DONATE »Join us to transform Charles Washington's Happy Retreat to be the gateway to the
rich heritage of Charles Town and West Virginia's Washington Family. Learn more


This is an archaeological dig supervised by Dr. C. Hulse to find artifacts for determining construction dates and for learning about daily life at Happy Retreat and the building's foundation restoration needs, among other goals. Many artifacts have been found and require further analysis.
Click here to view the December 2016 Newsletter
Jefferson County’s first ever beer and music festival will feature 4 regional touring bands as well as 20 brewers with over 40 different beers to sample. On Saturday, September 10, 2016, Charles Town will host Jefferson County’s first ever beer and music festival. The festival will be hosted on the grounds of Happy Retreat, the historic home of Charles Washington, brother of George Washington and the town’s... Read more
Happy Retreat is being renovated and will hold events for the public. By Nina Kapur | Published 06/24 2016 05:22PM CHARLESTOWN, W Va. West Virginia has a long list of historical sights, but one location in Charles Town is the first to be put on the official list of National Treasures. The home of George Washington’s brother, Charles Washington, just became a National Treasure.... Read more
Washington Family Home Named a National Treasure Nation’s largest preservation organization partners with Friends of Happy Retreat to create a new cultural center for Charles Town community Washington (June 18, 2016) – Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation added Happy Retreat to their growing portfolio of National Treasures. The National Trust will work with the City of Charles Town and Friends of Happy Retreat to... Read more
Click here to view the April 2016 Newsletter
Watch Video
Click here to view the January 2016 Newsletter
A brick garage was built behind Happy Retreat by C. Magnus Conklyn and his brother, J.P Conklyn, who owned the property from 1920 until 1945. Its design mimics the Greek Revival architectural style of the portions of the house built in the 1830’s. Plans are underway to convert the garage into a 700 square foot welcome and orientation center to house displays and exhibits. The standing seam roof,... Read more
Pictured here is removal of the screen porch which was built in the 1960s. As the porch foundation was removed, a set of stone steps was unearthed. Documentary and photographic evidence indicates these steps were added in the 1940s and are not original to the house. The stone kitchen and smokehouse have been stabilized to prevent any further deterioration.