Plan of Fort Loudoun
1756: The Virginia House of Burgesses approves the construction of a chain of forts to defend the colony’s frontier.  George Washington, the colonel of the Virginia Regiment, was the commander responsible for protecting the backcountry from incursions by the French and Indian allies.  

Washington lobbied for a “large Magazine to supply the diverse forts and stores.”  He chose Winchester to be that site due to its strategic location.

The original footprint of Fort Loudoun. Fort Loudoun Condos are located at the site of the Southwest Bastion and South Curtain. – Norman L. Baker “Fort Loudoun: Washington’s Fort in Virginia

1756: Washington drew the plans for Fort Loudoun and supervised its construction.  Built of horizontal logs filled with earth and rubble, the fort was designed with four bastions, barracks for 450 men, and a well, sunk 103 feet through solid limestone rock, to supply the fort with water.  Fort Loudoun was unmatched in size along the colonial Virginia frontier that stretched from the border of Maryland to North Carolina.

1820:  Thomas Brown and his wife operate an Oyster House in a log building on the former site of Fort Loudoun.  The Oyster House was taken down in 1830 and moved to Fairfax Lane.

“At the Fort’s original site there was a tall, yellow building.  The building was constructed of logs and was occupied by Mr. Thomas Brown and his lovely wife.  They used the building as an oyster house.”

–  L. Adolf Richards, The Winchester Star

 

Shells found during renovations of The Fort.

1830: The former Oyster House site is sold to Joseph Baker who built a new structure and started a girl’s school.

1832: Peyton Street is opened to the South of the property

1855: Miss Casey takes over operation of the girl’s school.

1858: The Girl’s School becomes an Episcopal Seminary.

1862: The Property is sold to J.C. Van Fosse who operated it as a classical school until 1866.

1866: The Valley Female Institute relocates to this site.

1905: The Glass family acquires the site and Mrs. Kate Glass Green and Miss Laura Gold (later Mrs. Laura Crawford) operate Fort Loudoun Seminary.  It continued as a girl’s boarding school until 1925 when the front part of the building was turned into apartments and the school became a day school for boys and girls.

 

Post Card of “Winchester Female Seminary”

“In the olden times when there were no automobiles on the street, it was a familiar sight to see the young ladies of the seminary marching to their respective churches for worship, led by the principals of their schools.”

– L. Adolf Richards, The Winchester Star

1955:  On February 4, 1955, there was a fire at the property, which resulted in the closure of the school.  The property was then sold to Irvan O’Connell.

1956:  Irvan O’Connell removes the embankment on the west side of the property (which was the remaining southwest bastion of George Washington’s Fort Loudoun), and converts the building into 16 apartments.  During the renovation, he incorporates a double story entry portico, several arched fan windows and the front entry doors from the recently demolished “Jack Hotel” on Picadilly Street, into the renovation of Fort Loudoun Apartments.

Courtesy of the Winchester Star

2014: Fort Loudoun Properties, LLC purchase the property from the O’Connell heirs.

2016: Construction begins to convert the building into 10 luxury condominium units.

 

Pre- Renovation Photo, 2016