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Feb
19

Washington’s Office Winchester VA

By
When:
April 1, 2017 – October 31, 2017 all-day
2017-04-01T00:00:00-04:00
2017-11-01T00:00:00-04:00
Where:
Washington's Office
32 W Cork St
Winchester, VA 22601
USA

 

Washington’s Office Winchester VA

Compiled by Jim Moyer  Feb-March of 2016, updated 9/26/2016, 1/6/2017, 1/24/2017, 1/29/2017. 2/5/2017, 3/23/2017

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Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society runs Washington’s Office.

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Here is a list of all their Winchester city museums:

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http://winchesterhistory.org/

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Read in bits and pieces. Jump around.

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PART I – OUTSIDE

1. The Washington Office – Backyard

2. Cork Street

3. Oh One More Thing about Cove of Cork

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PART II – THE OFFICE

1. Now are We going Talk about the Office?

2. The Purchase of Washington Office

3. Was there a Building when GW was here?

4. What was Near this Corner?

5. GW Kurtz

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PART III – THE FORT LOUDOUN MODEL

1. What About Inside the Office?

2. This Model is wrong

3. So how should the model look?

4. Washington designed some thick walls

5. This Diorama is now in the Washington Office Museum

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PART IV – THE BUILDING

1. What About the Building Itself?

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THE WASHINGTON OFFICE – BACKYARD

Before you step inside the building,

look around ….

take a look . . . at the monuments outside.

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fort loudoun history markers 027The Braddock Cannon.

An unusual story of a cannon sitting on the premises

since 27 May 1915.

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See the PIG?

If not ask about it inside.  The Pig was unveiled 12 April 2014.

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See the Young George Washington Statue?

Commemorated 24 July 2004 

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fort loudoun history markers 019

Photo by Jim Moyer taken 2016

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And there’s another Cannon outside on this property.

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Stay tuned to find out the story on a cannon allegedly having sat at Fort Loudoun.

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CORK STREET

One more thought before you step inside the Washington Office museum.

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The street name Cork.

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Why Cork Street is named Cork Street

Braddock’s 44th and 48th Regiments embarked on the Atlantic Ocean to Virginia from the Cork area of Ireland particularly what was then called Cove of Cork, now called Cobh, Ireland.

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As Quarles points out this Cork Street “was named in 1759 when the Lord Fairfax Addition was laid off and the name assigned before patents were issued” as proof that no way could the name have arisen because Irish lived on the street because the street was named before anyone lived there.

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The memory of Braddock and his army and its fate and where the army came from – Cork, Ireland,  is the most powerful reason why the name was picked.

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Quarles looks at another theory:

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That this Cork Street was a street in the West End of London.  Quarles states it lacks the power of any personal associations or links to anyone in town, except  Quarles points out one nagging juxtaposition:

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The West End London street of Cork Street connects to a Clifford Street. There is also a Clifford Street one block south of Cork Street in Winchester VA.   

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How the 2 streets are related Quarles entertains no guess.

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But we do know Cork Ireland was the stationing and drafting point and  departure point of Braddock’s troops:

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“…and on the 30th of September [1754] orders were issued for the Forty-fourth and Forty-eighth regiments, both of them on the Irish Establishment, to be embarked at Cork.”
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Source is Page 268 from A HISTORY OF THE BRITISH ARMY BY THE HON. J. W. FORTESCUE PART TO THE CLOSE OF THE SEVEN TEARS 1 WAR VOL. II MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED NEW YORK : THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1899, link : https://archive.org/stream/historyofbritish02fortuoft#page/268/mode/2up

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And Cove of Cork near Cork was the naval launching point. Cobh is pronounced like “Cove”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobh

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http://www.kronoskaf.com/syw/index.php?title=1755_-_British_expedition_against_Fort_Duquesne

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Still, we propose: Cork Street is not named after that West London Street. Nor is it named for County Cork, but rather the Cork area, in particular Cove of Cork where Braddock’s Troops came from.

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And as Cork intersects with Braddock, a beautiful, fateful symmetry appears.

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And what better place for this Washington Place to situate itself , and thus this Braddock Memorial, the cannon, at the nexus of Cork and Braddock.

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Quarles book, page 61:

Winchester, Virginia, Streets, Churches, and Schools 1s6 Edition by Garland R. Quarles, published by Winchester-Frederick Historical Society, Winchester VA 1996,  “Streets” portion originally published 1958.

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Side note:  There were very short periods of time when maybe certain blocks of Braddock Street went by the name of Drury Lane in 1778 or Duffield Street before the McGuires  took residence on 103 N Braddock states Garland Quarles.

