Clarke County Education Foundation hosted a Holiday Open House at Historic Rosemont on December 11, 2018. Guests had a lovely time exploring the beautiful, elaborately decorated mansion for Christmas and enjoyed a visit from Santa Claus as well as performances by the Clarke County High School Choir. Guests were welcome to visit the decorated Carriage House after their tour of the manor where an ornament decorating station and cookies awaited them. The Clarke County Fair Princesses were also there to welcome visitors. Volunteers from the Clarke County Education Foundation were also present with information about the history of the CCEF. In total, the event raised over $700 in support for the Clarke County Education Foundation.
Historic Rosemont was the private residence of Virginia Governor and US Senator Harry F. Byrd Sr. and a haven for Washington’s elite for nearly 200 years. Tucked away on 60 acres in the peaceful Shenandoah Valley, Historic Rosemont Manor was built by George Norris, the first High Sheriff of Clarke County. During the Civil War, the property was the site of the Battle of Berryville that took place in September 1864.
Rosemont was later purchased by Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd Sr., and the estate became a haven for Presidents and other influential dignitaries who visited. Presidents Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon have visited along with Charles Lindberg, Albert Einstein and John Wayne.
Historic Rosemont has a long history with the Clarke County Education Foundation. Biff and Barb Genda purchased the property in 2009 from Sue and Randy Jones who have all generously and tirelessly supported the CCEF. Today the manor hosts grand weddings, afternoon teas, bed and breakfast stays and corporate events. The Genda’s have invited and welcomed the CCEF free of charge for this fundraiser each year for the past several years. The CCEF is extremely grateful for the Genda’s dedication to our community and we look forward to this event each year.