Happy Retreat, the stately Federal/ Greek Revival style home of Charles Washington, founder of Charles Town and brother of our first President, stands on a hill overlooking Charles Town, surrounded by 12 acres of sloping lawns and woods. The non-profit Friends of Happy Retreat (FOHR) is partnering with the City of Charles Town to acquire, restore and preserve Happy Retreat for public use. Under this innovative partnership arrangement, the City will buy ten acres of the Happy Retreat property to incorporate into a grand park that will extend throughout the west end of Charles Town along scenic Evitts Run. FOHR will buy the Happy Retreat mansion and surrounding two acres of land. FOHR will restore the house and its 18th Century outbuildings to use as a center for history, heritage tourism, scholarship and culture.
URGENT CALL FOR DONORS
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE HAPPY RETREAT CAMPAIGN
TO ACQUIRE, RESTORE AND OPERATE
We have an opportunity in 2015 to acquire this threatened property and restore it for the envisioned use. We must raise $425,000 by June 30, 2015, and we seek to raise a total of $2.2 million overall in 2015. We are pleased that the City of Charles Town and private donors, large and small, have already contributed toward these goals. Please join in to help us achieve the vision for historic Happy Retreat! All contributions are tax deductible, and the Friends of Happy Retreat are ready to offer meaningful benefits for significant donations.
For the past eight years, Friends of Happy Retreat has been working to preserve this historic property. I am grateful to many supporters for their continuing support of our effort over the years. We now have an exciting opportunity to realize our goal.
In December, 2014 we worked out a partnership agreement with the City of Charles Town which finally makes the acquisition achievable. The City has agreed to purchase 10 acres of the Happy Retreat property for $350,000, to become part of its park system. Friends of Happy Retreat will purchase the house, historic outbuildings and the remaining 2 acres of land surrounding the house. We have until the end of June to raise the $425,000 we still need to close the purchase.
Charles Washington's home will then become a center for culture and history for Charles Town and a heritage tourism destination for the more than 1.5 million people who visit our eastern panhandle of West Virginia region every year.
We are excited to announce that Dr. Wallace E. Boston, CEO of the American Public University System (APUS) - one of the country's largest and best online universities, which is headquartered in Charles Town - has agreed to lead our fundraising campaign and APUS has given a $150,000 lead gift and challenge pledge to be apportioned among acquisition, restoration and ongoing operations of Happy Retreat. (Click here for details) We are also working closely with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Our overall goal is to raise $2.2 million dollars to cover not only the cost of acquisition, but also the estimated $1.6 million cost of restoration and $150,000 toward initial 3 years of operation and maintenance.
We are actively seeking contributions and pledges toward our overall $2.2 million goal, but most importantly the critical and time-sensitive goal to raise $425,000 by June 30 to complete acquisition of the Happy Retreat estate. We seek to continue our work for larger donations now, and are also excited about our “Piece of History” campaign, under which a donor can provide a gift of $5,000, which represents 1% of our short-term goal. (Click here for details)
If you are interested in supporting this effort please go to the Donate Now Button to review options and forms by which to donate. If you would like to contact me personally to discuss donation options you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly at 304-725-8832.