December 2010


A Civilized Christmas , by Erin Parkhurst

In a season notorious for clutter and commercialism, Keswick Hall offers a resplendent respite from the madness.

New Urbanism , by Ben Swenson

Newport News has buffed its image with an impressive collection of monumental sculptures–art for the people.

‘Answer At Once’ , by Katrina M. Powell

Shenandoah National Park is a treasure, but few know the story of the mountain families who were displaced to build it.

In Every Issue

Letters | Contributors | Natives | Reviews | Style | Bellwether | About Town | Odd Dominion | Departures


Bewitching Musician , by Ned Oldham

Singer Alex Caton likes getting at the core of things. She has a background in archaeology, broad instrumental skills and a passion for tradition, most evident in her embrace of old-time music since a move to Virginia.

Late and Loud , by Caroline Kettlewell

Witch Hazel goes to seed with a bang.

Later, Gator , by Bland Crowder

A reptilian stowaway from Florida gets a very harsh welcome.

Where Richmond Shopped for 150 Years , by Bill Glose

A “true history” of how Thalhimers Departments Store was founded, managed by three subsequent generations of the family and grew into a 26-store chain.

Out of the Fire , by Sarah Sargent

A visit with John Jessiman, the eminent ceramic arts teacher, artist and founder of Cub Crek Foundation.


Interview | Crossing the Chasm , by Mac Carey

We take email, file-sharing and the Internet itself for granted now, but network communications were unknown until the 1960s, when Robert Khan and other high-tech gurus working for the U.S. Department of Defense developed protocols enabling different computer systems to share data, making possible the Wolrd Wide Web.

Design | Affordable Housing , by Sarah Sargent

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, in Alexandria, is one of his so-called Usonian houses–inexpensive and horizontal in orientation, with an open-space design. It is also a signal example of the architect’s fundamentally democratic nature.

Dining | A Contemporary Euro-Style Oasis , by Christina Ball

A new team has transformed the historic Ashby Inn and Restaurant into a first class experience of food, wine and hospitality.

Food | Kindred Spirits , by Richard Ernsberger Jr.

First comes the traditional Thanksgiving gathering, then the convivial feast, followe, in this case, by a “guitar pull” in the barn with musically-minded friends.

Home | Rough & Ready , by Kendra Hamilton

Randleston Farm is an Arts and Crafts manor house first built about 90 years ago by the owner of New York’s Savoy-Plaza Hotel. It suffered under subsequent owners until Jim and Melinda Carter bought the estate about a decade ago and invoked its unique and masculine charm.

Town | A ‘Fine Little Village’ , by Daisy Ridgway Khalifa

Waterford, in Loudoun County, has a weak water supply, scant commerce and insufficient parking, but village residents don’t complain too much about those “bugaboos.” They are certain that they live in a very special place, with its historic buildings, agrarian heritage and wide open spaces.

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