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In 1776, Hopewell records show that Friends "near Isaac Parkins" were given permission to hold a meeting for worship. This was Isaac Parkins, Jr. They met at the Parkins home, called "Milltown" and later called "Willow Lawn."

Isaac Parkins, Jr. provided land where a meetinghouse and graveyard were established. Centre (sometimes spelled Center) Meeting was completed in 1778.

This building, presumably a wooden structure, served the Quakers in Winchester until about 1820.

In 1816, Robert Wood conveyed to Sarah Zane four lots, which now comprise the 600 block of Washington Street (Washington, Monmouth, Stewart and Germain). Sarah Zane was a devout Friend who lived in Philadelphia and visited Winchester often to visit her brother, Gen. Isaac Zane, Jr. When she died in 1821 she left $1,000 to Winchester to "purchase a Fire Engine and Hose to be kept in best repair with my affection and gratitude." The Sarah Zane Fire Company still exists in the city today.

In 1817 Sarah Zane conveyed the four lots to the trustees of Center Meeting and a new meetinghouse was built over the next several years.

Friends in Winchester met at this location until the Civil War when the property was destroyed. Garland Quarles in his book The Churches of Winchester, Virginia (1960) writes:

"On March 13, 1862, the day after Union forces under General Banks occupied Winchester, the Federal authorities demanded the key to the building and took possession. It was never used again after that time by the congregation. The fencing around the lot and a part of the inside woodwork of the building were destroyed by Bank's army, and the final work of destruction was effected by Federal General Milroy's army in September of 1863. A committee of Friends appointed to examine the property in September of 1865 reported that it found no part of the building left except a small part of the foundation wall. This committee estimated the cost of replacing the meeting house at $2500 to $3000 and recommended that the new meeting house should be located in a more convenient and central part of the town."

From 1865 to 1872, Friends met in a schoolhouse on Sharpe Street while they raised the money for a new meetinghouse.

In 1870, they purchased a lot on the northwest corner of Washington and Piccadilly Streets and the new meetinghouse was completed in 1872. This building still stands and has been used continuously since that time.

In the center of the building is a folding wall, which divides the building into two rooms. The paneled wall can be raised or lowered by a crank located above the present ceiling.

Until the late 1800's separate men's and women's business meeting were held. The wall would be raised for meeting for worship and then lowered for the separate business meetings. Necessary messages were passed between the two meetings though a sliding opening in the partition.

In 1961, due to development at the site of the original Centre Meeting on Valley Avenue, the graveyard was moved to Hopewell.

Until 1970, Centre was a preparative meeting under Hopewell. At that time, Centre became a separate monthly meeting. In 1999, Centre and Hopewell joined together as one meeting called Hopewell Centre. Meeting for worship is held at Centre meetinghouse on the fourth Sunday of each month.

Jim Riley