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Waterford Foundation Newsletter       March  / April  2018
First Day of Spring at the Old School
A Message from the Executive Director
Tom Kuehhas,
Executive Director
Well, Mother Nature threw us a curve ball this week! After surviving the whole winter with barely a snowflake, Spring's arrival was heralded by a last gasp of winter.

There's lots to tell you about in this issue, from news that the Foundation will be working with the Loudoun Freedom Center, to upcoming events like the Annual Meeting, the Historic Waterford Trail 5K Run/Walk, as well as the Waterford Craft School, with sessions this spring and summer. 

In honor of Women's History Month, Bronwen and John Souders have shared the stories of two Waterford women who played pivotal roles in the village's history, and if you're looking to play a pivotal role in helping the Foundation, we've got just the ticket!

I look forward to seeing you at one of these upcoming events!

Thanks for your support!


Tom Kuehhas
Executive Director

Waterford Foundation and Loudoun Freedom Center Team Up to Preserve Loudoun's African-American Heritage

John Wesley church
The Board of Directors of the Waterford Foundation and the Directors of the Loudoun Freedom Center are excited to announce that the two Loudoun nonprofits will be working together to tell the story of Waterford and Loudoun County's African-American community.

Basking in the afterglow of last September's successful African-American Heritage Day celebration at Waterford's John Wesley Community Church, members of the Waterford Foundation's Board met with Pastor Michelle Thomas regarding her interest in seeing the African-American community utilize the church in some manner. In addition to her role as pastor of her own church, Pastor Michelle is the Founder and President of the Loudoun Freedom Center which was founded to discover and preserve Loudoun County's historic African American communities and to have their stories integrated into the history of Loudoun County.

The historic John Wesley Community Church was once the focal point of a thriving African-American community. The members of the black community worked by lantern light, late into the evenings, to build the church, which was finally completed in 1891. The village wa s home to the largest antebellum free black population in Loudoun County, with African-Americans making up a quarter of the village's households for more than 150 years. However, Waterford's African-American population dwindled as the young people migrated to the cities. In 1999, the Waterford Foundation agreed to take title to the building to ensure its preservation, and has worked hard to restore the building to its original appearance.

The Waterford Foundation and the Loudoun Freedom Center envision working together to create new exhibitions, events and educational materials related to Loudoun County's African American heritage, as well as providing space for the Freedom Center's "Looking Blackwards" exhibit and holding quarterly Sunday church services in the sanctuary.

According to Foundation Executive Director Tom Kuehhas, "Working with the Loudoun Freedom Center will enhance our ability to preserve and share the sites, stories, and artifacts of Waterford's African American community, which are unique to the village. We are all excited about the possibility of bringing life back to the church building. "

Pastor Thomas stated, "The Loudoun Freedom Center is excited about the opportunity to partner with the Waterford Foundation in preserving the African American history, heritage and stories of the historic African American community of Waterford at the John Wesley Church. We look forward to a successful preservation partnership."
The Foundation and the Freedom Center are planning a meet and greet at the church; stay tuned for details!

All are invited to Pastor Michelle's Easter Sunrise service at 7AM on April 1 at the John Wesley Church. Parking is at the Old School in Waterford, located at 40222 Fairfax Street.

Historic Waterford Trail 5K Run/Walk, April 28

2017 Run Start
Come out on April 28 to support the Waterford Foundation and experience this unique trail run through the historic village and its surrounding fields and trails.  

Along with the 5K, there will be a Kids' 1 Mile Fun Run. Spend some time in this beautiful rural setting enjoying refreshments, a walking tour, and entertainment for the whole family.

Step away from your electronics for the day and travel back in time at the historic Waterford trail run/walk. 

Join Us at the 2018 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting
The Waterford Foundation will host its Annual Meeting on April 17th at 7pm in the Old School auditorium. All are welcome to attend.

Come hear about the Foundation's plans for the future and stay for the potluck supper to follow!


Fair News

Food Vendor Setup
We are on the lookout for excellent food for the Fair!

Know food or drink (non-alcoholic) merchants, caterers or chefs you think would be a good fit?  Please tell them about the Fair. They can visit the Fair's website  or call the office for information.

Non-profit groups are especially encouraged to join us -- our fundraiser becomes your fundraiser!

Fair Update:
Demonstrating artisan application deadline is April 13, 2018. Apply via Watch the Fair's website , late Spring, for the "Call for Applications" for the Old Mill Shop (including baked goods), Dried Flower Barn, Photography, Fine Art and Art Mart.

Questions about how the application process works please contact the office at  or 540-882-3018 x 4.
Foundation Seeks Volunteer for the Vital Position of
Volunteer Coordinator

Tracy Kirkman and Volunteer Kathleen Hughes
The Waterford Foundation seeks a passionate, organized person to develop and oversee the Foundation's volunteer management program and provide ongoing support to our volunteers. 

