Claymont Court is one of the main venues for Preservation Alliance of WV’s 2012 historic preservation conference, Sharing Stories, Learning Lessons: Truth & Triumph in Historic Preservation, September 27-29.
Not only will we be having an historic masonry how-to workshop with National Park Service Exhibits Specialist, Moss Rudley, at Claymont Court, but we will also be hosting educational break-out sessions and a luncheon on Saturday in the historic ballroom! The Claymont will additionally be featured during the Washington Family Homes Tour with tour-guide, John Allen, Jr., the premier historian of Jefferson County’s historic architecture. He is the author of Uncommon Vernacular: The Early House of Jefferson County, West Virginia, 1735-1835.
I am really excited about having some of the conference events at Claymont Court, which was constructed in 1840 in the Georgian style for Bushrod Corbin Washington, a grand-nephew of George Washington. I had the pleasure of staying there last fall while scouting conference locations and enjoyed my over-night stay in the mansion. No ghost encounters for me, fortunately, and when I walked the grounds alone one evening, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm from the site. The historic mansion and grounds are beautifully-preserved, and it’s a very peaceful environment – a great place for learning! From my short stay, I can see why John G. Bennett chose this as the location for his nine-month Fourth Way school back in 1974. Not only is the mansion fabulous, but its location is very quiet, as it is tucked among rolling hills about 4 miles outside of Charles Town.
Conference participants are going to learn so much during their time at Claymont Court, and I think it will be relaxing, as well. While at Claymont, you can wander the grounds, visit the new Native American museum, or venture to the grand barn. It is a place for introspection and self-development, as intended by Mr. Bennett, but it is also the perfect setting for spending time with like-minded folks. When you aren’t engulfed in one of the educational sessions, you will have time to share stories with others and learn from sharing these experiences. I hope many people will take advantage of this opportunity and join me in enhancing the historic preservation ethos throughout the mountain state.