Friday, June 4, 2010

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

We continued our exploration of Winchester today with our destination of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.  This very nice facility is divided into three parts. I suppose the primary attraction is the museum which focuses on the geography, settlement, and development of the Shenandoah Valley.  Also included in the complex is the home of the founder of Winchester, Colonel James Wood and the surrounding gardens.

Glen Burnie, Home of Julian Wood Glass, Jr
We had been advised by one of our tour guides yesterday, that the house was not air conditioned so we should go there first.  The house, or Glen Burnie as it is called, we toured had no resemblance to the original home of Colonel Wood.  The house was passed down from generation to generation, finally ending with the 6th generation and Julian Wood Glass, Jr.  Naturally, like all these old homes, it had been added onto and expanded over the years.  Julian Jr. never actually lived in the old home place.  He visited, and even entertained guests here, but his home was in Oklahoma.  However, in the 1950s, Julian renovated Glen Burnie to include the modern conveniences of the time--electricity, indoor plumbing, etc.  Julian, Jr was an avid collector and the house is furnished with outstanding examples of American antiques along with objects he inherited.

After our guided tour of the house, we strolled through the many gardens.  These gardens were designed and maintained by R. Lee Taylor, a friend of Julian.

We found a few picnic tables near the gate house which was a perfect place for our lunch.  Then it was on to the museum where we spent the remainder of the afternoon.

The entire facility is funded through the foundation set up by Julian, Jr when he donated the house and property to Winchester.  What a generous gift.

Now, I need to get busy with dinner, which we will share with Tony and Diana.  Our plans for tomorrow have not yet been discussed.  Who knows what we’ll come up with.

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