As is the tradition, on the cover, was an excellent review of where we have been in 2019. As we begin 2020 we wanted readers to take a moment to look back, so we have pulled together the best from 2019 and put them all in one place. We wish everyone a new year that’s quite simply the best.
Looking forward to 2019 – Molly and Robert Hardie, owners of Keswick Hall are pleased to announce the multimillion dollar transformation and partnering with Chef Jean George Vongerichten who will oversee the property’s culinary operation. UVA plans new school of Data Science following the 120 million dollar gift (the largest in the University’s history, given by Jaffrey Woodfriff, trustee of Quantitative Foundation.)
February “Keswick Hunt Phase 1 Completed”
At 6 PM on February 23, a hundred and forty pairs of eyes blinked and went wide as Hunt Club members walked through the front door of the renovated club. People were agog at the sight of the gleaming floor, the new porch, dining room created from the former storage room and kitchen, the new curtains festooned with hunting scenes, and the 137 photos hanging on the walls which had been cleaned, reframed, captioned and hung in orderly groups on the walls.
March “Historic Virginia Garden Week”
Keswickians Guide to Local Destinations
This driving tour through the Keswick environs of Somerset and Orange celebrates the Centennial of the Dolley Madison Garden Club, a founding member of the Garden Club of Virginia, and host of the tour. Four gracious homes, with links to the earliest history of this beautiful place, highlight the area’s agricultural and equestrian roots.
Keswick resident and accomplished floral and event designer, Gregory Britt, opens an interesting new venture in the Keswick environs. He had driven by Blue Bomar’s old mechanic’s garage many times and one day in February he noticed that it was empty. The Keswick Hunt Club held their annual Hunt Ball marking the end of the hunting season. The black tie affair was held in the freshly renovated clubhouse which is now available to the public for special event rentals.
April “Keswick! Horse Showing as it was meant to be…”
Every spring in May when all the country is beautiful, the Club holds its annual Horse Show unique in point of originality and emblematic of the highest sport of sporting spirit there being no Club prizes and only laurels to the winners in the form of ribbons. Private Cups, the gifts of individuals, are often presented, but these are not Club prices. It is a gathering of the gentry from far and near to enter into friendly competition, their best carriage teamsn and best hunters as well as their saddle horses and children’s ponies. Pippin Hard Cider has just released two new blends to market: Ginger and All Hopped Up. Riding the median between dry and sweet, Ginger combines fresh-pressed apples with ginger root and a kiss of oak to create an exhilarating and thirst-quenching hard cider. Twenty winders from the Monticello Wine Trail (MWT) competed in the 2019 Monticello Cup Wine Competition, a friendly competition among wineries in the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA). This year’s competition was coordinated by the Virginia Wine & Spirits Academy, and all entered wines contained a minimum of 85% fruit from the Monticello AVA and were produced by a member of the MWT-included in the winners was Keswick Vineyards.
May “Beyond the Gates!”
Please join us June 8 as we celebrate 10 years of charitable giving and present our 10th Anniversary Historic Farm Tour and Country Fair, “beyond the gates.” Come along with us as we go “beyond the gates,” past those rock walls and stroll with us down the tree lined paths to six of Keswick’s celebrated historic farms, the Keswick Hunt Club, and Grace Church. Our chosen route for this special day in the country was first traveled by Virginia’s earliest settlers Confederate and Union troops and the grounds are as beautiful as they were then.
June “The Wedding Issue”
Margaret Sutherland Carragher and David Gregory Kalergis, Jr. met at the wedding of their mutual friends, Annie and Drew Thomasson, in May 2016. There was an immediate spark of attraction and three years later, Maggie and David wed at James Monroe’s Highland in Charlottesville on June 1, 2019. Jacqueline Camille Langholtz and William Randolph Taylor met by chance at Commonhouse, in Charlottesville, just weeks after the social blub opened in the summer of 2017. The attraction was instantaneous and mutual, and on June first they were married in the chapel of St. Paul’s Memorial Church in Charlottesville. Bianca Moreira Catta-Preta and Ross Michael Svetz were married on June 15th at the mountaintop cabin on East Belmont Farm.
July “Summer Exercise”
Many people believe the phrase “dog days of summer” stems from the fact that dogs tend to be a bit on the lazy side during the hottest days of summer. Of course, who can blame them? However, the Keswick Foxhounds still must be exercised during the “dog days of summer” as they are enjoying their vacation from the busy foxhunting season of September through March. So beginning in the early summer they walk through the miles of fabulous grounds of the Keswick Estate, then later they are followed by the jt. MFH’s, hunstman and whippers-in on bicycles. August begins and the older hounds take the puppies along and begin hunting through the corn and bean fields of the Keswick environs. Final renovation have begun on the Keswick Hunt Club. To date, the members have their clubhouse, and the hounds have their kennel. What connects us all are the horses. Now, it’s their turn. The new barn will feature a standing seam metal gambrel roof, seven horse stalls, a washroom, a tack room, storage, and a bathroom. The structure will also include a spacious living space on the second floor with a new kitchen, two baths, three bedrooms and an open living area which connects to a roof deck overlooking the mountains. For the barn itself, we will reassemble the extraordinarily high quality stall components from the Merifield’s Barn that were generously donated by its owner.
