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2014 Unison Heritage Day
Saturday, October 25th, 2014
1 to 5pm
in the village of Unison, (western Loudoun County) Virginia

The historic village of Unison, one of the oldest settlements in Loudoun County, will hold its 11th annual Unison Heritage Day on Saturday, Oct. 25th, in the restored Unison Store Community Center and the Village Green beside it.

The fall festival will again feature wonderful food and Blue Grass music, a huge silent and live auction of more than 100 local and regional store and gift items, and the annual visit of the Piedmont Hounds, the friendly fox hounds of the nation’s oldest hunt, who usually arrive around 2 p.m. to mingle with Heritage Day attendees.

The celebrated Blue Grass band Willow Branch will again provide live music. Barbecue and fresh-shucked Virginia oysters and clams on the half shell are featured, with imported wines and beer, and sides and desserts by the Unison United Methodist Church.

The Quaker village of Unison, settled in the 1730s, is in two National Register Historic Districts and at the center of the nation’s only historic roads district. Most village houses date to the 1700s and 1800s. Unison is at the north end of Foxcroft Road (Rte. 626), one of Loudoun’s oldest and most scenic rural roads, where it intersects with historic Unison Road (Rte. 630). Driving to the village is a drive into Virginia’s and Loudoun County’s past.

Live and silent auction items are full of great items! Included among many fabulous things in the live auction (starting about 3pm) are:

  • a week’s vacation in a luxury apartment in Buenos Aires during Argentina’s peak polo season
  • a chauffeured country drive in a vintage Rolls Royce with a champagne lunch
  • a canoe trip down the Shenandoah for 8 with picnic lunch
  • a fishing trip for 2 with lunch on Virginia’s legendary Mossy Creek fly-fishing stream.

The silent auction, running from 1-4:30 p.m., includes gifts of area stores, restaurants, B&BS, catering and music services and art work of well-known area artists.

Tickets are $30 ($25 in advance), children under 12 free. Free parking. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit Unison Preservation Society and will be used to improve the Unison Store Community Center, Village Green and the Unison-area countryside. Advance tickets must be ordered by Oct. 17; mail checks to the Unison Preservation Society, Box 606, Middleburg, VA, 20118.

For further information contact Harry Bigley at harrybigley@aol.com

ALSO!!

You are cordially invited to the South Fork Cemetery for A Very Special Celebration

On Saturday, October 25th at 12 Noon, the Clinton Hatcher Camp, Sons of the Confederate Veterans (Leesburg, VA) will be hosting a ceremony at South Fork Cemetery in Unison to honor three Confederate soldiers with ties to this area:

  • Caleb Rector (1842-1864) Cpl. Co. A, 6th Va. Cavalry. Captured at Yellow Tavern, he died at the Union Prison at Point Lookout, Md at age 22.
  • T. Edgar Dishman (1848-1887) Pvt. Co. G, 43rd B. Va. Cavalry.
  • William Seaton (1809-1878) Pvt. Co. A, 6th Va. Cavalry (Detached as a teamster w/ the QMD.)
The Clinton Hatcher Camp, SCV is credited for the fundraising, grave restoration, and installation of the Iron Crosses of Honor for the three Confederate Veterans buried at South Fork Cemetery.

The ceremony should begin at about 12 noon and last about 30 minutes, highlighting the lives of these men and the recent restoration of their gravestones. While this is a separate event from Heritage Day (1-5pm in Unison) we know this event will be very interesting to both Heritage Day attendees and history buffs in our area, so please make plans to join in the celebration.

The cemetery is about a mile south of the village next to Tap Root Farm - within walking distance on the peaceful gravel road if you have on good walking shoes and want to park in the village. There will be parking for cars if attendees wish to drive to the graveyard before returning to Unison to help celebrate our Heritage Day.

Save the date and plan on attending both events. This is a great family day with lots to see, do, and enjoy!

**Click here to download the press release detailing this year's Heritage Day**



Photography by Timothy H. Snyder

Historic Unison Store Donated as Community Center

Celebration April 21st, 1-3 p.m., at Unison Store

The historic Unison Store, in one of Loudoun County’s oldest villages, has been bought and donated to the nonprofit Unison Preservation Society as a community and history center.

Dr. Betsee Parker, a preservationist and owner of the historic Huntland estate less than a mile from Unison, has purchased the restored store, which has been for sale for two years. At a special celebration filled with music, food, and friends on Sunday, April 21st, Dr. Parker handed over the store keys to the nonprofit preservation society which will make the store a village community/history center and the land around it a village green. The UPS Board presented Dr. Parker with a beautiful rose bouquet, and she took center stage to deliver a wonderful little speech about her many times spent at the store years ago, how she found it a place of relaxation and peace, so much so that she was determined to buy and protect it when she heard it was for sale.

Dr. Parker, a PhD in theology, philanthropist and patron of the arts, bought and restored Huntland and its stables, kennels and buildings and put them under conservation easement to protect them permanently. She is an avid competitor in hunter jumper shows and last fall she broke the record for the number of horse show championships won by a single owner at Pennsylvania’s prestigious Devon Horse Show. Her Huntland team of hunter jumpers then won Junior Hunter championships at both the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and six championships at the Upperville Colt and Horse Show.

The connection between Unison, the Unison Store and Huntland goes back a century to a meeting around the store’s pot-bellied stove by the area’s avid foxhunters, members of the historic Piedmont Hunt and the smaller Unison Farmers Hunt, which had a well known pack of foxhounds. The two joined forces and Unison’s hounds joined the Piedmont Hounds at the newly built Huntland and its kennels, owned by Joseph B. Thomas, master of the Piedmont Hounds and president of the American Foxhound Club. After restoring those kennels in 2011, Dr. Parker, a strong supporter of the Piedmont Hounds, presided over the 100th anniversary celebration of their construction.

Dr. Betsee Parker with the Unison Preservation Society Board of Directors receiving the applause of the crowd at the Gifting of the Unison Store party/celebration

The Unison Store, like many rural country stores, struggled to remain a viable business in the 20th century, but sadly closed its doors in the 1990's when the then current owner closed his grocery store business.In 2001, when the store was in near derelict condition, bankrupt and slated to be sold at public auction within the year, neighbors founded the Unison Preservation Society to help save it. Coe and Mariah Eldridge, residents of the Unison/Bloomfield area, stepped forward to buy the endangered building, and renovated it for use as an office building. In the mid 2000's the offices were closed, and the store was once again for sale. With the purchase of the building by Dr. Parker, and her subsequent gift to the UPS, the store is now forever protected.

Unison Preservation Society president Harry Bigley said "Dr. Parker’s generous gift will guarantee that the store and its half acre of open space will continue to be the center of village and area life and activity, as it has been for more than 140 years."


The Unison Preservation Society is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. All contributions are tax-deductable.


UPS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
All photographs by Flora Hillman. All Rights Reserved.