China Folk House Retreat

Research & Conservation on Heritage and Traditional Value

“Reading history makes people wise.” Whether in the East or the West, history is being forgotten, and the traditional legacy is facing a crisis of being uprooted. We hope that by funding this field of project, people can appreciate the traditional spirit from history.


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Dao Feng & Angela Foundation is the leading grantor of China Folk House Retreat. Click on the link below to see the story of China Folk House Retreat.

About China Folk House Retreat


The China Folk House Retreat (CFHR) is a non-profit 501c(3) organization providing experiential learning programs for students of all ages, families, and life-long learners in the greater Washington DC region.  CFHR offers a range of experiential learning opportunities, from day visits to the house site as a “living museum” to weekend workshops on sustainability and cultural programs, to a series of intensive two-week apprenticeships during the summer craft school.


Project Data Disclosure

By the end of 2021, Dao Feng and Angela Foundation (formerly known as Daofeng & Angela Foundation) has provided in total 270,000 us Dollars non-restriction funding to support CFHR in designing and developing the construction and educational activities since 2019, and has launched three-year funding program for CFHR’s garden project.

The following is the financial disclosure information of CFHR from the start of Daofeng and Angela Foundation funding in December 2019 to July 2021 (will be updated according to the funding stage):


Besides the funding support, Dao Feng and Angela Foundation also provides capacity building support to encourage CFHR to explore the sustainable operation model. Dao Feng and Angela Foundation also help involving community volunteers and network resources. In July 2021, Dao Feng and Angela Foundation and Bedrock Foundation bridged a Chinese American community volunteer group to visit CFHR.

About Living museum & Experiential Learning Project


The China Folk House Retreat (CFHR) preserves a farmhouse from the village of Cizhong that would have been inundated by a dam on the headwaters of the Mekong River by documenting the house and its landscape, disassembling, and moving the physical structures, and then reassembling the homestead along the Shenandoah River at the Friends Wilderness Center in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

CFHR’s project mainly includes two dimensions, one is construction, and the other is educational activities.

The project’s research goal is to understand the house as a text of its place, as a location of skill and craftsmanship, and as a tool of agricultural production, connected to its fields, orchards, and pasture. CFHR believes that rebuilding the house at the site along the Shenandoah River is ideal for this project of cultural translation because the similarities of landscape and folkways will make the CFHR a center for cross-cultural programs in experiential education, folklife studies, and environmental sustainability. When all the building projects are completed, CFHR will serve as an experiential, interactive museum showcasing the diverse folk cultures, vernacular architecture, agriculture, handicrafts, and folklife of northwest Yunnan.


About Construction


As of the end of July 2021, CFHR has completed the construction of the gate and the main structure of the main house. The gate wall and the main house were constructed with hempcrete, an eco-friendly material mixed with hemp hued, lime, and sand. The project uses this kind of material because it is similar to the original house’s traditional craft in Yunnan, China, and meets governmental building requirements. The green value is part of the educational meaning of this house. The kitchen, bathroom, and main house’s roof are expected to be completed before the summer of 2022.

The garden is the next major construction project of the CFHR Center. At present, CFHR has completed the garden project’s map surveying and feasibility assessment. The working modules of the garden project will mainly cover the construction of a Chinese pavilion, two ponds, and a botanical garden. In the future, CFHR will design and hold cross-cultural educational events based on the house and garden.


About Educational Activities


Currently, CFHR has conducted three cross-cultural educational camps in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The inaugural program in the summer of 2019 was the reassembly of the timber frame of the China Folk House at its new home, the Friends Wilderness Center in Jefferson County, West Virginia, by a team from the Timber Framers Guild in the Harpers Ferry area, high school and college students participating in an experiential work-study program, and community volunteers.

In 2020 additional student and community volunteers worked through the summer and fall to enclose the house in hempcrete walls, covered with lime render.  Master Builders Jonathan Morrison and Mathieu Lamarre continue to design and build the main house and other structures in the courtyard.

In the summer of 2021, a group of students and community volunteers worked together to complete the filling work of the hempcrete on the second floor of the main house, the reinstallation of doors and windows, the picture restoration, and the reorganization of Tibetan furniture.


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