Support Happy Retreat

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

Payment Methods

Please send your pledges and tax-deductible contributions to:

Friends of Happy Retreat
P.O. Box 1427
Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
(304) 724-7956

You also may make your contribution with your credit card through the link below.



Please consider donating your time.

Volunteers are needed to help with many projects such as maintenance of Happy Retreat, leading interpretive programs as a docent and conducting research on historic properties.

Please reach out if you are interested in volunteering with us. 

For the past several years, many committed supporters have helped to secure the future for Charles Washington’s Happy Retreat, the 1780 home of the founder of Charles Town, West Virginia, for community benefit, for public enjoyment and for heritage education.

Happy Retreat is currently seeking donations to secure a Save America’s Treasure Grant of $132,000 from the National Park Service to upgrade the heating and cooling and electrical systems in the house. This grant is a matching grant so in order to secure this funding, an equal amount in private donations – $132,000 – must be raised and this must be done by the end of 2023. This matching grant provides a unique opportunity for donors to double the impact of their gift. There is a limited window in which to participate – donations must be received before December 31 of this year in order to be matched on a one-to-one basis.

 The Friends of Happy Retreat began working several years ago with the Gavin Family to pursue an ambitious vision for this beautiful historic estate.

In 2015, Dr. Taylor Fithian and his wife Margie made a major gift for acquisition of the property, along with a generous donation from American Public University. Since then, many donors have supported the restoration of the mansion and historic buildings at Happy Retreat. 

Join us in continuing this transformation of Happy Retreat into the gateway to the rich heritage of Charles Town and West Virginia’s Washington Family. Thank you to all donors for helping us to fulfill our vision for this unique community treasure.

Exciting Opportunity to Double your Donation to Happy Retreat!

One of our greatest needs at Happy Retreat is a new HVAC system. The house has an outdated oil-fired hot water radiator system for heat and no air-conditioning. The lack of air-conditioning severely restricts our use of the house for almost half the year, since we only schedule indoor events during the cool weather months.

We are excited that a Save America’s Treasure Grant from the National Park Service has provided matching funds to provide a unique opportunity for you to double the impact of your gift to update Happy Retreat’s heating and cooling system and to upgrade the electrical system in the house. There is a limited window in which to participate – before December 31 of this year – and your gift will be matched on a one-to-one basis. (All donations will be matched up to a total of $132,000.)

Please donate now to help us meet this important goal. You’ll be playing a vital role in making Happy Retreat a center of history and culture for the entire community to enjoy. You can make your check payable to Friends of Happy Retreat, P.O. Box 1427, Charles Town, WV, 25414 and note “matching gift” on the memo line. Contributions can also be made via our website. Gifts of stock are also welcome. If you would prefer to make a gift of stock, please contact us by email at and we will provide you with the necessary information. Thank you for you continued support of Happy Retreat by helping us reach this important fundraising goal.