Holiday tour offers glimpse at the past
Posted: December 10, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — As people filed through the building at 201 S. Braddock St. for Preservation of Historic Winchester’s 36th annual Holiday House Tour, one Winchester man fondly recalled the time he got his hair cut at the Peoples Barber Shop that used to be housed there.
“It started out as a barber shop in the basement,” Jack Phillips said before touring the building Sunday. “I had my first haircut here. It was 50 cents.
“It was 50 cents for a haircut, and I decided after that haircut I wasn’t coming back,” he jokingly added.
The building, owned by John Chesson and Anne Schempp, was constructed about 1810 and is in the midst of renovations.
The property was one of six historic structures featured on the tour.
What set this property apart from the others is that it hadn’t been on the tour before, according to house chairman Sandra Bosley.
“As far as I know, this is the first time it’s ever been opened for any sort of tour at all,” Bosley said. “I’m just very overwhelmed and very excited that we were able to get to open it. We don’t normally see buildings that are still in progress of reconstruction.”
She said the building is unique because it has two exterior facades, one made of brick facing South Braddock Street and the other made of limestone facing West Cork Street.
“About 1840, when Samuel Noakes purchased the property, he wanted to kind of go upscale, so he took out the limestone that anybody could use and put in this Greek Revival-style facade, which was fashionable at the time,” Bosley said.
Once renovations are finished, the building will have two apartments and a commercial space where the barbershop used to be.
Bosley said people on the tour “really loved seeing this house being restored. It was I think kind of a surprising transformation.”
She added that the building had cultural significance for Winchester because of the importance that barbershops had as social gathering places.
Frederick County resident Charlotte Estep went on the holiday house tour for the first time Sunday. She found the former barbershop was very interesting and inviting.
“I know the barbershop has been here for many, many years, but the upstairs where we went was an ideal little office space and apartment,” Estep said, adding that she was planning to see each property on the tour.
Estep said it was the history of the buildings and their owners that primarily interested her.
Brookie Phillips, Jack Phillips’ wife, is a member of Preservation of Historic Winchester and said she has been helping to decorate houses for the tours for a long time.
“I enjoy Winchester, I enjoy the older part of Winchester,” Brookie Phillips said. “I feel that a lot of people who come here come to see the historical part of the town.”
Also on the tour: New Lifestyles at 230 W. Boscawen St.; private residences at 205 S. Washington St., 103 S. Washington St., and 211 S. Washington St.; and Christ Episcopal Church at 140 W. Boscawen St.
— Contact Matt Armstrong firstname.lastname@example.org