Harmony Manor Bed & Breakfast (harmonymanorbb.com) celebrated its first anniversary earlier this month. Owners and operators Kimberly and Randy Fort bought the property in the spring of 2012, and after extensive renovations, officially opened for business on Oct. 1, 2012.
“The property is ideally situated, offering stunning views of the Shenandoah Mountains all the way to Old Rag,” said Kimberly. “We have been able to create a welcoming, hospitable environment, which accentuates the peaceful and tranquil setting.” Harmony Manor’s success has led to it being the second ranked B&B in Washington on Trip Advisor’s website after only six months of operation.
Bookings have been robust, said the Forts, especially during the peak fall foliage season now unfolding. “We are fully booked through early November,” said Kimberly, noting she has had to turn away numerous potential guests because of a lack of room capacity. Harmony Manor has also sought to play an active role in the local community.
“We wanted our efforts to be about more than just business,” said Randy. “We are pleased that we have been able to contribute to numerous local charities and initiatives, including hosting a principal singer at the Castleton Festival, hosting the Wakefield Country Day School prom and actively supporting the Headwaters Foundation.”
“The prom was especially fun,” agreed Kimberly, “and we were glad we could offer the students a safe and suitable environment for their event.” The Forts say Harmony Manor’s success has been magnified throughout the county. “Each of our guests pursues numerous other activities while visiting, including patronizing local restaurants, wineries, art galleries and antique shops,” said Randy. “The county is placing a strong emphasis on increasing tourism, and we are glad to have made a real contribution to realizing that strategy.”
Congratulations on your success!
The first of three steps designed to creating an environmentally friendly and beautiful town square is now underway on the Trinity Church parking lot. Improvements to the lot include new stone walls, brick pathways, planters, trees and more plants, and will most likely be completed by the end of the month. Afterwards, work will begin on the second step — the parking area in front of the Country Cafe and post office.
This, too, will include new paving for safety, as well as landscaping, to make the area more user-friendly and attractive. Once completed, the third step is improving the area between the post office and the Inn at Little Washington’s store.
“The goal is to have a harmonious, user-friendly, safe and environmentally attractive town square which the entire community can enjoy,” said mayor John Sullivan. The Inn is underwriting virtually all of the project’s cost, supplemented by a $20,000 grant from the town of Washington.
The Artisan Trail Management Team has begun meeting monthly to plan the development of Rappahannock’s Artisan Trail. Their next such effort is a “lunch and learn” open forum from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Little Washington Winery with director Sherri Smith. Later that same day, River District Arts is hosting a “naming the trail” event at 5 p.m. RSVP to both events by emailing Patti Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Francis Day, traditionally the first Sunday in October, is an annual event sponsored by many different denominations, with some church goers even going so far as to take their pets to the church service. Washington’s Trinity Episcopal Church celebrated in a more predictable way by inviting anyone with a beloved pet to a short service in the Quiet Place beside Trinity House on Gay Street.
Itty Bitty Snead was chairman of the welcoming committee. Rev. Jennings Hobson, wearing an appropriate stole given by Amo Merritt, conducted the service while the pets met and greeted each other with the appropriate sniffs and yaps.
No one knows what to expect in the way of attendance year to year, but this year’s attendees consisted of dogs with the late arrival of one cat, Fuzzy Kuhn, the wannabe mayor of Washington, who frequents every location on Gay Street in an effort to garner votes for his mayoral campaign. Jenks Hobson blessed Fuzzy without offering his vote; he also blessed many dogs who seemed to delight in the company of each other and who cannot wait until next year’s event.
Let’s remember Frank Moffett of Washington in our prayers each day. He has been under the weather.
The Child Care Learning Center (CCLC) is gearing up for their big fall auction and party at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Washington School on Mt. Salem Avenue. Tickets are $35 in advance ($45 at the door) and include food and drinks. Cocktails begin at 5:30 with a silent auction and shopping in the tag sale room. Food begins at 6:30; a live auction of vacations, art, furniture events starts at 7. For more information, visit rappcclc.com.
Belated birthday wishes go out to my brother, Ray Burke, of Vermont, who celebrated his special day yesterday (Wednesday, Oct. 9). Happy birthday also to Chris Keyser, who will be one year older tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 11).
Rappahannock Little League Girls softball is recruiting girls from 4 to 16 for the 2014 spring season. For more information, contact Carl Payne (540-987-8148) or Karen Ellis (540-987-7212). There will be an organizational meeting to establish a Little League program in Rappahannock County at 2 p.m. this Sunday (Oct. 13) in the elementary school cafeteria.