50 years ago: April 5, 1962
Five Rappahannock Future Homemakers, Gloria Durden, Jo Ann Fox, Linda Beahm, Bonnie Brown and Ruth Ann Clark, and their instructor, Miss Betty Blanton, recently visited Sunset Haven Nursing Home near Culpeper and carried favors for the patients’ trays. These favors and the visit are part of the FHA project Developing and Understanding of the Aging and Handicapped Population.
A field and forest fire swept through Jenkins Hollow Thursday burning over more acreage and doing more damage than had been done by fires in Rappahannock Country in five years. Four fire companies with eight pieces of equipment responded to the alarm thereby preventing what might have been a serious catastrophe. About 10 acres of fields were burned over and six acres of woodland. Five thousand seedlings that were six or seven years old and had attained 10 foot heights, were completely destroyed along with a mile or so of fences. People in the hollow were making preparations to move out when the fire was gotten under control.
Mrs. Frank Spalding of Flint Hill has accepted the chairmanship of the American Cancer Society Crusade which runs through the month of April. She announced yesterday that the goal for Rappahannock County is $500 and asked for the support of everyone. Chairs for the county districts are: Wakefield, Mrs. Maxine Cary; Jackson, Mrs. C. M. Greem; Hampton, Mrs. Wallace Critzer; Piedmont, Mrs. J. W. Coates; Stonewall, Mrs. Garfield Burke; Hawthorne, Mrs. T. J. Pillar.
25 years ago: Jan. 1, 1987
Historic Washington House, a landmark since its construction in the mid 1700s, was devastated by fire late Friday afternoon. The blaze apparently started in the rear of Charlie Eldred’s lighting restoration shop, according to Roger Roach, chief of the Washington Volunteer Department, who was in charge at the fire scene. A spark from a bench grinder which ignited a pile of buffing dust is believed to have caused the fire.
The county’s planning commissioners struggled with provisions for the preservation and protection of agriculture as they continued their review of Rappahannock’s comprehensive plan.
Bill Strider, executive director of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Planning District Commission, who is assisting in the update of the planning guide, was directed to try again for stronger language on the priority of farming in the county’s agricultural zones.
10 years ago: Oct. 17, 2001
We were asked a question we couldn’t honestly answer. “How long have the Lions been making their famous apple butter?” We knew who to ask so we called Carson Johnson, the “Senior Partner” in the apple butter business, and the sole custodian of the super-secret recipe that makes the product so great each year. Johnson said “Our Lions Club has been making apple butter for over 40 years. We started cooking it in big iron kettles out in front of the Rappahannock Farmers’ Co-op and we think it’s been getting better ever since.
Major challenges to Rappahannock County’s scenic beauty and environment, including cell phone towers, land application of sewage sludge and proposed residential development, will be the focus of the annual meeting of the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection. Jim Gannon, president of RLEP, commented, “With so many major issues under active debate now, this is an unusually challenging time for our county. We hope all people interested in the county’s future, whether they are members of RLEP or not, will come Friday to learn what we are doing and to share their own ideas with us.”