Newsletter of the Friends of Chatham

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From Fitzhugh to Faberge

Chatham Chatter

1st Quarter, January - March 2020

Upcoming Events

Temporary House Closure

The National Park Service is closing the Chatham manor house to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from January 7th until February 13th, 2020 , in order to work on the exhibits.  The house is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays during this period.  Also, the grounds are open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily.

Attention Friends of Chatham:

January is Member Mingle Time!

Please join us for a delightful Dutch treat breakfast at Amy’s Café, 103 West Cambridge Street, Fredericksburg 22405

Saturday, January 11th, 9:00-10:30

Get Friends of Chatham updates and have an opportunity to chat and socialize. Bring along a friend or two – everyone is welcome. What a great way to start 2020 and your Saturday!

Happy New Year to All!

Hope to see you at Amy’s

Dinner at Brock’s Riverside Grill

January 29th @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


After all the hubbub of the Holidays, we all need to relax and slow down the pace, but we still must eat. So, come and enjoy a relaxing dinner at Brock’s and benefit Friends of Chatham at the same time. A cash bar and a delicious buffet dinner of chicken Marsala, baked fish, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, and cake await all attendees. A few raffle items will be available for some lucky winners to take home, too.

Tickets are only $40 per person, so purchase your tickets soon by sending your check, made out to Friends of Chatham, and mail to Friends of Chatham, ATTN: Cathy Walker, P.O. Box 36, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. To pay online for tickets to the event, go to the Upcoming Event page on the website.

Grease at Riverside Center

February 13th @ 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm 


Friends of Chatham has reserved seats for the performance of the musical classic, Grease, on Tuesday, February 13th, 2020, at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets are $80 per person.  Price includes a reception at 5:00pm followed by dinner, and the show at 7:30pm. Gratuity is not included.

We are now accepting reservations!  Please make your checks to Friends of Chatham and mail to Patsy Thompson at 206 Caroline St., Fredericksburg VA 22401.  Also, please let us know if you have special seating requests and how many are in your party.

Bright Star at Riverside Center

April 16th
Look for more information in the next newsletter.

President's Message

2020 has arrived. A new decade has begun. During this decade we will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of Chatham and the 100th anniversary of the Devore’s contributions to the Chatham landscape. Our demonstration garden will definitely be a highlight of that period. Both the Park Service and Friends of Chatham will be planning activities of mark these anniversaries.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped decorate Chatham for the holidays. Special thanks to Cathy Walker for organizing the decorating and the refreshments for Civil War Santa. It was so good that this event was able to be held again, after the disappointment of the cancellation last year.

The members-only wreath making workshop was a great success. Thank you Scott Blake for harvesting the green which were used to make the beautiful wreaths that adorned Chatham during the holidays. Thanks also to Carol Hyland who helped make this event a special time for our members.

We have planned a number of activities over the next couple of months -- member mingles, a Brock’s dinner and theater events. I hope that you will be able to attend one or more of them.

As always, thank you for your generous support of Friends of Chatham.

Happy 2020!


Holiday Wreaths at Chatham

Again this year, the National Park Service gave Friends of Chatham permission to cut greens from the property to make wreaths for the exterior doors of the manor house. On December 6, volunteers Beth Stenstrom, Carol Ann Campbell, Joyce Childress and Carol Hyland gathered boxwood, magnolia, holly and other greenery. Using grapevine bases as a starting point, they added greenery and then festive bows to fashion 5 unique wreaths and hung them on Chatham’s doors to welcome holiday guests.

For the first time this year, there was also a wreath workshop where a small number of Friends of Chatham members could fashion their own wreaths using greenery gathered at Chatham. Working with volunteers Beth Stenstrom and Carol Hyland, the six workshop attendees demonstrated masterful creativity, using different themes and approaches for their wreaths. While each participant had access to the same materials and all of the final products were beautiful, they could not have been more different. The workshop was a fun and rewarding holiday activity.
To see more pictures of the event, see the Projects on our website Home page.

From the Garden

As Friends of Chatham has been supporting and enhancing Chatham’s beautiful gardens, we have learned the truth of the old saying, “A gardener’s work is never finished.” Because the chores in the garden span all four seasons, our gardener Scott Blake will be working through the entire year in 2020 with an expanded part time schedule. This will enable Scott and the volunteers to give the garden some extra tender loving care and to work with NPS on additional garden projects as they appear. This also means that the garden volunteers will be working through the winter as weather permits. Additional volunteers are always welcome. We have lots of “put the garden to bed” chores remaining, to be followed by the always welcome get ready for Spring chores. If you would like to lend a hand, just come to the garden any Wednesday. We start at 8:00 AM and work through the morning.

While the garden is not full of flowers at this time of year, much beauty remains to enjoy. The winter sun on the statuary and trees creates beautiful light patterns, and the grounds remain a peaceful and comforting retreat from life’s chores and worries. Stop by for a visit, and experience the calm of the garden in winter.

The 2019/2020 Membership Year Is Halfway Over

Happy New Year and welcome to 2020. The Friends of Chatham membership year does not follow the calendar year, instead running from July 1 to June 30, which is the organization’s fiscal year. So, we are half way into the 2019/2020 membership year. If you have not yet renewed your membership, now would be the perfect time. Memberships are available at various levels of support: Individual- $25; Family- $50; Sustaining- $100; Contributing- $250; River Terrace- $500; and Faberge Circle- $1000. Any amount in excess of $25 is tax deductible as a charitable contribution.

It is easy to renew your membership. You can simply send a check to Friends of Chatham, PO Box 36, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. Or you can visit the Friends of Chatham website at and submit your renewal electronically from there. We are planning many interesting and fun events for this new membership year, including Member Mingles, Riverside Theatre outings and events at Chatham. Please lend your support by renewing your membership.

If you are not sure when you last renewed your membership or have any other membership questions, please email us at showing “Membership” on your subject line and we will get back to you with an answer as quickly as possible.


Did you know you can support FoC when you buy bulbs for your garden from Brent and Becky's Bulbs?  Go to  Select Friends of Chatham in the drop down menu, follow the prompts, and start shopping. Twenty-five percent of your purchase will go directly to Friends of  Chatham.

For Sale:  $35 each*
FoC is selling signed and numbered limited edition prints of Chatham Manor by Joseph M. Serino, 18 1/2 in. x 23 3/4 in.   If you are interested in buying a print you can email us at  Prints can also be purchased online from our homepage at
* Includes shipping and handling
Copyright © 2020 Friends of Chatham, All rights reserved.

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