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News

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.
The Jefferson County Arts Council staged its first annual Artober event at Happy Retreat from October 1 through October 17. Artists of all kind – painters, sculptors, wood workers, musicians, poets, photographers, writers and even comedians ---displayed their talents in rooms throughout the house. ArtOber , which was free to the public, was Happy Retreat’s introduction to the community. Over 150 people attended the opening night.
The Friends of Happy Retreatcordially invited people to attendThe Fall Galapresented Solos & Ensembles by The Charles Washington Symphony Orchestra On Sunday, the thirteenth of September, 2015 in the evening at Claymont Mansion
The Friends of Happy Retreat was selected to receive Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s 2015 Most Significant Save of an Endangered Site Award for the acquisition of Happy Retreat. Friends of Happy retreat was nominated for this award because of the recent success in acquiring Happy Retreat - a 2010 WV Endangered Property and for the persistence in fundraising and planning to obtain this goal.
"Margie and Dr. Taylor Fithian stand with Walter Washington, president of Friends of Happy Retreat, in front of the historic home of Charles Town’s founder, Charles Washington. The Fifthians’ donation allowed the nonprofit to buy Happy Retreat and make it available for concerts and other community events." Visit the full, original article from The Spirit of Jefferson  
On Saturday June 20th it was announced that Happy Retreat had been acquired by Charles Town and Friends of Happy Retreat. Friends have the house, outbuildings and 2 acres while the City holds the balance of about 10 acres. Planning is now underway to allow public uses for all of the property "Congratulations to Friends of Happy Retreat and City of Charles (Washington) Town. It's... Read more