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Oh, One more thing about Cove of Cork

Cove of Cork was not just the last port of call for the Titanic in 1913 but the Lusitania got torpedoed on 7 May 1915 nearby, twenty days before this Braddock Memorial Commemoration Event in Winchester VA.

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26 May 1915 front page Braddock Sash girlsAnd on 26 May 1915, one day before the big event, the Winchester Evening Star reports The Nebraskan was torpedoed in the same area Lusitania was hit when heading towards Cove of Cork, aka Queensland and later called Cobh Ireland.

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To the right of that column is the article about the girls who hold the sash of Braddock whose 2 regiments the 44th and 48th departed from this harbor in January of 1755.

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Orme’s Journal, observes,  “In about ten days, all the transports being arrived, orders were given for all the ships to proceed immediately to Alexandria ; but so little care had been taken at Corke, in the stowage of the cloathing, Arms, and camp necessaries belonging to the Regiments of Shirley and Pepperell, that some was put on board almost every ship ; they were removed into one Vessel, and dispatched immediately to New York and Boston, which caused a delay of four or five days.”

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Source:     “The history of an expedition against Fort Du Quesne, in 1755; under Major-General Edward Braddock ..” by Sargent, Winthrop, 1825-1870, edtion 1856, page 290.

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Click on icons in map and a window will pop up with information . Zoom in or zoom out.

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Now are we going to talk about the OFFICE?

Yes.

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The Purchase of Washington’s Office

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purchase of gw office news article

Bottom right of the middle article is the reference to the purchase.

10 February 1908 when City of Winchester purchased this house from Kurtz Family

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The first mention of this purchase is in The Evening Star, Winchester’s local newspaper,  4 March 1908 issue about yesterday’s City Council meeting.

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Click on pictures to enlarge.

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As you can see, the headlines are about much more urgent matters such as a bond to finance public school and a water tax..

purchase of gw office snippit of article.

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Excerpt about the purchase from that front page article:

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Council then proceeded to the transaction of regular business.
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The report of City Treasurer George H. Kinzel showed the receipts during the month of February to have been $238.87. with a balance on hand February 1st of $5,824.22.
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The disbursements during February, including $2,460 paid for the purchase of Gen. Washington’s headquarters, amounted to $4,074.99. leaving a balance on hand of $1,998.10.
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purchase of gw office newspaper banner

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fort loudoun history markers 028Quarles Research

A Heavy debt is owed here to Garland R Quarles’ research:

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Before signing the ordinance, however, Mayor H.H.Baker made a detailed report to the Council on March 3, 1908, [Notice City Council already had purchased this site February 10, 1908] concluded:

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“After a careful study of the many records and the oral testimony of many reputable people, [Ed note:  the main testimony coming from T.K. Cartmell, Clerk of Court, at the very time he was soon to publish his Pioneers of Shenandoah Valley … book indicated below]

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I believe there is no reasonable doubt

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that the middle room was a block house

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and was used by Washington in tabulating his work as a surveyor when he was employed by Lord Fairfax. (Winchester Council Journal 1899-1909 – Page 393)”  

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source is Page 7 from  Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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Cartmell’s Reporting:

“George Washington executed several deeds for tracts of land;

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the originals are on file in this office; [Cartmell was Clerk of Court at the time of purchase]

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he [George Washington] also purchased several tracts during the time he made the surveys for Fairfax.

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One was form George Johnston, a member of the Winchester Bar.

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The agreement for this purchase was executed in Winchester,

and in the law office of Mr Johnston. 

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This office was used by Washington while in the town, when plotting his surveys.

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This office was located on the corner of Braddock Road and Cork Street;

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and tradition fixes the old stone and log building at that corner as ‘Washington Headquarters’.

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Whether this meant his military or surveyor’s office is not known.”

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Source: PAGE 250 from  Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants, A History of Frederick County, Virginia (ILLUSTRATED)  From its Formation in 1738 to 1908 Compiled Mainly from Original Records of Old Frederick County, now Hampshire, Berkeley, Shenandoah, Jefferson, Hardy, Clarke, Warren, Morgan and Frederick…..by  T. K. Cartmell Clerk of the Old County Court

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T.K.Cartmell was grandson of this Nathaniel Cartmell

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Was there a building when GW was here?

Quarles wonders.

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5 September 1759

Lot 12 in James Wood’s 1758 “addition” to Winchester

was sold by James Wood to Thomas Rutherford

for 20lbs,

citing Frederick Deed Book 5 – page 263.

Source: Quarles Pages 9-10.

Later that same year 6 November 1759  James Wood dies

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Lot 12 is 105 feet 2 inches on Braddock Street and 188 feet 6 inches on Cork Street.

