Welcome to Rock Spring Retreat! We’re so glad that you’re able to experience this special place - rich in history, full of charm and natural beauty, and a peaceful respite from a crazy world. We hope that you have a wonderful stay that allows you to relax, celebrate, and connect with your friends and family.

Enclosed you will find all of the information you might need during your stay, so please review it carefully and check here first if you have any questions or run into any trouble. But as always, please reach out if you have any questions or need anything.

Cheers,

Tom & Walt

PS - During your visit, please feel free to tag us and check in online at @RockSpringRetreat. We love seeing and sharing your special moments at Rock Spring with our community of guests, visitors, and friends!

For Your Safety

Part of the charm of Rock Spring Retreat is the historic and rustic nature of the home and property. Please help us take care of this beautiful treasure and follow these important rules for your own safety:

  • Smoking is not permitted inside the house, on the porches, or in the red barn or white stable at any time. If you smoke somewhere away from the structures, please carefully dispose of dampened cigarette butts appropriately.

  • Unfortunately, the antique fireplaces throughout the house are NOT operational. Please do not attempt to start a fire as all of the chimneys are fully sealed.

  • Please do not light any candles inside the house or outbuildings. There are a number of remote-controlled LED candles throughout the home if you are looking to create some special ambiance!

  • Given the age of the home, there is a lot of architectural character – and several abnormalities. Please be very mindful of low-clearance doorways, steep and uneven steps, thresholds that can be a tripping hazard, and antique windows that do not stay open on their own. This is especially important if children are joining you, so please do not leave young guests unattended.

  • Please be mindful not to scuff or scrape the floors, not leaning on the stair rail, not forcing or slamming windows, and not flushing anything down the toilets other than toilet paper. The property is on a septic sewer system and does not have a garbage disposal in the kitchen. The drain strainer in the kitchen sink will keep anything out of the drains that shouldn’t be there, so please leave it in place except to empty the strainer.

  • Being in the country and on a working farm is a fun way to experience nature – but also requires your special attention. Watch for holes and animal burrows in the ground, note that the fences around the cattle and horses are electrified, do not approach any (generally harmless!) wildlife you might encounter on the property, and please do not cross onto the operational side of the farm (across the driveway from the house, past the hay bales) where there is heavy machinery and unsecured outbuildings. Similarly, while traffic on Ridge Road is normally light, when there are cars they tend to be driving fast. Please keep an eye on children and do not let them wander near the road.

  • Part of the charm of Rock Spring is the outbuildings that the Snyder family built from the mid 19th century to the early 20th century. While you are welcome to explore the red barn and white stable, be aware that they are rustic and not renovated. They contain uneven surfaces, loose boards, and farm tools that could be dangerous.

  • Given its age and structural integrity, entrance into the stone Spring House behind the main farmhouse is also strictly prohibited. It is one of the most historically significant structures on the property, but also the one in the worst shape. Please do not attempt to enter this building under any circumstances. Most 19th century outbuildings served single and distinct functions; however, this structure at Rock Spring served as a bake house, wash house, smoke house, butchering house, and summer kitchen all in one. Its multipurpose use was enabled by constructing the building directly on top of the spring, which flowed through a trough on the inside of the building and provided constantly running water. We invite you to admire the ingenuity of this design from the outside and by checking out page 149 of the book Uncommon Vernacular, which can be found on the coffee table in the library.

  • During the history of the property, rainwater for farming and domestic use was stored in two large underground cisterns. These cisterns are no longer in use, but can still be found behind the house and near the edge of the driveway next to the road. You can identify their location by the elevated concrete platform and large square wooden caps. Do not under any circumstances remove these caps as they cover deep pits that you could fall into and that could cause serious injury. The cisterns are perfectly safe with the lids on, but when removed they expose holes with over 200 years of various debris in them and could be very dangerous if you were to fall into them.

  • While we love dogs, the lack of enclosed outdoor spaces, the proximity to livestock and wildlife, and the age of the farmhouse means that Rock Spring Retreat is unfortunately not pet friendly.

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History of the Property

Rock Spring Retreat is situated on the historic 12.25-acre Rock Spring farmstead, which is a Jefferson County Historic Landmark and is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1649, King Charles II of England granted to seven Englishmen all the land in the Colony of Virginia between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers in what was known as the Northern Neck Proprietary or the Fairfax Grant. As part of that land grant, Samuel Darke was given a 360-acre parcel of land that included what would become the Rock Spring Farmstead. By 1762, this parcel was owned by James Hendricks, who subdivided the large tract into three farms for his children upon his death in 1795. Rock Spring Farmstead was one of those three farms and was inherited by James Hendricks, Jr.

