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75th Anniversary of V-J Day

September 2 marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.  On that day in 1945, known as V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day), the Japanese boarded the USS Missouri and signed formal surrender documents, finally bringing peace to a world that had seen far too much suffering.  The American General MacArthur, serving as Master of Ceremonies, spoke these powerful words before the signing:

Nor is it for us here to meet, representing as we do a majority of the peoples of the earth, in a spirit of distrust, malice, or hatred.  But rather it is for us, both victors...

Blog Type: Archives
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107 Years of the Handley Library

The Handley Library first opened its doors in a formal ceremony 107 years ago on August 21, 1913.  The invitation sent out for the event states that “the exercises will be held in the lecture hall of the Library at eight o’clock p.m. and immediately thereafter the reading rooms and books will be open to inspection.”

Winchester had been eagerly awaiting this day for a number of years.  Judge John Handley died in Scranton, PA in February 1895, leaving $250,000 to the City of Winchester to be invested until it reached $500,000, at which time it would be used to build a libr...

Blog Type: Archives
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The Strength of Women: New Display on the Suffragette Movement

In August, we remember the Suffragette movement.  Our display this month shows elements of the local fight for women’s right to vote.  In particular, the display highlights Fannie Baker Dunlap, who registered for the vote on October 2, 1920 at 56 years of age, and Mary Elizabeth Pidgeon, a member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia. 

It is just one hundred years since Virginia women won the fight for the right to vote.  In fact, Winchester’s first two women, Isabel E. Baker and Frances W. Beverly, registered to vote on August 27, 1920 – exactly 100 years a...

Blog Type: Archives Homepage
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Sacred Heart Catholic Church's 150th Anniversary

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the dedication of Winchester’s Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.  Winchester’s original Catholic Church, known as “the old stone church,” was destroyed during the Civil War, leaving Winchester without a Catholic Church building from 1864 until 1870. During this time, the priests ministering to Winchester celebrated Mass in local homes, and even at the Red Lion Tavern.  The congregation was growing with many new converts, and a new parish became a necessity.  Construction on Sacred Heart Parish began in 1868, and the first Mass wa...

Blog Type: Archives
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(His)tory: John Bruce

John Bruce (1793-1855) was a man who spent over twenty years of his life finding ways to make an impact on his community. He was born in Scotland, but emigrated to the United States and settled in Winchester. Some people make impacts through teaching and preaching, some through caring for people’s well-being, but others find that they are best suited to improving the community through other means, as John Bruce did by overseeing various constructions.

Bruce must have had an eye for beauty as well as good construction, because he was the architect for the original Christ Episcopal ...

Blog Type: Archives
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(Her)story: Businesswomen of Winchester

Winchester has certainly been home to many remarkable people, including many women over the decades who owned and operated their own businesses. Several in particular stand out for the unique ways they showed strength in their careers as businesswomen.

Upon the death of her father in 1926, Lucy Fitzhugh Kurtz (1874-1968) inherited not one, but two businesses: the Kurtz Furniture Store and the Kurtz Funeral Home. The two businesses were incorporated in 1947 under the name of George W. Kurtz, Inc. Lucy remained the company president until 1968, the year she died at the impressive ag...

Blog Type: Archives
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Genealogy Book Talk: The DNA Guide for Adoptees

The Stewart Bell Jr. Archives announces a unique book talk focused on connecting with your biological family through genealogy. Shannon Bennett & Brianne Kirkpatrick, authors and genetic genealogists, will present their new book, The DNA Guide for Adoptees:  How to use Genealogy and Genetics to Uncover Your Roots, on July 10th at 6:30PM at Handley Library. Whether you need help with the first steps to getting started or could use guidance on what to say or write when connecting with the DNA family, this book offers support to help you search for missing information. The program is ...

Blog Type: News
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City of Winchester Issues Archives Proclamation

In preparation for the 40th anniversary of the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives this Saturday, the City of Winchester has released an official proclamation!

Download and read the official proclamation here.

View the event on our calendar:  https://www.handleyregional.org/node/1521

View the press release on the event

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40th Anniversary Celebration of the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Announced

Handley Regional Library System announces the 40th Anniversary of the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives! There will be a celebration on June 29th at 2PM where patrons can enjoy an open house and meet with current and former staff, volunteers and researchers. Special exhibits of collections and photographs of key events will also be on showcase.  The event is co-sponsored by the Winchester Frederick County Historical Society and is free and open to the public. Becky Ebert is the head archivist and has been with the archives department since the beginning; she is celebrating her 40th year with t...

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Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Focuses on African-American Life with the Untold Stories Project

We are excited to announce a new photo project led by the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives at the Handley Library.  The Untold Stories Project is designed to help preserve the untold stories of African-American life in Winchester and surrounding counties.  Patrons can bring cherished photos to the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives to have them scanned and returned, forever digitally preserved.  The event is all-day on April 27th from 10AM-5PM.  More information can be found by contacting David Jenkins or Becky Ebert at archives@handleyregional.org. 

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