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6 February 1764

James Wood’s widow,

Mary Wood (daughter of Rutherford),

sells land adjacent to Thomas Rutherford

(might be son of the Thomas Rutherford above)

stating this is land being sold next to

where Thomas Rutherford already lives.

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The Father, Capt Thomas Rutherford:

Captain Thomas Rutherford, Sr. (d. 1760), first High Sheriff of Frederick County 11/11/1743 to 3/6/1745,  sold to Washington the Bullskin property and who originally owned the property on which stands Washington’s Office on Braddock and Cork Streets in Winchester.  Later the daughter of the elder Thomas Rutherford and who had married James Wood Sr and who was widowed in 1759, gave back to her brother, the younger, surviving Thomas the property around Washington’s Office.  See Link:  The father was an officer of Frederick County sworn in by Morgan Morgan November 14, 1743, five years after the original creation of Frederick County March, 1738.

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7 May 1778

Thomas Rutherford sold  to Adam Kurtz

for 100 lbs

Frederick Co Deed Book 17 – page 464.

The Price increase due to inflation or

to the building improving the land?

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10 February 1908

Captain G.W. Kurtz sells the corner to City Council.

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What are we to conclude?

There was a building at some point

AFTER 1759 and before 1764.

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Quarles Asked 3 Questions

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1. Was there a building on this Corner when GW was here?

This was discussed above.

So if there was a building,

then Quarles asked the next 2 questions.

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2. Did GW use this place as an office?

Probably not.

GW surveys were mostly west — way outside of town.

He would go to White Post where Lord Fairfax was.

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3. Did GW use this place as a headquarters?

Maybe.

But there are indications other places were used instead.

GW lived for a year in 1756 near this corner at

21 S Loudoun St, the large lot containing Cocke’s Tavern.

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December 2, 1756,  GW paid a year’s rent to Cocke’s Tavern and  moved out.

Into Fort Loudoun.

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Construction of Fort Loudoun started May18, 1756.

By December 2, 1756, the officers’ quarters was finished.

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GW had resigned being Colonel of the Virginia Regiment end of December 1758.

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Rutherford was living on that corner sometime AFTER the 1759 sale and BEFORE 1764.

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GW was elected to represent Frederick County in the House of Burgesses July 1758 and again in 1761, but he was mostly at Mount Vernon since the beginning of 1759 when just having married Martha.

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ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS

Quarles still wonders after all

 if there was a building on this property

when George Washington was here.

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But there’s no conclusive answer either way.

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When first posting this story, a responder mentioned there was an archeological study on this corner. We are still looking for that evidence.

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Ben Ritter, local historian, states there is some story that the Yankees were told this building was George Washington’s office to prevent the Yankees from burning or destroying it.

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Source is Pages 6-11 from  Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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BUT this corner is still important.

Because of what is on this corner

and because what this corner is near.

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On this corner ?

The Building was purchased by the city in 10 February 1908.  Evidence indicates there was a building of some sort on that corner at the very least by 1764.

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The Braddock Cannon

Commemorated 27 May 1915.  The cannon is even older – having been abandoned by Braddock in Alexandria in 1755.

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The Fort Loudoun Cannon

Sitting there since 1923.  This is currently being researched.  Report coming soon.

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Young George Washington Statue

Commemorated 24 July 2004.

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The Pig

Commemorated 12 April 2014 with a skit performed on that date. The Pig  brings attention to Washington’s only authored legislation in the House of Burgesses.  Pigs were running around freely. This was a nuisance. And it wasn’t sanitary for Winchester.  Most of what GW did in the House of Burgesses was constituent services and to make good on the government’s promise of land to his French and Indian War veterans.

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What was near this corner?

Quarles lists what was nearby:

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Click on picture to enlarge.  Hit backspace to return back here.

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Robert Mallin's footsteps

Page 27 of Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Volume XII published 2000, article by Robert Mallin, titled, “Washington’s Footsteps”

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Fort George –

a prisoner’s stockade on the hill back of present day Braddock Street Church

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Drill ground –

North of this corner of Braddock and Cork.

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Cocke’s Tavern  21 South Loudoun Street –

GW paid a year’s rent there on 2 December 1756.

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Military Hospital –

on Loudoun Street nearby

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Source is Page 11 from  Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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Source of the Map?

Robert Mallin

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Often the historians, especially the ones mentioned in this website have big stories of their own, and should not go unrecorded.

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Robert Mallin, recognizable for his top hat, conducted walking tours shown in map above. “He developed several walking tours for the downtown area and Mount Hebron Cemetery. He co-authored the book Ashby Camp Revisited. Although a native of Long Island, New York, he was a “Virginian by Choice.” “ Robert Mallin died December 7, 1999. – Page 134 of Winchester Frederick County Historical Society Volume XII published 2000.

