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History honors society to host Happy Retreat symposium April 8-9

ISSUED: 1 April 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Phi Alpha Theta, Shepherd University’s History Honors Society, in conjunction with the Friends of Happy Retreat and the George Washington Institute of Living Ethics, will present a symposium, titled “The History and Preservation of Happy Retreat,” April 8 and 9 in Charles Town. The event is free and open to the public.

Happy Retreat is the home of George Washington’s brother Charles, who is the founder of Charles Town. The oldest sections of the house, which sits on 12 acres, were built in the late 1700s. Efforts have been underway to preserve the property for public use.

A keynote address by Philip Mead, titled “George Washington’s Canvas Home: The History and Memory of the Revolutionary War Headquarters and Sleeping Marquee,” will take place on Friday, April 8, beginning at 7 p.m. at Fisherman’s Hall, 312 South West Street. Mead is a historian and curator at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Friday will also feature a silent auction fund raiser.

Two panel discussions with noted historians and preservation experts will take place on Saturday, April 9  at Happy Retreat, 600 Mordington Avenue in Charles Town. The first session, from 9-11 a.m., will focus on “The History of Happy Retreat.” The second session, from 2-4 p.m., is titled “The Preservation of Happy Retreat.”

To participate, reservations are appreciated, but not necessary. For more information, visit

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