinary Waterford residents, both black and white, it is critical to remember that the realities of life and work in Waterford were fundamentally different for these two communities sharing one village. The different experiences of Waterford’s residents mirror the differences in experience throughout our nation. Understanding each other’s perspectives is the first step in creating a more equitable future. 

*These stories and others from Waterford’s African American community can be found in A Rock in a Weary Land, A Shelter in a Time of Storm by Bronwen C. and John M. Souders.
Feast With Friends At Home
Feast With Friends is changing.
Watch for more details coming in late June!
Meet Our Board: Ron Campbell
Ron was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He and his wife, Barbara have been residents of Leesburg, VA since 2001. Ron worked in higher education administration for over 27 years in finance and administration at many colleges and universities throughout the country. In 2015, along with Pastor Michelle C. Thomas he founded the Loudoun Freedom Center dedicated to preservation and reclamation of African American history in Loudoun County. Ron is a two time cancer survivor and in 2016 decided to dedicate his life to public service. In 2016, he was elected to the Leesburg, VA Town Council.

Ron and his wife Barbara have an active family life with four children and seven grandchildren.

Ron is passionate about history and preservation and hope to bring those skills and to create community partnership to support the work of the board.

During this COVID -19 stay at home period, Ron has been practicing his indoor putting skills and working on the long list of past due home projects.

Father's Day Gift Bag
Celebrate Father's Day with a gift bag of local treats for Dad! You have 3 amazing options to choose from with local items such as:

  • Breakfast treats from Backstreet Brews & Cowbell Kitchen
  • A sample basket from Catoctin Creek Distillery
  • A bottle of local hard cider and a class to learn to make your own!

Each bag will also include a hand-made card by Lovettsville artist, Jill Evans-Kavaldjian.

Please place your order by
5:00pm on Monday, June 15th, 2020 .

Pick up on  Saturday, June 20th, 2020 from 3:00pm-4:00pm
at the Old School.

40222 Fairfax Street
Waterford, VA 20197

Volunteer of the Month
Laurie Goddin has worn many hats over the years. Her work on the Homes Tour Committee and for coordination homestays for our demonstrating artisans does not go unnoticed. As a member of the Homes Tour Committee, she persuaded many village residents to open their homes for the tour, particularly owners who were new to the village. Without her help we would have struggled to find enough houses for the tour each year. Her input on committee policies was especially valuable because she had experience as a docent at Mount Vernon. We feel she is somewhat of a magician and matchmaker as for several years she has taken on connecting demonstrating artisans with local families for home stays during the Fair. Each year Laurie has placed more than 40 artisans. Home stays for a 3 day event such as ours is unheard of in the Art Festival community. It is truly one of the things that makes the Fair so special! 
What’s new with the Waterford Craft School
During times of crisis, making something by hand can be a calming experience and a source of inspiration, even for our youngest learners. While it may not always be safe or accessible to gather in larger groups, the Craft School will continue to add opportunities that you and your family can enjoy in or near your own home. Our inaugural virtual class,  Watercolor Magic for Kids , is a week-long camp for young people ages 6 -10. This 1/2 hour live Zoom class meets daily, June 22 - 26, and culminates in a summer's end virtual exhibition! We are busy adapting some of our previously-scheduled, hands-on workshops into ones that you can experience in your own home or yard. 

If you create something inspired by a Craft School workshop or Facebook post, or are using something you've made in a Craft School workshop, we'd love to hear about it! Tag us on Facebook @WaterfordCraftSchool and on Instagram @WaterfordCraftSchool. Check back often for more content; we'll be releasing more virtual classes this month. You can always email your ideas and feedback to  LKovatch@waterfordfoundation.org . Be well.





Leatherworking 201: Portmanteau November 13th-14th


Did you know Gift Certificates to our Craft School are also available for purchase? Click Here for more information!
Bleeding Hearts by Paula Kaufman
76th Annual Waterford Fair
Fine Art & Mill Applications
We are taking the impact of the pandemic very seriously. The Foundation Board will be deciding later this month whether to alter or cancel the Fair. As soon as the decision is made we will notify artisans, attendees, and vendors. Thank you for your patience as we look to make the best out of an uncertain situation
Schooley Mill Barn
Easement Amendment
Schooley Mill Barn. Photo by Nina Stump
Later this month we will submit an application to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) to amend the easement on the Schooley Mill Barn property. Many of the conservation easements on Waterford Foundation properties were some of the earliest easements recorded, and revisions are needed to modernize the language and strengthen protections on the properties. Our Land Use committee began a process several years ago to review easements on Foundation properties and suggest amendments where needed. The Schooley Mill Barn and meadow is one such property.
 
When our Land Use committee began the easement review process, they noticed that the original 1975 easement on the Schooley Mill Barn held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) did not protect the barn from demolition. After inquiring with VOF about strengthening the easement in this way, it was determined that the easement would have to be transferred to another easement holder because VOF does not hold easements on historic structures. In a mutual agreement between VOF, VDHR, and the Foundation, the easement was assigned to VDHR in 2013 with the understanding that the easement language would need to be updated to conform with VDHR's standards as well as to include language to protect the historic structure.
 
