Newsletter of the Friends of Chatham

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From Fitzhugh to Faberge

Chatham Chatter

3rd Quarter, July - September 2017

Upcoming Events

Member Mingle, Saturday July 22nd

Please join us for a delightful Dutch treat breakfast at the Paradise Diner, 260 Warrenton Road, Fredericksburg 22405 on Saturday, July 22, 9:30-1100AM.  Get Friends of Chatham updates and have an opportunity to chat and socialize.  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!

Save the Dates
September 30th and October 1st

Very special fundraising events are being planned for both of those days.  Keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page and your email inbox for more information as the plans are finalized.  Actress Sally Struthers will be at both events.

President's Message

Summer has definitely arrived. The weather is warm and the Chatham gardens are beautiful. The brick wall is receiving some much needed attention, the windows project is near completion and the repairs on the Pan Temple and Ceres statue are about to begin.

We had a large turnout for the annual meeting on June 1st. I would like to thank all of the members who helped with the set up and with the tours in the house. I would also like to thank the members and board members who have agreed to serve on the nominating committee for the 2018- 2020 Executive Board. A special thanks to Superintendent Kirsten Talken-Spaulding for attending the meeting and sharing news about about the full funding for the repair of both green houses.

Please save the dates September 30 and October 1 for upcoming fundraising events. Actress Sally Struthers will be at both events. Please watch your email for further details as plans progress.

Next month the repair of the Pan Temple will begin, with the work finished later this summer. The Ceres statue will also receive some much needed attention as part of this project. Many thanks to Nancy Fahy who is overseeing this project. We plan to have a celebration for the completion of this project in the fall.

I hope to see you at the July Member Mingle to be held July 22 at the Paradise Diner. Please feel free to contact me with any suggestions you may have for future projects for Friends of Chatham.


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

Annual Membership Meeting

Friends of Chatham’s held their annual meeting on the garden steps on June 1, 2017. Prior to the meeting, as is the tradition, the house was open to all members, including the nonpublic portions upstairs and in the basement.

Superintendent Kirsten Talken-Spaulding welcomed the group and thanked the FOC for all the incredible activities accomplished in the last year. She also announced the receipt of full funding for the restoration of the two Greenhouses and is excited about having them back in operation. John Hennessey also shared a few of his thoughts with the group.

Many of the Board members updated the membership on the FOCs’ activities. Anne Betz presented a Treasurers Report and a proposed budget for FY 2017-18. Carol Hyland reported that membership increased by 21 percent and chatted about the ongoing developments in the Garden.

Nancy Fahy reported that the windows and doors project is just about finished and that FOC received a Duff McDuff Green, Jr. Grant from the Community Fund as well as contributions from the Rapphannock Fredericksburg Rotary Club for the upcoming Pan Temple project. She's hopeful that The Rappahannock Valley Garden Club will also be in a position to make a contribution toward the project to complete the circle of partnership that started with the Pan Statue restoration in 2013.

Lynda Baer, was introduced as the point person for the 250th Anniversary of Chatham Celebration. Carolyn Van Der Jagt thanked all members who volunteered their assistance in making each of last year’s events such a success and announced that FOC has received a grant from Stafford County for $1500 for another art event, which will probably focus on drama in 2018.

Sharon Adinolfi stated that the FOC Board of Directors have done an amazing job this year and closed the meeting by thanking all members for their hard work that resulted in a terrific year.

For complete details of the Annual Meeting, check out the links below.


Treasurer’s Report

Its Membership Renewal Time!

The membership year for Friends of Chatham runs from July1 to June 30, so it is time for all members to renew for the 2017-2018 membership year. 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 3882, Fredericksburg, VA 22402. Or you can visit the Friends of Chatham website at and submit your renewal electronically from there.

If you have any questions, please email us at and we will get back to you with an answer.

On April 8th from 10 am to 4 pm, 34 local artisans and artists showcased their historic and modern artistic skills and passions on the grounds of Chatham Manor for the community. In addition to highlighting some of the historic roots of art and artisans at Chatham such as carpenters and woodworkers, spinners, and blacksmiths, the event featured modern uses of various art forms. The event was sponsored, in part, by a Stafford County Challenge Grant and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

While some local artists demonstrated painting and sketching throughout the day, visitors created a few “masterpieces” of their own. Students and adults had numerous opportunities to create their own art by decorating the program bag, making an article from recycled materials, and creating a drawing of some aspect of the Chatham Manor or its grounds.

The April 8th program also included an exhibit of one of the few textiles known to have an association with 18th-century Chatham. The sampler of Patsy Fitzhugh, a young daughter of Chatham’s original owners, was on display at the house for the first time, on loan from the Arlington House. Patsy started the sampler at Chatham not long before her death at age 7. It is believed that a family member, possibly her sister Mary, completed the work.

As part of the Artisans, Art, and History Day, Friends of Chatham sponsored a juried art contest for K-12 students in Stafford County Public Schools. Art entries were to be based on past events or people or modern day at Chatham Manor. Both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art was accepted. Friends of Chatham was delighted to receive approximately 350 entries from the elementary, middle, and high schools in Stafford County. Some examples of the 3-dimensional art were colorful ceramic tiles, a Lego rendition of Chatham Manor, a splendidly carved wax angel, and a felted manor house and gardens. The 2-dimensional art included various depictions of the house and its gardens as well as interpretations of several historical people and events. There were even a few representations of the noted Faberge eggs. Friends of Chatham awarded over 50 monetary prizes. While both 2-D and 3-D contest winners were displayed on April 8th at Chatham, only the 2-dimensional works are exhibited now in the two Central Rappahannock Regional Libraries in Stafford County.

We would like to thank all the many volunteers who went above and beyond to make the Artisans, Art, and History event an outstanding day at Chatham Manor. It was truly a big event with many moving parts. The assistance of all the volunteers indeed contributed greatly to our success. Many thanks to everyone. The National Park Service recorded more than 1,000 visitors to Chatham that day!

From the Garden

It was a bright and colorful Spring in the gardens at Chatham Manor, with a profusion of daffodils, tulips and bluebells. The peonies and roses have been a beautiful sight. We are now moving into the summer blooming perennials and newly installed summer annuals, so the garden continues to delight the eye. We have had lots of visitors, many of whom comment on the beauty and serenity of Chatham’s gardens and grounds. Please come out and visit.

If you would like to help in the garden, volunteers work every Wednesday morning under the direction of Gardener Scott Blake. We start work at 8:00am and work through the morning. There are no set hours- come when it suits your schedule and work as long as you want. If you would like more information about volunteering in the garden, contact Carol Hyland at

Copyright © 2017 Friends of Chatham, All rights reserved.

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