August “Cooling Down”
Keswick can be extremely brutal in the summer. It’s hot, muggy, full of dusty rock roads, and pretty smelly stalls, too. Factor in that most of us who live and work here have to wear full-coverage clothing when it’s burning hot outside (not to mention that riders wear protective vests), and you’ve got a recipe for about four months of complete and utter overwhelm. As the weather heats up, we find ourselves desperately reaching for things that keep us cool – not just Kohr Bros and air conditioning, but also portable fans, facial mists, cooling clothes, and a little dip like this fox found, perhaps, on a Keswick farm.
Horsin around Will Coleman’s up-and-coming partner Chin Tonic HS made a smashing impression in his FEI debut at the 2019 MARS Great meadow International, winning the CCI2-S class on his dressage score. Keswick Horses excelled at the World Champion Saddlebreds crowned in Kentucky.
September “Hot Supervisor Race – Get Out and Vote!”
As is the tradition, on the cover, Keswick Life goes deep and has caught up with the candidates in the closely contested Albemarle Supervisor’s race in the Rivanna District which governs the beautiful Keswick area. Our forum style question and answer format sets the bar high for the candidates and let’s our readers get the indepth view they need to make an informed vote on November 5th. Read all about it starting on page 8 with Mike Johnson, and page 10 with Bea LaPisto Kirtley.
The beautiful and historic Keswick Hall is set to reopen late Summer 2020, following the completion of an extensive and loving restoration that marries the resort’s classic style and sophistication with luxurious comfort and modern amenities. As part of the expansive and transformative restoration, Molly and Robert Hardie are creating five speculative homes at Keswick Estates, the residential enclave that is part of the property, provides residents the opportunity of enjoying resort life all year round.
The Keswick Hunt Club’s Puppy Show was established by Anne Coles in honor of her late husband, Eddie Coles to encourage club members and guests to be aware of the young hounds all while having a wonderful party! The foxhounds are a major resource for the KHC and their lineage can be traced back hundreds of years. Read all about this year’s puppy show held at Tivoli on page 16.
October “A Joyous Noise”
Grace Church Unveils its New Bespoke Pipe Organ
Article by Michael G. Latsko, Director of Music & Organist – photographs by Bill-Remington just in time for its 275th anniversary in 2020, Grace Church will have a refurbished, refreshed (and slightly taller) chancel, a new musician’s gallery framing an interior view of the beautiful tower stained glass window, and a brand new, bespoke pipe organ – the result of the unlikely combination of Mother Nature’s fury and what music director & organist Michael Latsko likes to call “blessed insurance,” a riff on the popular hymn “Blessed Assurance.”
Montpelier CEO Kat Imhoff leaves to join The Piedmot Environmental Council while Railey Cooley begins a new position at Richmond’s Manchester Studios. Get the full story and read all about their new ventures on page 13. And The Last Word on the Election Results – pretty much a bloodbath across the County for moderate and Republican candidates. The rest of the state, except Richmond and Tidewater is solid red. We are deeply divided. The Suburban Republican and the Rural Democrat are extinct.
November “Hunting Styles and Etiquette”
On the cover, co-MFH of Keswick Hunt Club, Nancy Wiley, Will Coleman and Mary Kalgeris. Fall is such a wonderful time of year when the field is mounted in full flight over hill and dale in pursuit of a good gallop in the countryside. The Hunt is an exhilarating sport for those adventuresome types, as well as for meeker types who follow on foot. We often need to refresh the traditions and etiquette of this age old sport. Foxhunting is meant to be a fun sport, after all most foxhunters have risen early, cleaned a horse, tack, clothes, etc. shipped to the meet and then are expecting a fun morning in the sport. As each new season begins, it is never inappropriate to remind ourselves of the courtesies. Hunt clubs all across the country have begun their formal season with their Opening Meet and holding their traditional Blessing of the Hounds.
This year’s Opening Meet was held at Cloverfields, the pack set off at 9 a.m. and returned at noon to a Hunt Breakfast. The field and spectators were thoroughly welcomed with ham biscuits and a hot toddy before the hounds moved off. If you happened upon this rare site, you might wonder what century you were in as the opening meet has been held at Cloverfields since 1896. The Blessing of the Hounds at Grace Church started in 1929, so it’s been happening a long time, and fox hunting has been a tradition and a sport in Albemarle County since the colonial days.
Of all the places on the Little Keswick School campus where students work toward life-altering growth, the Depot is where the real magic happens. “LKS is a thriving, compassionate, dynamic community, and the Depot is its beating heart,” Gaillee says. “From our first day touring the campus, where we met many of our son’s future friends at lunch, to the many talent shows, Community Meetings and parent workshops—the Depot holds such a special place in our hearts.” This spring, as their son transitioned out of LKS, the Fitzpatricks thought about how much he loves the Depot and how they all would miss the feeling of coming to a second home there. To ensure this special place lasts far into the future, they decided to fund a much-needed renovation of the historic building.
December “Great Cause, New Name”
The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Montpelier Farm located at James Madison’s Montpelier Estate, the plantation home of the Madison family located in Orange County, Virginia, will now be operated under the auspices of the Virginia Thoroughbred Project (VTP) in cooperation with The Montpelier Foundation, the TRF announced Monday. The VTP is a newly formed organization lead by President, Sue Hart, along with several members of the former Montpelier Advisory Board. Under this new arrangement, 41 Thoroughbreds formerly cared for by the TRF have been adopted by the VTP and will remain on the pastoral estate and managed by the current Farm Manager, Crystal Weve.