Newsletter of the Friends of Chatham

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From Fitzhugh to Faberge

Chatham Chatter

3rd Quarter, July - September 2019

Upcoming Events

Attention Friends of Chatham:

July is Member Mingle Time!

Please join us for a delightful Dutch treat breakfast at the Paradise Diner, 260 Warrenton Road, Fredericksburg 22405

Saturday, July 20, 9:30am - 11:30am

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 a Saturday!

Directions to the Paradise Diner: From Route 1, go West on Warrenton Road. The Paradise Diner will be on the right. From I-95, take Exit 133 East onto Warrenton Road. The Paradise Diner will be on your left.

Hope to see you there!

Friends of Chatham invites you to...
A Walk in the Garden

A champagne celebration to welcome Diana home and enjoy Chatham under the stars.  Special benefit concert by Patrick A'Hearn
Sunday, September 29 at 4:30pm to 7:00pm
Tickets $75 each

More information in the article below.
Friends of Chatham 2nd Plein Air Event

Saturday, October 19, 2019
10:00am to 4:00pm

More information in the article below.
President's Message

I hope that you were able to attend the two concerts Friends of Chatham sponsored this spring, thanks to a grant from Stafford County. It has been awhile since there has been music at Chatham. Thank you Cathy Walker for planning these events. Special thanks also go out to all who volunteered their time to support these events.

The Annual Meeting was well attended this year. Thank you Susan Hatch for arranging volunteers for the house tours. I also want to thank those members who agreed to serve on the Nominating Committee for 2020-2022.

I have enjoyed talking to the people who have attended our recent events this spring. We had many first-time visitors, who said they will be back now that they know about Chatham.

We have many exciting events planned over the next few months. This newsletter provides information about what is coming.

Thank you for supporting Friends of Chatham. Enjoy the Summer! Safe travels!

Until the next time,

Diana Sculpture Restoration Completed

The restoration of the sculpture of Diana has been completed by Russell Bernabo, noted conservator of fine objects, and is awaiting her return to Chatham in September 2019.

The comprehensive conservation work to the sculpture included structural stabilization, compensation for losses, and other treatments that have returned Diana to her former glory.  The photograph included gives a hint of the beautiful workmanship that Mr. Bernabo and his assistant, Brendan Coyle, provided.

As noted previously, per Mr. Bernabo, "Most of the damage to the sculpture" was "localized to a few vulnerable areas that have been broken and re-broken several times over the decades.  Considering the fragility of the materials and history of outdoor exhibition, Diana survives in overall good condition and after conservaton can be maintained by the Park Service preservation team at Chatham."

We can attest that Diana will be a welcome re-addition to the Chatham landscape and look forward to her return!

A Walk in the Garden

Come celebrate the return of Diana to Chatham! Friends of Chatham is hosting a very special champagne reception to celebrate the glory of the gardens on September 29, 2019 from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. This unique opportunity will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres under the stars and special access to the mansion and grounds. The newly restored Diana statue will be unveiled, and volunteer gardeners will be stationed throughout the grounds to provide insights into garden restoration techniques, describe the demonstration garden area which pays homage to Ellen Biddle Shipman, the designer of the 1920s formal gardens, and answer your questions. The highlight of the evening will be a one-of-a-kind performance by celebrated Broadway star Patrick A’Hearn—an astoundingly gifted performer who will honor Chatham and the launch of the Friends of Chatham Endowment Fund. 

Tickets include special evening access to the property, refreshments, and the concert. They are available for $75.00 per person on a first-come, first-served basis as space is limited! Go to to purchase tickets or send a check made out to “Friends of Chatham” to Patsy Thompson, c/o Friends of Chatham, P.O. Box 36, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. Questions on the event can be sent to Patsy Thompson at

Please join us for this exclusive opportunity! It will be a beautiful, magical evening, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

Friends of Chatham 2nd Plein Air Event

On October 19, 2019, approximately 20 local artists and photographers will spread out on the grounds of Chatham to participate in the second Plein Air event sponsored by Friends of Chatham. Plein-air denotes the manner of the 19th century style of painting outdoors, or with a strong sense of the open air that became the central feature of French Impressionism.

Artists will check-in at the summer house and receive a bag of treats to keep them going while they create their own special work of art using some aspect of Chatham as their subject. By February 1, 2020, participating artists will be donating one piece of art inspired by this event to Friends of Chatham for use as a fundraiser in May or June.

Friends of Chatham will partner with The Arts & Cultural Council of the Rappahannock to provide refreshments in the summer house for artists, photographers and visitors. A children’s table will be staffed to encourage our young visitors to try their hand at Plein Air drawing.

So, save the date---October 19, 2019! Come out and see artists at work from 10 am to 4 pm at Chatham on what we hope will be a lovely fall day.

From the Garden

The spring blooms have completed their show for this year, and we are now on to the summer blooming perennials and annuals. Perennials added to the Demonstration Garden this spring included primrose, beautiful mixed color poppies and phlox in pink and white. The Demonstration Garden continues to fill out and display a lovely mix of blooms. The rectangular beds have been filled with summer blooming annuals again. We have marigolds, vinca, salvia and petunias, providing a lovely mix of colors there. The parterre beds feature their summer red and white vinca joined by ‘Blue Daze’ evolvulus to create a display of colors appropriate for celebrating America’s birthday.

Summer is a lovely time to take a walk through the garden. The ever-changing display of flowering perennials along the center walkway invites visitors to linger and enjoy the beauty and peaceful setting of the walled garden. If you have a chance, please come and visit.

At the annual Friends of Chatham meeting in June, Carol Hyland received a Certificate of Appreciation from John Storke for her work on the garden.

Volunteers continue to work in the garden each Wednesday morning. If you are interested in helping or would like more information, contact volunteer coordinator Carol Hyland at

The 2019/2020 Membership Year has Arrived

While Friends of Chatham happily and gratefully welcomes new members at any time, the membership year and our fiscal year run from July1 to June 30. So, we are just entering a new year, and it is time for members to renew for 2019/2020. 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 have any questions, please email us at and we will get back to you with an answer.


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 © 2019 Friends of Chatham, All rights reserved.

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