Since 2013 little progress has been made on the amendment, mostly because VDHR asked the Foundation to prioritize an amendment to the Water Street Meadow easement, also held by VDHR. We are now back to focusing on Schooley Mill, and the Land Use committee is reviewing the easement terms that we had decided on back in 2013 to include in the amended easement before we submit a formal application for the amendment later this month. One new issue up for consideration is whether or not an overlay easement will be needed in order to protect against inappropriate uses of the property by any possible future owners. As our community learned during the sale of the Hague-Hough house property, county zoning ordinances can have a more significant impact on allowable uses of a property than a conservation easement. The Waterford Conservation Associates placed an overlay easement on the Hague-Hough property to protect against uses such as event centers that would be incompatible with our historic village setting. The existing Schooley Mill easement already prohibits commercial uses of the property other than farming and the Waterford Fair activities. We are looking into whether that easement term would prohibit tasting rooms and event centers as-is, or if it would be necessary to create an overlay easement restricting such use similar to what was done by Waterford Conservation Associates. 
 
Part of the motivation for prioritizing this easement amendment now is that the Waterford Foundation Board is considering the possibility of soliciting bids for Schooley Mill at some point later this year. At our community meeting in January, we explained that the Board is committed to putting the Foundation on a stronger financial footing over the next few years. In particular, retiring the remaining debt from the Old School Auditorium construction and the fallout of the cancelled 2015 Fair is a top priority. We presented several options for retiring the debt, reducing expenses, and increasing revenue, including sales of assets such as our historic properties. The feedback we received during and after the community meeting indicated that there was support within our membership and the Waterford community for the options that we had presented, including the sale of properties. 
 
While the Board is considering the possibility of selling the Schooley Mill Barn and meadow, under no circumstances would the Board seek proposals from event planners, wineries, breweries, etc. Such uses would be inconsistent with the village setting and inconsistent with the preservation of the Landmark. If it goes forward, the sale will be an open process, in accordance with guidelines from the Land Trust Alliance. We encourage members, village residents, and other members of the public with questions or concerns to reach out to Executive Director Stephanie Thompson, who will collect input and pass it along to the Board. She can be reached via email at sthompson@waterfordfoundation.org or phone at 540-882-3018.
Historic Waterford Weddings
Photo Credit: Jenny B. Photography
There are not enough words to describe how deeply sorry we are to all of the brides whose big day has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

We have availability if you are looking to reschedule your special day! We have beautiful properties, a warming kitchen and outdoor spaces to help create a glimpse of beauty in this difficult and challenging time.

Historic Waterford is a unique venue and is a treasured connection to America’s past. Beautifully preserved historic structures surrounded by acres of scenic farmland will provide a timeless backdrop to your event.

Waterford offers three venues to choose from: Waterford Old School, John Wesley Church, & Bond Street Meadow.

Click here to contact us and schedule a tour of our unique venue today!
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 May 2020!
New & Renewing Members: May 2020
Ms Cindy Ashley
Ms Janelle Banta
Ms Jill P. Beach
Mr. James Behan & Ms. Connie Moore
Ms Rachael L. Bradley Montgomery
Mr. & Mrs. Jerry H. Briggs
Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Campbell
Dr. Donald Campbell
Mr. John Caron & Ms Nancy Doane
Mr. Michael Cowell & Ms. Patti Psaris
Mr. John & Ms. Sally Cox
Mr. Ray Daffner
Mr. Jonathan Daniel & Mr. Spangler
Mr. Herbert & Ms. Betty Darnell
Mr. & Mrs. Frank J Davis Mr. Thomas N Edmonds & Ms. Schuyler Richardson
Mr. Michael & Ms. Emily Eig
Mr. Kurt & Ms. Beth Erickson
Ms Sharyn Franck
Mr. Dennis & Mrs. Priscilla Godfrey
Mr. Edward & Mrs.Margaret Good
Mr. Peter & Ms. Elizabeth Hohm
Ms. Monica Horton
Mr. & Mrs. Neil C Hughes
Mr. Jeff & Mrs. Robin Jones
Mr. Jay & Ms. Melanie Jordan
Ms. Jill Kadish
Mr. Ken & Mrs.Sharon Katona
Ms Helen Knowles
Mr. Pettus & Mrs Ellen Metzger LeCompte
Ms Susan Manch
Ms Helene McCarron
Mr. Gary & Mrs. Joan Molchan
Mr. Patrick J. Mountain
Ms Kimberley Partoll
Mr. Philip D Paschall & Ms. Elizabeth Cox
Ms Tina Sehgal
Mr. & Mrs. John M. Souders
Ms. Denise Symes
Ms. Julia Thompson
Ms. Christine Vanderos
Ms. Elyssa Wood
Mr. Jonathan & Mrs. Inga Woods
Ms. Cate Wyatt
Mr.Craig and Mrs. Elaina Young
Our Sustaining Members are: 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, Ms. Wendy Roseberry, Mr. & Mrs. Mark Sutton, and Mr. & Mrs. Brandon & Clare Synge.

To become a sustaining member, click here .

Next month, we will acknowledge our new and renewing June 2020 members!
Waterford Foundation Staff
Phase 1 Action Plan
Due to COVID-19 and the Stay at Home Order issued by the Governor, the Waterford Foundation office is closed and events are postponed until further notice. 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 is diligently working on updating all of our policies and procedures to make sure we are taking the proper measures to make sure the Old School is clean, sanitized and ready to go for when everyone is allowed to gather again


Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns! Check out our newest website page introducing our Waterford Staff.
Waterford Foundation | 540-882-3018 | Email | Website