Open for Tours
June 3rd, 2023 2PM-4PM
Our doors will be open on June 3rd 2PM to 4PM for our monthly free tour. Come and see our progress. We have moved the Octagon House to it’s new location. We are not finished but we are getting there. We also have our newly restored Stone Kitchen/Enslaved Quarters open. We look forward to seeing you.
Happy Retreat is open for tours on the 1st Saturday of every month 2PM to 4PM.
WV Humanities Council Grant to Further Study of Enslaved Community
In October 2022, the WV Humanities Council approved a grant to enable further study of the enslaved community at Happy Retreat, an important element of African American history in Jefferson County. In 2019, Happy Retreat facilitated and participated in the presentation “What We Found When We Came Together: Shared Roots Beneath Jefferson County Walls.” The presentation at Fisherman’s Hall recounted a compelling and powerful story about intertwining family histories of six women with roots in Jefferson County. As a result of that presentation, FOHR retained noted historian and genealogist Jane Ailes to research African American history in Jefferson County. Ms. Ailes’ work, funded in part through the support of an anonymous donor, sought to identify African Americans who lived at, worked at and helped build Happy Retreat, both before and after Emancipation and also sought to identify current descendants of those enslaved. The recent WV Humanities Council grant will support continuation of Ms. Ailes’ work, thereby providing a significant expansion of our knowledge about the role of the enslaved at Happy Retreat and in our community.
Charles Town Revitalization
“We are restoring Happy Retreat to become a cultural community center and heritage tourism destination, a hub for arts festivals, orchestra music celebrations, heritage fairs, teaching and other cultural activities.”
President of Friends of Happy Retreat
Events at Happy Retreat
Happy Retreat hosts annual events, concerts and other community events. Learn more »
Appalachian Chamber Music Festival
Craft Beer & Music Festival
Christmas at Happy Retreat
News & Announcements
Explore the history of Happy Retreat and Charles Washington, founder of Charles Town, West Virginia, and President George Washington’s youngest brother.
Founder of Charles Town, WV
History of Happy Retreat
The Historic Home of Charles Washington
Washington Family Homes
Washington Homes in and around Jefferson County, West Virginia
Historic photo gallery of Happy Retreat