James Hendricks, Jr. constructed the original farm house sometime between the 1790s and 1810, which was a one and a half story dwelling with two rooms and a central passage. In 1831 James Hendricks, Jr. sold Rock Spring to John Snyder and it was his son, John Snyder, Jr., who added another floor and a half to the house around 1850, giving it the appearance it has today. Generations of the Snyder family owned and subdivided Rock Spring for the next 140 years until 1993 when Henry M. Snyder, Jr. sold the current 12.25 acre farmstead to Roger and Patricia Perez. The Perez family owned the property until 2005 when it was purchased by Stephen Skinner, who sold it to the current owners in 2020.

Today you can see the history of Rock Spring written throughout the property, including literally in some places, like the Snyder family member who etched their name on a windowpane of the front window in the dining room and another family member who wrote their name and the date (April 10, 1866) in the wet cement of the hearth in the ground floor den which served as the farm’s cooking fireplace for years. We are honored to welcome you to this special place and to have you join us in writing the next chapter of Rock Spring.

For a detailed history of the property and its unique architectural elements, please explore the National Register of Historic Places certification.

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Check-In

Locking & Unlocking Doors

Your unique access code to the electronic lock on the front door will be emailed to you in advance. At times, the temperature or humidity can cause the antique door to stick, so you may need to pull the door toward you while the deadbolt unlocks. Once it has successfully unlocked (if it beeps or flashes, that means there is an error and you need to re-enter the code), turn the brass doorknob clockwise and push the door open.

To lock the door from the outside, be sure it is pulled all the way closed and then push the lock icon on the keypad. To lock the door from the inside, be sure it is pushed all the way closed and then manually turn the knob on the electronic locking mechanism.

To lock the exterior door in the sunroom, lift and hold the door handle while turning the lock.

Parking

Feel free to park anywhere on the gravel driveway or in front of the red barn, but please don’t block access to the driveway leading up to the hay bales and large barn with silos. Rock Spring is a working farm and our team will need access to that part of the property to care for the cattle, horses – and our friendly cats!

Depending on when in the week you are staying with us and the time of year, the groundskeeping crew may come by for regular maintenance and need to park in the driveway. Keeping the lower driveway near the road free of parked cars will ensure they’re able to get in and take care of the property.

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Technology

Internet Access

WiFi Network: Rock Spring Retreat

Password: estd1795

Televisions

There are smart TVs located in the living room on the main floor, the office on the second floor, and the den on the ground floor. Each TV has access to Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and other streaming platforms. You can also stream content from your iPhone using AirPlay on every television. Feel free to use our account where we’re already logged in or to login to your own account. Basic network channels can be accessed using the Xfinity Beta app on any of the smart TVs.

Speaker System & Smart Devices

There are Google Home speakers throughout the house, which allow you to stream music to almost any and all rooms. To ask a question or issue a command, just say “Hey Google…” within earshot of the speakers to wake them up.

When playing music from your smartphone, you can stream audio directly to these devices (either by room or by group) within your preferred music app - but you must be connected to the wifi network for this to work. Or you can start the speaker system by directing it with a verbal command or starting it using the Google Home hub screen in the kitchen.

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Waste & Recycling

Food Waste

The kitchen sink does not have a garbage disposal, so please do not put anything down the train that does not fit through the strainer that is in the sink. You are welcome to empty the strainer and also place your vegetable food scraps in the gray compost bucket on the window sill behind the kitchen sink or in the trash can. If you choose to use the compost bucket, please empty it in the black composting drum behind the white stable once the bucket is full or upon checkout.

Trash and Recycling

Trash cans are located throughout the house in the kitchen and bathrooms. Recycling is located in the kitchen cabinet to the left of the dishwasher, under the coffeemaker. Most metal, plastic, and paper products will be accepted for recycling, but unfortunately glass products are not recyclable and must be disposed of in the trash.

The trash and recycling cans for the house can be found on the patio outside the door of the ground floor den. The large red container is for trash and the smaller red container is for recycling. Prior to departure, please dispose of all the trash and recycling from your stay in the red containers.

Recycling is collected on Tuesdays and trash is collected on Thursdays. If you are departing on Sunday or Monday, please put the recycling container out near the mailbox before check-out. If you are departing on Tuesday or Wednesday, please put the trash container out before check-out.

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Climate Control

Wall-Mounted Heating & Cooling

The dining room, library, and bathroom on the main floor, the bedrooms on the second floor, and the den on the ground level all have wall-mounted heating and cooling units. These units are operated via the long remote control in each room, which you can use to set the desired temperature.

The living room on the main level, along with the office and bathrooms on the second level, are all served by the same, single built-in heating and cooling unit, which is controlled by the panel on the wall in the living room next to the doorway into the kitchen.

Other Heating & Cooling

In the winter, the primary source of heat is the radiators throughout the house. These are controlled by the Nest thermostat located in the dining room, and provide a solid warm temperature throughout the house. Feel free to use the wall-mounted units in each room for supplemental heat, if needed.

