Down Memory Lane for Nov. 14

March 29, 1973

The Flint Hill Fire Department has purchased a field and brush truck which will also double as an emergency vehicle for wrecks. The unit contains a 300-gallon water tank with a 350 gpm pumper and pto pump. The truck carries two 2.5 inch discharges on it; one 1.5 inch preconnect 150-foot hose and 200 feet of booster hose. It carries a rescue saw and generator for lighting and can be valuable at night time wrecks.

A memorial service honoring deceased members of county volunteer fire companies was held Sunday at Flint Hill Methodist church. Those to whose memory the service was dedicated were Ralph H. Rowzie of Amissville, Robert F. Estes of Sperryville and Brown Settle of Castleton. The Rappahannock County Fire Association sponsored the service, which was conducted by that organization’s chaplain, Edward E. Clark of Flint Hill. Mrs. Edward Clark, Jr. was soloist while Mrs. Paul Miller and Mrs. Wesley Harris were organists.

Miss Theresa “Terry” Kilby of Sperryville received her B.S. degree in special education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on March 19. Terry is the daughter of Lucio and Helen Kilby of Sperryville. She was a 1969 graduate of Rappahannock County High School.

Feb. 11, 1982

Farm Bureau Insurance is a family business in Rappahannock. For 11 years, Rodney Vest has been the county’s part-time agent, while his wife Jo has been the full-time secretary, both for the bureau itself and the insurance work, operating out of an office in the family’s home near Woodville. Recently, their daughter Pat Vest became the third Vest in the insurance business. “I loved the school, the classes and the people but I realized that I wasn’t going to teach when I graduated,” Pat said. She plans eventually to return to school and complete her degree requirements in order to fulfill her dream of running a nursery school in the county but in the meantime, she’s concentrating on selling insurance.

When Jimmy Swindler wanted to use part of Country Manor for a delicatessen and pizza parlor, he called a meeting of his board of directors. They were all against the idea, saying that it would add another burden to the already heavy workload which includes a gas station, a craft, gift and furniture shop, a restored log cabin housing an antique shop, a mail order business and a working farm. “It didn’t matter,” said his wife, Phyllis, who along with daughters Natalie and Bobbette and son James Jr., compose the Country Manor board. “He has more votes than us, anyway.” Last week, the finishing touches were put on the delicatessen area and the pizza operation located in the basement of the building and called, appropriately, the Cella’ Deli. Jimmy also hired Mike Sacco as pizza chef to insure the same quality pizza. Mike makes the dough and sauce each day from scratch and eventually hopes to add some other specialties to the menu.

Cotton Miller has led a busy life. She’s been a teacher and a principal, director of Rappahannock’s welfare department, a mother and a partner in the farming operation run by her husband, Brown Miller, on the family’s fields in the shadow of Old Rag Mountain. She’s now retired from all those earlier endeavors, but Cotton is just as busy as she ever was. Using the basement of her brick home in the F. T. Valley as an office and shop, she’s turned a framing hobby into a framing business, handling as many as five orders a day.

Dec. 9, 1992

The county will soon have a new Extension agricultural and 4-H agent, but state funding will determine how long he stays. The board of supervisors unanimously approved the selection of Scott Cunningham to replace Thomas Williams, who left to take a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Manassas. He will begin work on Dec. 16. Mr. Cunningham is leaving a position with the Prince William County Soil and Water Conservation District, where he has served as a conservation specialist.

“The thing I remember the most is my mother and my four sisters crying because we had to leave,” David Marshall Dwyer told an overflow crowd at the library at last Friday’s program, “Down From the Mountains: The Resettlement From the Park.” Mr. Dwyer, who had just started school at that time, asked his father, “Why do we have to leave if we own our place?”

“I got angry with the Park Service, and I stayed angry for many years,” he continued. He said one day, years later, he was returning to the mountains from Northern Virginia. He had trouble breathing, but the closer he got to  the mountains the easier it was to breathe. “I got to thinking how much oxygen an oak tree puts, out and I thought maybe it was a good thing they did that.”

Mr. Dwyer said, “Some did well when they got out of there. A lot didn’t. A lot took to the bottle. They didn’t have any psychiatrist to go to.” He said very few who got new houses from the government were able to keep them. They got into financial troubles, mortgaged the houses and lost them. “A lot were not educated, “ he said. “I feel the way the park was handled was sort of a disgrace. There was a lot of resentment and lot of confusion.”

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