 

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GW KURTZ

The last private owner of “George Washington’s Office”

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Take a look at the pictures of

George Washington Kurtz

at the Handley Library’s Stewart Bell Jr Archives:

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http://handley.pastperfectonline.com/photo?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_criteria=%22george+washington+kurtz%22&searchButton=Search

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http://handley.pastperfectonline.com/photo?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_criteria=%22gw+kurtz%22&searchButton=Search

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What about INSIDE THE OFFICE?

An old model of Fort Loudoun that used to sit in the museum is now gone.

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In its place is a diorama of Fort Loudoun and Winchester based on a 1777 map.

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This Model is wrong.

And it is Right.

Wrong – because it does not represent the French and Indian War fort George Washington designed.

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Right — Because it represents the Revolutionary War era of that fort when it became a prison.  Most of the wood to the walls of the French and Indian War fort were taken over the 20 years so that a stockade had to be built when the prisoners of the Revolutionary War were stationed there.

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It used to sit in the George Washington Office Museum on Cork and Braddock.

And it was based on a 1930s picture.

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To be fair, nowadays it is much easier to find original source material than it was before 2009 when many original source documents started to come online.

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This model of the fort is now long gone.  Despite its inaccuracy of the French and Indian War fort, it would be nice to still showcase it.

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The effort to build this model is now historical and should be saved and documented. 🙂

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fort loudoun wrong model

Picture and caption from Handley Archives website:

Scale model of Fort Loudoun, made by Lewis Pearson. On display in George Washington’s Office Museum at 32 West Cork Street. Date uncertain. Two 3.5″ x 5″ b & w prints also in envelope. Slide also available in Slides collection; ask Archives staff for assistance.

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See Source:

http://handley.pastperfectonline.com/photo/B412E36B-F689-43D4-8A73-201451761791

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This model was probably based on this picture:

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fort loudoun wrong depiction

411 North Loudoun Street, Winchester, Va. as Fort Loudoun. Photograph of a sketch by Leslie Neil Woods done in the 1930s. – caption and picture from Handley Archives

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See source for this picture:

http://handley.pastperfectonline.com/photo/0CE5CE51-FDAD-4F9D-80FE-477707540428

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Another picture of this model that sat in the Washington Office Museum on Cork and Braddock.

See Source:

http://handley.pastperfectonline.com/photo/0843315C-011D-49C3-AB5D-704114408530

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fort loudoun wrong model 2

George Washington Office-Museum, interior. Artifacts, scale model of Fort Loudoun, etc. Date given as 1975 – picture and caption from Handley Archives website

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And this model sat in the GW Office Museum for at least 25 years.

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fort loudoun model 3

Lewis Pearson (l) and Harry T. Cook (r), flanking the model of Fort Loudoun that Pearson built. Cook was the Director of the George Washington Office-Museum. Date given as 1950s. – FROM HANDLEY LIBRARY’S Stewart Bell Jr Archives

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And we’d like to know what has come of it?  Where is it now?

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To repeat, the model was based on some drawing from the late 1920s, and early 1930s.

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The pictures we have found so far  of this model start in the 1950s and end in the 1970s.  We don’t know how long that model stayed.

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Yet.

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So how should the model look?

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fort_loudoun_drawingThe logs were hewn squarish and layed sideways,

not palisade vertical style as shown in model above.

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The moat was probably not dug because it was hard limestone.

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Washington’s men had to use blackpowder charges to blow up the stone to dig a well, which still exists at 419 N Loudoun St.

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Washington designed some thick walls

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fort loudoun copy by quarles 2c

The walls were double walls.
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In between was filler of dirt and rock.

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The walls were tapered. Much thicker at the base.

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This is a copy made by Quarles of Washington’s original drawing.  Quarles drew this long before original source documents came online.

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Source:

 Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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Click on all pictures to enlarge. Hit backspace to return here.

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This Diorama is now in the Washington Office Museum

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Fort Loudoun dominates small town of Winchester VA

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Nowadays, instead of that wrong model,

a diorama based on the 1777 map of Winchester

made by a Hessian prisoner stationed at Fort Loudoun

sits in the museum.

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Notice how the road goes around the fort?

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Loudoun Street now goes straight through what remains of the Fort’s footprint.

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Model of Fort Loudoun

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What about the building itself?

More will be coming on this also.

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Whether this building or any building was here when George Washington was a surveyor or later when he was Colonel of the VA Regiment is discussed up above.

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LINKS

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Papers of T.K.Cartmell in Handley Library Stewart Bell Archives in Winchester VA

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Photos of previous Winchester VA Mayors

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Waymarking Site on Adam Kurtz House

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PHW – History of the Adam Kurtz building

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Wikipedia Adam Kurtz building

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