Newspaper Archive of
Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
March 18, 1999     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 18, 1999

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SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, March 25, 1999 "7 Engagements - Weddings ,D Announcements Phone 725-2046 J, ,J ' ! d The Shenandoah-Potomac Council of Garden Clubs of Berkeley and Jefferson Counties of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia announces the 44th Annual House & Garden Tour to be held Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advance tickets are available by sending a check to the Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council, P.O. Box 998, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0998. Advance admission price for the complete tour is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and unde~ Tickets will also be available at each house for $12 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, contact the Jefferson County Visitors & Convention Bureau at (304) 535-2627, or out-of-state (800) 848-8687; or the Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau (304) 264-8801, or out-of-state (800) 498-2386. Martha Smith Eastern Panhandle Horti- Forum will establish the Smith Scholarship Fund to resident of the area in an field of horticulture. The must be in need of finan- is being established to the leadereship provided Smith, a long-time resi- of Jefferson County and a of the Shenandoah Club. She devoted years to of garden clubs on national lev- served as West Virginia regional director of the five states and, fi- as the president of the Na- Council of State Garden Inc in 1989-90. She is the Virginian to hold this office. Friendship Garden at the Arboretum was the spe- ect of Smith's presidency. national contribution was ~ived and completed in two "It is still beautifully main- with donations to this day," Smith. She added that the were special son participated in the cel- has found her participa- garden clubs exciting and and considers the es- ~hment of the scholarship uite an honor. Eastern Panhandle Horti- Forum will be held April 17, [0 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Zion Epis- in downtown Charles With three seminar tracks total of 15 topics to choose a full day of activities is sed. r more information about reg- call 725-2040 or 267- are $15 and the dead- April 1. All profits will be establish the scholarship real donations are wel- GIRLS CLUB SET EGG HUNT e Boys & Girls Club of County and American 102 invite the public to an Egg Hunt on Saturday, 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Boys Girls Club, 334 North Charles Town. are welcome and there will eggs, egg decorating and Peter Cottontail will hand for the children. further information, call 111111111111111 Bel-Mar spans almost 250 years since the original Lord Fair- fax land grant was made to James Lloyd in 1752 and is named for family members of the present owner, Nancy Hockensmith. Ear- lier known as "Moler's Fairview Farm" (1834-1943), this still- working farm is part of the once flourishing community of"Zoar" (a biblical name meaning "little one", in this case a Baptist off-spring), where the first Baptist Meeting House in Jefferson County was purchased from Jesse Stall in 1801 and land for a free school was deeded from Jacob Moler in 1850. Both men were former own- ers of the Bel-Mar property. Moler joined fifteen other prominent citi- zens, including George S. and Lawrence Washington, as mem- bers of Jefferson County's first grand jury in March of 1802. Rich Willis, a prosperous owner of the property in the late 1790's, lived up to his name when his became one of only 24 of 3,000 families in the Jefferson and Berkeley dis- tricts to be taxed on the basis of his phaeton (stagecoach) at a time which most relied on a farm wagon, horseback or foot transpor- tation. The stately ante-bellum brick farmhouse, circa 1765, originated as a modest 20-x20-foot brick structure on a stone foundation, 1- 1/2 stories high, with four rooms (a parlor and kitchen connected to two upper bedrooms by a small, precarious staircase). Over the centuries, Bel-Mar has undergone several charming enlargements and renovations, capturing and maintaining exquisite details of varying periods between 1752 and 1998. It is surmised that the five- bay "grand house" was built in the early 1830's. Handmade brick, a rare commodity for homes in the area at that time, is ever-present Bel-Mar on the facade and was used in combination with native lumber and limestone for a firm founda- tion. As was typical of large homes in this era, there is an end chimney on both north and south walls, with upper and lower fire- places on each wall. The exterior brick walls are substantial, as are those in the original 1700's house, being 13 inches thick and built on a large stone foundation which provides a full cellar/basement with a massive, hand-made door to the outside, as well as separate