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
Save the Date!
Sunday, December 4th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Christmas Open House 2022
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR OUR ANNUAL
Happy Retreat Christmas Open House 2022
The Open House, which is free and open to the public, will show Happy Retreat decorated in period holiday finery and will feature holiday cookies, punch, and music. Please Join Us.
News & Announcements
Explore the history of Happy Retreat and Charles Washington, founder of Charles Town, West Virginia, and President George Washington’s youngest brother.