The main focus of this part-time, volunteer position is to:

* Develop and manage policies, procedures and standards for volunteers
* Coordinate with committee chairs and staff to fill key volunteer positions
* Recruit and select new volunteers
* Match expertise, experiences and expectations of volunteers to Foundation opportunities and needs
* Lead volunteer orientation briefings
* Arrange training, security checks and conduct evaluations
* Document volunteer activities and hours
* Recommend and write recognition articles and nominations for awards

For more information or to apply contact Tracy Kirkman at or 540-882-3018, ext. 4.

Sign Up for Waterford Craft School Sessions! 

The Waterford Foundation has added new classes to its offering of sessions this spring and summer. Classes in such historic crafts as Splint Seat Weaving, Shaker baskets, and Fabric Dyeing will be offered, as will sessions on Window Restoration, Caring for Your Old House, and Lime Mortar, which are sure to be of interest to those who own historic homes!

Classes include 12 hours of instruction over two days (Saturday-Sunday) and includes lunch each day. Course material will be designed for ages 18 and up. 

Discounts for early-bird registration, as well as for Waterford Foundation members, are available.

Visit the Craft School's website at for more information and to sign up today!
Foundation to Host Forensics Camp, July 30 - August 3

Forensics Camp
Modern forensics is the most dynamic and fastest growing science in the world!

This exciting week of Forensic study is designed for rising 6th - 8th grade students interested in forensics, archaeology and STEM education.
Our instructor, Dr. David Clark of Catholic University of America and Northern Virginia Community College, will introduce:

* Keeping a Forensic Journal
* Working with the human skeleton
* Identifying human bones
* How to age a skeleton
* Hands-on projects every day
* Graveyard Investigation
* Distinguishing human from animal bones
* King Richard III remains discovery....

Visit the Foundation's website at for more information and to sign up today!

Ashburn Church Volunteers Lauded by Foundation

Second Street School fence before painting
The Waterford Foundation nominated the Ashburn Community Church for Loudoun Cares' Outstanding Volunteer Recognition program. 

The Foundation and its Second Street School were selected for the church's first annual Community One Serve Day outreach program last September.  

A volunteer team of all ages arrived on a Saturday morning to paint the school's fencing and outhouse. They also thoroughly cleaned the interior of the schoolhouse. This was a splendid gift for the Waterford Foundation, for which we are very grateful. We hope this volunteer effort gets the recognition it deserves.  
Women's History Month: Waterford Women Who Made a Difference

Margaret Parkins Gover (1824-1865)

In March 1862, Waterford had been under Confederate occupation since Virginia's secession the previous May. And though many of the Rebels were local men who got on well with the residents, others took a harsher view of the majority in the village who remained loyal to the U.S.

Matters reached a crisis when Federal troops pushed south of the Potomac River and threatened to overrun Loudoun. Col. John Geary's 28th Pennsylvania Infantry consolidated its position around Lovettsville and prepared to march on Leesburg.

On the evening of the 6th, as the outnumbered Rebel garrison at Waterford prepared to withdraw south, Maggie Gover overheard the agitated men threaten to burn "the cursed Quaker settlement" as they left. Maggie was a Quaker herself and the wife of shopkeeper Samuel Gover, one of Loudoun's hated handful of Lincoln Republicans; she took the threat seriously. She tried to persuade a neighbor to ride to Colonel Geary to get help-or at least lend her a horse-but he proved too timid. Undeterred, Maggie stole the mount and dashed off into the night, evading Rebel pickets in the dark. She reached Lovettsville early on the 7th and persuaded Colonel Geary to make a quick detour to save her village. Praising her "fearless act," the colonel had his troops on the move by afternoon.

Elements of the 1st Michigan led the way into Waterford before midnight to cheers and waving handkerchiefs. As one artilleryman put it, "You just aught to have seen how glad [they were] to see us Yankees, as they called us." And cheer after cheer went up as each company passed.

Sarah Ann Steer (1837-1914)

In March 1867, Quakers in Philadelphia published an update on efforts to educate Waterford's African Americans-or Freedmen, as they were called. Leading that effort was Miss Sarah Steer, 29 and a Quaker herself, who had grown up near the village. She had offered early in 1866 to open a school for blacks, initially in her own home on Second Street, later in a rented room, and eventually in the one-room building , still standing, just down the street that the black community built in the summer of 1867, with assistance from the Quakers and the federal Freedmans Bureau.

Her letters to Philadelphia proudly detail her scholars' progress. The March report gives a good snapshot of what had been accomplished and what remained to be done: "My room is so small I had to send ten of my little ones home yesterday. The box and barrel of clothing [sent from Philadelphia] will supply the most needy . . . I am quite proud of my classes in grammar and philosophy, and think they understand these branches right well, as far as they have gone. I have one afternoon in the week devoted to sewing, and notice considerable improvement from time to time in this useful branch of learning."

As Philadelphia commented approvingly, "The school at Waterford, under the tuition of Sarah Ann Steer, is said to be very well conducted." Sarah continued her efforts until Virginia took over the education of black children, around 1870, and African-American teachers were hired.

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!

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

Give/Choose Tuesday May 1, 2018!

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