stairs to the main hall. Many changes occurred with the advent of the "grand house." A pantry (now a bathroom) was added, joining the parlor to the back porch by way of a pass- through window for food service from the kitchen. At the same time, the door was removed be- tween the kitchen and "new" din- ing room area to separate ser- vants from the household. Origi- nal beaded board exists on the kitchen ceiling and part of one wall, and the soft, sun-dried, ir- regular brick (handmade on the premises) has survived in most ar- eas for exposure today on two walls. The large kitchen hearth exists relatively intact, but shows evidence of an early chimney fire. There is no baking oven in the fireplace because those duties were confined to outer buildings near a boarded log smokehouse that collapsed prior to the present renovation. The old parlor fire- place has been reconditioned, an original handcrafted mantel from the 1851 Charles Town Presbyte- rian Church manse was added in the 1990's. Although showing signs of heavy abuse, the parlor's heart-of-pine wood flooring has been restored. The two upper rooms have exposed 11-1/2-inch to 13-inch yellow pine floorboards in pristine condition. The present owner has preserved and exposed a small section of the roof area in one of the upper-floor dormer win- dows to reveal the original, hand- fashioned structure of the ceiling beams, girders, joists, laths, and wooden pegs. The two-story living quarters provide a large upper and lower room at each side of the center hall, each having a uniquely de- signed and carved mantel. The ceilings are 10 feet high in the four main rooms. All original, Greek- influenced woodwork on the win- dows, door frames and mantels, as well as the 5"-to-6-1/2" wide ran- dom-width pine flooring, is pre- served throughout the house. The parlor is unique in having floor-to- ceiling windows. Large "Christion Cross Open Bible" doors, most with original hardware, are to be found separating rooms as well as providing exterior access. The latest additions and reno- vations to Bel-Mar have occurred in the 1990's to update it for 21st century living, while preserving original elements as much as pos- sible. The house is filled with eclectic items, including interest- ing artwork, period as well as fam- ily pieces, an extensive copper col- lection, blue and white porcelain dishes, and walnut furniture handcrafted by the owner's father, Abner Bell Hockensmith, who, with his wife, Mary Isabell, owned ~and farmed Bel-mar from 1943 until 1969. Shown by members of the Women's Club of Harpers Ferry. tauranl Specializing in gea/ood B EASTER SUNDAY SPECIALS Prime Rib Roast Lamb WV Trout Stuffed w/Crab Meat (Serving Dinner All Day) & Tues Open-wed thru Sun 11 AM - 9 PM Catering for All Occasions 1270 Washington St. Bolivar/Harpers Ferry Reservations Recommended Isaac Andrew Philips Bronwyn Kathleen Rick Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Kennedy, of Shepherdstown, and Anchorage, Alaska, and Dr. and Mrs. Claude Rick, of Anchorage, are delighted to announce the engagement of their daughter, Bronwyn Kathleen Rick, to Isaac Andrew Philips (Ensign, United States Navy). The wedding is planned for September 4, 1999 in Washington, D.C. Miss Rick will graduate this May from the University of Virginia with a degree in psychology, and is an alumna ofA. J. Dimond H.S. in Anchorage. She made her debut in 1994 at The National I)ebutante Cotillion and Thanksgiving Ball in Washington, D.C. While at the University of Virginia she was a member of the Varsity Crew Team, which won the NCAA gold medal in the Varsity II class in 1998. Ensign Philips is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Philips of Bakersfield, Calif. He is a 1997 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and an alumnus of Highland H.S. in Bakersfield. He was a member of the Naval Academy Crew team. Isaac is currently at- tached to the HT18 unit at Whiting Naval Air Station, Fla and will be awarded his Naval Helicopter Pilot Wings this summer. Announce Engagement Karen Starry Manuel, of Charles Town, and Jon Fran- cis Gregoryk, of Wilton, N.D announce their engagement. Karen, shown here with her fiance, is a 1979 graduate of Jefferson High School, The Boyd Business School and Shepherd College. She is em- ployed with Northwest Air- lines as an International Flight Attendant based in De- troit, Mich. Jon is a 1979 graduate of Wilton High School and Minot State University. He is em- ployed with Clark Reality Construction as a Superinten- dent of Construction based in Fairfax, Va. A May 8 wedding is planned at Charles Town Presbyterian Church. For a Special Family Treat S .featuring "H " " Fresh Asparagus ollandmse Roast Leg of Lamb - Shepherds Pie Fresh Pork Tenderloin Bavarian hln's Crab Cakes Fresh Baby Coho Salmon Veal Steak with Fresh Mushrooms Prime Rib of Beef Many Popular German Specialties Homemade Desserts CHILDREN'S MENU AVAILABLE "OVERLOOKING THE POTOMAC RIVER" For Reservations All Major Credit Please Call: