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Chatham Chatter, 4th Quarter, Oct - Dec 2023

Upcoming Events

15 Oct - Photographer Meet and Greet, 4:30-6:30 PM

A Meet and Greet for local photography (camera and cell phone) enthusiasts will be held at Chatham Manor. Participants will gather at the picnic tables on the north side of the screened-in summer house. After introductions, and some comradery accompanied by free pizza and soft drinks, participants will stroll Chatham grounds snapping photos for later submission into a winner-takes-all contest - for a $100 downtown gift card prize. The contest theme will be announced at the beginning of the event, with photos required to be taken on the day of the event. The judges for the photography contest will be the Friends of Chatham Board of Directors.

Contest entrants will be capped at the first 20 people who arrive and sign in for the event. Additional photographers beyond the first 20 will be considered as visiting Chatham on their own (which everyone is welcome to do), but not as officially recognized as part of this participant-capped event.

Reminder, vehicle entry to the Chatham grounds is not allowed after 5 PM (although vehicles may exit onto River Road later until sunset). If vehicles arrive after 5 PM, they must park at adjacent Pratt Park, which allows parking until 8 PM.

FOC Treasurer and On the Fredericksburg Trails Facebook Page Administrator Kevin Brown is the creator/coordinator for this event.

In the event of inclement weather on 10/15/23, the backup date for the event will be 11/5/23 4:30-6:30 PM.


President's Message

As the autumn months begin, one of my favorite times in the garden also begins when the asters bloom. If you haven't had the opportunity to visit Chatham in the fall, I encourage you to do so! The fine work of the part-time gardener, Scott Blake,and the Master Gardener volunteers led by Carol Hyland, are on full display.

Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support of Friends of Chatham and Chatham Manor. The Board of Directors is so grateful for your support, your membership, your donations, and hours you spend helping realize the mission of Friends of Chatham. This organization cannot survive without you! Enjoy the cooler temperatures ...

With respect,

Nancy Fahy, President


Hackers Hijacked Our Facebook Page!

The Friends of Chatham Facebook page that was created in 2012 has been hijacked by someone in a foreign country. We have created a new Facebook page for Friends of Chatham, now calling the page Friends of Chatham, Inc., which can be found at … We are so saddened by the nefarious action of others, but hope you will follow and “like” us on this new page.


Friends of Chatham Member Mingle

At Tapa Rio on July 15, 2023  

Photos of members at the Member Mingle held at Tapa Rio’s restaurant. More than 30 members attended and enjoyed drinks, tapas, and seeing friends.


From the Garden

After a beautiful Spring filled with daffodils, tulips and flowering trees and shrubs, Gardener Scott Blake and the volunteers turned their attention to moving the greenhouse grown summer annuals into the beds in the garden. The planting started in the parterre beds, following the careful symmetrical design that Scott laid out, and moved through the various beds in the garden as the plants developed and were ready to be moved. Again this year, the garden contains a mixture of plant varieties and colors including white, yellow and red lantana; pink petunias; red and white impatiens; and blue ageratum. Those varieties were joined by yellow and orange marigolds, cherry and white zinnias, and blue and red salvia. As planting in the beds began, little individual plants were carefully spaced. As they grew, the plants spread and created patches of color throughout the garden, collectively making a lush multi-color quilt.

Lack of rainfall this summer season created stress on the plants, and caused Scott to spend many hours watering to compensate for the deficit. His faithful efforts were rewarded and the garden is a beautiful summer sight. After all the planting was completed, attention turned to weeding and cleaning up after the perennials which had finished their turns blooming. The cold frames, in which the greenhouse plants were hardened, had completed their role in this growing season’s efforts and became the next targets for clean-up. Scott and the volunteers attacked the amazing crop of weeds that had grown up in the cold frames despite the efforts made at the start of the season to prevent their appearance. While clean-up efforts are not the most rewarding of garden tasks, the reward comes from the resulting neat and attractive garden. At the same time, the many buds that are appearing on the Asters promise that another chapter in the seasonal beauty of the garden is about to begin.


Special Announcement


It is with great pleasure and appreciation, that the Board of Directors announces that Patsy Thompson has agreed to complete the remaining term of the Director of Fundraising, a position that was vacated earlier this year. 

Patsy brings a wealth of experience to this position, as she served as Director of Fundraising previously and was the driving force for the creation of the Friends of Chatham Endowment Fund. Patsy has been a driving force in many aspects of life here in the Fredericksburg area, both professionally as a Realtor and through her membership in the Rappahannock-Fredericksburg Rotary Club, The Rappahannock Valley Garden Club and more. 

Welcome back to the Board, Patsy. We are grateful that you are willing to serve!


Children of the American Revolution

Visit Chatham

On Sunday, September 24, 9 members of the Surgeon Lawrence Brooke Society, Children of the American Revolution, and their mothers, visited historic Chatham and learned about the history and agriculture on the house and grounds.  They were particularly interested in the greenhouses, as they are currently focusing on agriculture, although they also enjoyed learning about the other projects that Friends of Chatham has done over the years.  They discovered Mr. Pratt’s path to go downtown, and they loved the view across the Rappahannock River.  They spent a little time inside the house, but mostly explored the grounds. 

Two new officers were proudly inducted in front of the house (river side) plus they held a brief business meeting in the picnic area, where they presented Beth Stenstrom with a nice check as a donation to Friends of Chatham. They donned disposable gloves and picked up trash along the path to Pratt Park and ended their meeting back at the picnic area.

It was delightful to spend time with such well-behaved and intelligent young people and to see them have an interest in history and preservation.  Their president, Lisa Payne, did an excellent job leading them, and the youngest, Virginia, age 3, showed her stuffed otter everything! The weather held and everyone had a wonderful afternoon. 

Photo Left: Lisa Payne, president of Surgeon Lawrence Brooke Society, Children of the American Revolution, presents a donation to Friends of Chatham to Beth Stenstrom.


For Sale:  $35 each*

FoC is selling signed and numbered limited edition prints of Chatham Manor by Joseph M. Serino, 18 1/2 in. x 23 3/4 in.   If you are interested in buying a print you can email us at  Prints can also be purchased online from our homepage at

* Includes shipping and handling


Did you know you can support FoC when you buy bulbs for your garden from Brent and Becky's Bulbs?  Go to  Select Friends of Chatham in the drop down menu, follow the prompts, and start shopping. Twenty-five percent of your purchase will go directly to Friends of  Chatham.


Friends of Chatham Newsletter, 4th Qtr 2023
Download PDF • 2.29MB


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