In addition, the ceiling fans in the second floor bedrooms and main floor living room are each controlled by the smaller gray remote control in each of those rooms.

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Equipment & Supplies

Linens

The beds in each bedroom have sheets and a duvet on them. Extra sheets for all the beds can be found in the green chest of drawers in the second floor landing for the rooms on that level and in the glass-fronted cabinet on the ground floor landing for the rooms on that level. Additional blankets can be found in the drawers or shelves of each bedroom.

Bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths have been laid out in each bathroom, but you can always find extras in the green chest of drawers on the second floor or the glass fronted cabinet on the landing of the ground floor.

Sleeper Sofas

The sleeper sofas in the office on the second floor and the den on the ground level are folded up in couch form, but they are easily pulled out into bed form. The pillows for each pullout can be found in the ottoman in each room. If the sleeper sofas are not made prior to your arrival, you can find the linens for them in the green chest of drawers in the second floor landing and in the glass-fronted cabinet on the ground floor landing.

Outdoor Entertaining

The brick patio in the side yard is set up with adirondack chairs and a firepit for your enjoyment. There is also a large round folding table, two rectangular folding tables, and chairs for the tables located in the white stable. Feel free to set these up outside for dinner, drinks, or games.

Tablecloths for the folding tables, solar-powered lanterns, and votive candles can be found in the closet located behind the door in the main level bathroom. Additionally, there is a battery-powered Bluetooth speaker in that closet that is great for playing music outdoors. Please ensure that it does not get wet and please be mindful of our neighbors if you are playing music at night.

If you use any of this equipment during your stay, please place them back in their original location in the stable or closet prior to your departure. If you use the tablecloths during your stay, please place them in the laundry basket in one of the bathrooms.

Games

A large collection of board games and card games can be found in the cabinet under the television in the living room. Please return these items to the cabinet after use.

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In Case of Emergency

Contact Us

​​If you need to reach us urgently for any reason at all, please feel free to call or text Tom at 202-577-3896 or Walt at 601-941-9869. We monitor our messages regularly, but you will get an immediate response by reaching out to this phone number.

Hospital

Jefferson Medical Center
300 South Preston Street, Ranson, WV (8 miles away)

Urgent Care

Valley Health Urgent Care - Ranson
100 Oak Lee Drive, Ranson, WV (5 miles away)
Hours: 8 AM - 8 PM Monday - Friday; 9 AM - 6 PM Saturday and Sunday

WVU Urgent Care - Charles Town
912 Somerset Blvd., Suite 102, Charles Town, WV (6 miles away)
Hours: 8 AM - 8 PM Monday - Saturday; 12 PM - 8 PM on Sunday

Jefferson Urgent Care
84 Somerset Blvd, Charles Town, WV (8 miles away)
Hours: Monday 8 AM - 8 PM; Tuesday - Friday 8 AM - 6 PM; Saturday 8 AM - 1 PM; Sunday 8 AM - 5 PM

Fire, Police, & Emergency Medical

Please call 911

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Check-Out

✓  Take Out Trash & Recycling

Please place all trash & recycling in the red containers outside of the ground level den. If you are departing on Sunday or Monday, please put the recycling container out near the mailbox before check-out. If you are departing on Tuesday or Wednesday, please put the trash container out before check-out. If you used the compost bucket during your stay and want one last taste of farm life, please empty its contents into the black compost barrel behind the white stable, then rinse out the compost bucket and place it on the drying rack next to the kitchen sink.

✓  Gather Used Linens & Towels

Please strip the beds and sleeper sofas (if used during your stay) of the linens - including the duvet cover - and place them in the laundry basket in each bathroom, along with your used towels. The sleeping pillows, duvet, and throw pillows, and throw pillow covers can be left on the beds for our cleaning crew to manage.

✓  Clean Up Kitchen

Please clean any dishes and utensils you may have used and place them in the location where they were found. If there are any dishes in the dishwasher, please start the dishwasher on your way out.

✓  Turn Off All HVAC

If you used the wall-mounted heating and cooling units during your stay, please turn those completely off by pushing the round orange power button. Please also turn off the ceiling fans by flipping the light switch in each room with a fan. During the winter, please leave the radiators ON at the Nest thermostat in the dining room.

✓  Turn Off All Lights

Please turn off all lamps and lights in the house prior to departure. The front porch light and the lamp in the main level entry hall are automated, so no need to turn those off.

✓  Lock Doors

Please check to make sure all doors are locked before checking out. As you exit the house for the last time, please close and lock the front door by pushing the button with the lock symbol on the outside of the door lock keypad upon exiting the house.

✓  Share One Last Memory

Take one last walk around the farm, snap another photo, and tag us online at @RockSpringRetreat. Let your friends and family know about this special place - we hope you’ll visit again with them soon!

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