Down Memory Lane for Dec. 18

July 25, 1974

The Town of Washington will be 225 years old on Sunday, Aug. 4, according to the Virginia Conservation Marker. A town meeting on the courthouse lawn at 7:30 p.m. with refreshments will commemorate the occasion.

Honored guests at the meeting will be local residents who are descendants of George Washington, the original surveyor, and Edward Corder, his chairman. In addition to a short program in the spirit of the occasion, there will be participation by town residents and water users in an old-fashioned town meeting, each person’s remarks to be limited to five minutes. People should contact Virginia Miller to be scheduled to air their views.

A guided walking tour of points of interest will start at the monument at 6:30 p.m. Rappahannock Citizens are invited to help celebrate their county seat’s 225th Birthday Anniversary.

Sperryville carnival grounds have been keenly manicured by Silas Foster in preparation for the carnival this week. Helping Silas is Jeff Jenkins. The grounds are in excellent condition, with stands and trash receptacles a gleaming white.

Peter Luke and Supervisor J.R. Latham met with school board members and some school administrators shortly after the July meeting of the supervisors, at which Luke and others had expressed dismay over a letter sent to the state school board.

The letter said the Rappahannock School Board had “approved” implementation of a full-day kindergarten system by Sept. 1 of 1976. What upset the supervisors was their belief that the school board did not “approve” the program, but had merely “accepted” it.

Luke said he was told at the meeting with school officials that he had not received a “true copy” of the letter sent to the state. He said he was shown an amended, “true” copy where the word “approved” had been scratched out and “accepted” written in. And after the Sept. 1 date, the typewritten note had been amended: “Provided funds are available and it meets with community acceptance.”

May 26, 1983

At 85, Mr. Harold Brown has the good looks and sharp mind of a man 20 years younger. Although blind for the past two years, he’s been active since his retirement from a very successful 43-year banking career.

He counsels older people, free of charge, on investment and financial planning, meets each month with the board of directors of the Shenandoah National Bank in Winchester, where he served as executive officer for 33 years, and is leading the effort to provide perpetual care for St. Paul’s cemetery in Woodville.

“All that I did, I loved doing,” Mr. Brown said about his life as a country banker. This is the story of his career as he told it at the home of his daughter, Frances Russell, in Flint Hill.

“I was born in Woodville in October, 1898, the son of Dr. J. G. Brown , and lived for 27 years in the county.

Brown’s goal in his retirement is to raise enough money to guarantee perpetual care for St. Paul’s cemetery. “Sometimes I get frustrated,” he said of his blindness. “Sometimes I get depressed, but I want to accomplish this before I die, not just for myself, but for everyone that’s gone before.”

“This should be an interesting event,” said William Carrigan, one of the organizers behind Rappahannock’s 100-year time capsule, which will be sealed this July 4th for reopening on Independence Day in the year 2083.

“Would not it be interesting for us if we had a time capsule planted in 1833 with letters, documents and pictures telling about life in these parts, a message to open on July 4th this year?”

The time capsule itself will be built in the shape of a pyramid, a symbol of time. A sealed copper box containing the donated artifacts and messages will be placed in the concrete, water-tight vault in the stone-faced capsule, which will be located adjacent to the courthouse grounds in Washington. The vault will be sealed in a special ceremony the afternoon of July 4th.

Douglas K. Baumgardner, incumbent commonwealth’s attorney for Rappahannock County, announced on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection to the office this November.

“Instead, I intend to devote more time to my family, private law practice and business interests,” Baumgardner said. Of his four years as commonwealth’s attorney, he added, “I want to thank the people of Rappahannock County for giving me the opportunity to serve them in this capacity.”

March 3, 1993

The county Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance from front and rear setbacks for a property in Woodville owned by Tom Taylor.

Mr. Taylor explained that he bought the property from the Wallace family in 1987. The property included two parcels, one at the northeast corner of the U.S. 522 and Route 618 intersection, and one farther up Route 618 on the south side of the road.

Mr. Taylor sold the garden plot to Bryan Johnson, and Mr. Johnson had Mr. Taylor build a house on it.

The lot in Woodville has a house on it, but it has not been occupied for 20 or more years. The lot is very narrow, about 45 by 180 feet. Mr. Taylor said he had at first wanted to repair the house. He said that David Brown, who owns the adjoining property, had then refused him permission to come onto his land to make improvements to the building.

“It is more expensive than I can afford to renovate,” he said,” and I can’t get behind the house to work on it without encroaching on the landowner next door.”

For those two reasons, but especially because of the cost, Mr. Taylor said, he had decided instead to demolish the current house and build a small ranch-style house on the lot.

David Brown testified against granting the variance. He said, “We’re losing all our resources in this county.” He said the house dated to 1790. “These old houses here are our remembrance.” He said the house should be left as is.

Sheriff John Henry Woodward, along with three of his staff, were honored over the weekend. Wayne Dodson and Sheila Scott were named Correction Officers of the year, and Ronnie Dodson was named Law Enforcement Deputy for 1992 by Sheriff Woodward. Connie Compton, Richard Hunter and Carol Wilson all received awards for five years of service to the department.

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