Down Memory Lane for Jan. 29

Nov. 21, 1974

Skipper Giles rings up a sale, by hand crank, on his 1912 vintage cash register, at his Washington Cash Store. Giles has operated the Cash Store in Rappahannock county since 1936, but the big, ornate cash register has been in continuous operation at the store since the year it was made by the National Cash Register Company. Neither Giles nor previous proprietors have ever had to call a repairman for the machine. “It’s never been in trouble anytime,” he said.

“Homesteaders” from Washington, D.C. and the metropolitan area in general have become a prominent part of Rappahannock’s population, and their efforts have often had a beneficial effect on the landscape. One of the better examples has been managed by Charles Kalbufus, who purchased a tract of 25 acres with a long-abandoned old log house at the foot of Hickerson Mountain. With his money and muscle — mostly muscle, he says — and a lot of loving care, the old cabin has been restored to respectability. Among problems encountered were several snakes who claimed squatters’ rights. Now Charles and his Vietnamese wife can enjoy weekends in Rappahannock in rustic style.

Dickie Latham of Viewtown dropped by the News Office Tuesday to show the large buck which he bagged the second day of the hunting season. Though the deer kill was average or better, this young man was the only hunter to show us his quarry. 

July 28, 1983

In the late 1920s and early 30s, John Walker Jenkins of Washington operated a bus route, carrying passengers for many years between Culpeper and Winchester, and later between Sperryville and Fredericksburg. Jenkins and those working for him made two double round trips a day, giving Rappahannock residents without transportation a chance to spend a day shopping in the city or to arrange appointments. His routes also connected with railroad service to Richmond and to the valley.

The Jenkins bus service a also aided those who were unable to do errands in person. The drivers would have a list of notes and pick up medicine, groceries and supplies for those on their list.

When Virginia Trailways bought the line from Winchester to Fredericksburg, riders found it hard to adjust to the less personal service. “They stand on the road and wave, but the bus wouldn’t stop,” Ruby Jenkins said. The bus, of course, stopped only at selected locations. Later, the company abandoned the line but would not sell the franchise, so that no one else could offer the service that meant so much to Rappahannock people of a half-century ago.

When Roy Atkins started work with the Highway Department in July, 1948 there were no black-topped secondary roads in the county at all. The “super highways” of that time, Routes 211, 522 and 231, were hard surfaced; the rest ranked as just wagon trails, judged by today, standards.

Highway Department equipment had passed the mule and wagon stage in those days but was still a long way from modern mechanization. “Everything was loaded by hand,” Atkins remembers. “There was very little crushed rock used. What we got, we dug out of the creek beds — there was one between Five Forks and Rock Mills — where the waters had dropped and left the gravel in a pile. We used that for mud on dirt roads.

Eleven year old Stoney Frye of Sperryville never showed animals at a 4-H show before he found himself at this year’s Culpeper-Madison-Rappahannock Farm Show with the grand champion swine, Stoney says he raised a winner on the first try. “It’s not too hard if you know what you’re doing. At first I didn’t, but I got used to it.

May 19, 1993

Thirty-nine pupils at Rappahannock County Elementary School were sent to hospitals in Culpeper and Warrenton last Thursday after they fell ill. The malady was apparently caused by fumes from cleaning fluids that a roofing company was using on outside windows to remove roofing materials from the glass.

The most common complaint was headache and nausea. All of the pupils were released from the hospital later in the day.

Most required no treatment. A few, who complained of breathing difficulties, received oxygen. One teacher complained of feeling faint and was also taken to the hospital.

The roof was being repaired by workers of John T. Morgan Roofing and Sheet Metal Co. of Roanoke under a warranty agreement, said Rappahannock School Superintendent David M. Gangel.

On April 15, at the Culpeper Country Club, the Piedmont Association of  Realtors held its annual award luncheon. Real Estate III was recognized as “Top Selling Agency for 1992” in the four county Association, and from our Real Estate III Washington Office, Mitzie Young was recognized for “One Million Dollars in Sales Volume for 1992.”

In spite of growing up and living in one of the few counties in the state without a railroad, Sperryville’s Charles K. “Pete” Estes is a buyer, seller and collector of model trains.

He says he collects anything made by Lionel from the early 1900s to current trains, but he feels he needs to become more focused. “I really like the 1930s and ’40s and the reproductions of those trains made by Lionel now,” he said, indicating that if he ever weeds his collection, those are trains he will keep.

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