Monday, June 27, 2011

Robert Toombs Birthday Celebration -- Saturday, July 2nd

The Robert Toombs House Historic Site will celebrate his birthday on July 2.  Much of the house has recently been repaired and repainted after roof leaks damaged the plaster and moldings.  Fortunately the Washington-Wilkes Historical Foundation provided a grant to the Toombs House that allowed them to complete the repairs. 

The celebration of Robert Augustus Toombs’ birthday will consist of a living history program from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This Civil War living history program will focus on Robert Toombs resignation as Secretary of State and his determination to serve a brigadier general in the Army of Northern Virginia in July of 1861.  This event is free and open to the public. 

For more information about the Robert Toombs house or this program, call 706-678-2226 or visit

Friday, June 24, 2011

Looking forward to Friday night...

I am really looking forward to the Fourth of July celebration in downtown Washington next Friday (July 1st).  The fireworks display is really outstanding and the whole event is a lot of fun.  The picture you see below is one that Mercer Harris took of a few years back.  I love this picture -- it not only shows how great the fireworks show is, but what an incredibly gifted photographer Mercer is.

We have been in Washington for the Fourth of July celebration numerous times since we bought the hotel building in 2002.  Each year has been special for various reasons.  Last year, we had some friends that came to Washington to stay at the Fitzpatrick on the night of the fireworks and we had a great time having dinner with them at Talk of the Town and showing them around town. I know this year will be memorable as well.

Consider coming to Washington next Friday night -- it is a great tradition to start!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

84th Playing of the Amos Martin Invitational set for July 2-3.

The Washington-Wilkes Country Club will be hosting the 84th playing of the Amos Martin Invitational golf tournament on July 2nd and 3rd. 

The Washington-Wilkes course is a 9-hole course designed in 1925 by Donald Ross, who also designed the Augusta Country Club and participated in the design of Augusta National.  The course has remained unchanged for over 80 years.  I am not a golfer, but I have been told that the course is a classic with the Donald Ross trademark small, raised greens and is very challenging. 

The tournament is set to begin at 8:30 on Saturday and continue through Sunday afternoon.  The event is open to all golfers and is organized to accommodate up to 110 participants.  More information is available by calling the Washington Wilkes Country Club at (706) 678-2046. 

Any guest participating in the tournament will receive $20 off their room rate when staying at the Fitzpatrick during the weekend of the tournament by asking for the tournament discount when making reservations.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Washington Civil War Roundtable to discuss local General, Porter Alexander on June 27th

Below is information on the next Washington Civil War Round Table meeting scheduled for this Monday evening, June 27th.  The group meets on the third Monday of every month.  Reservations for the dinner and meeting can be made by e-mailing or calling (404) 210-5811. 
Brig. Gen. Porter Alexander (CSA), The Brilliant Warrior from Washington, GA

Mr. Jack Travis, from Wilmington, NC, will present "Brig. Gen. Porter Alexander (CSA), The Brilliant Warrior from Washington, GA" at the Washington Civil War Round Table meeting on Monday evening, June 27, at 6:00 P.M., at the Talk of the Town Café in the historic Fitzpatrick Hotel on The Square in Washington, GA.

Edward Porter Alexander was born May 26, 1835, in Washington, GA. After growing up in Washington, he went to the West Point Military Academy, graduating in 1857. Upon graduation, he joined the elite U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After Georgia succeeded from the Union, Lt. Porter Alexander was appointed a Captain in the Confederate Corps of Engineers in April, 1861. After receiving this appointment, he then formally resigned from the United State Army.

Captain Alexander, in short order, became Chief of the Confederate Signal Corps, where he developed a significant breakthrough system of signaling. In August, 1861, he became Chief of Ordinance of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Right before the Battle of Gettysburg, Col. Alexander, at age 28, was brought over the top of a senior ranked officer to become Chief of Artillery of Lt. Gen. Longstreet’s 1st Corps. He was in command of the artillery barrage before Pickett's charge up Cemetery Ridge. Here he placed 75 guns along a line 1,300 yards long, with 8 others on his right flank. On the left and rear of Alexander's main line were 60 guns from Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill’s Corps, and behind them were 24 of Ewell's guns. In total, there were 167 pieces of artillery involved. Although Col. Alexander drove the Union artillery from the hill, the results of the charge is history.
For outstanding performance, Col. Alexander was soon promoted to Brig. General. He accompanied Lt. Gen. Longstreet to Chickamauga and Knoxville and also was actively engaged in the battles of Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. After The War, Brig. Gen. Porter Alexander distinguished himself and became a professor of engineering, President of a railroad, a prominent rice planer and an author. He was the last surviving Confederate General from Wilkes County when he died on April 28, 1910.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

4th of July Fireworks are on!

Washington, like a lot of other communities, was not certain whether they would have 4th of July fireworks this year. Fortunately, after a large fundraising effort, the decision was made to continue with the annual 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks!   This year’s celebration will be on Friday, July 1, 2011 on the downtown square.  Vendors will be open for business at 4:30 PM and the fireworks display will begin a dark (approximately 9:00PM).  Please join us for the celebration and fireworks and plan to make a weekend of it by making your reservations at the Fitzpatrick!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Dress for an Old Lady on Her Rebirthday.

Hi everyone,

I wanted to give everyone an update on the renovations and updates occurring at the hotel.  It has been several months since my last post and things are moving along well.  We have updated 10 rooms to date.  The updates include all new furniture and linens, flat screen TV, and new rugs.  We have upgraded to remove all full size bedding and every room will be either queen or king bed depending on room  layout.  During this update we have also installed a new WiFi system that gives extremely good coverage in all areas of the building.  We are still planning on adding a ipod docking station in each room and a business kiosk in the lobby.

  Christy has done a wonderful job working with our website designer, Wilson Sheldon, to provide a new template for our website that is more user friendly and provides more information to our customers in a dynamic format.  The site just went up and it allows  changes to be made much more easily so the site will remain fresh and valid.

We have repainted much of the public area of the building.  We maintained our same color scheme for these areas since they are representative of the original  colors.  We did however change the color in the rooms during the updates.  We wanted to get away from the dark Victorian colors and move to what I call a "happy color".  We chose a color called Olive Sprig and it is a medium tone green that works well with the stained glass and feels good. 


We finished painting the back  and side of the building exterior last week.  We hope  to complete the rooms and paint the front of the building this fall.  I  am open to color suggestions for the front.  I don't want to make a major shift but I do feel like a little change would be nice.

We had a friend of ours who does landscape design come out last week.  We hope to complete a landscape design for the rear of the building soon.  This would be a long term design to be built out in the next three years.  It would include a managers quarters, pool and expanded courtyard.  Our goal with these changes would be to make the facility more comfortable for on site management, privacy in the rear by developing an enclosed courtyard, and promoting the hotel as a whole to be a place of comfort and relaxation that can be used as a small getaway.  Much of this will depend on the economy and our efforts in promoting the hotel as more of a retreat facility.

The hotel has been in operation for 7 years next month and the "Old Lady" is getting a new dress that will make her as relevant and comfortable as any new hotel.  We take great pride in  her and wish her many more years.