Down Memory Lane for July 2

Feb. 12, 1976

The old barn on the Bird family farm in Jefferson, Md., had not aged gracefully. After 150 years, the shingled roof was rotted through and the foundation sat four feet or manure. With the passing of a few more years nothing would be left.

The barn might have fallen into complete ruin if the Birds had not also had a farm outside Flint HIll, in Rappahannock County. On Horseshoe Hollow Farm, Chris Bird needed a structure for hay storage and shelter for his herd of Angus-Hereford cattle. The old “Pennsylvania bank barn” 75 miles away would fill the need perfectly. Here was an opportunity to preserve an example of antique craftsmanship while serving a practical purpose. The Birds decided to move the barn and restore it, while preserving its pre-Civil War character.

The judges who sit at Rappahannock Court House need more space, and the Board of Supervisors has been urged to take steps to make the space available. As Commonwealth’s Attorney George Davis put it at the February meeting of the Supervisors:  The Courts would like to make a request, but under the statutes, it could be an order with a writ of mandamus.” Under Virginia law, it is the responsibility of a county Board of Supervisors to provide sufficient space for the conduct of the courts, including record-keeping. “You can rent some rooms over the bank,” said George Davis. “I have long thought that we should have office space of our own, and save all the money we’re paying out in rent now,” said Supervisor J. R. Latham, who presided at the meeting in the absence of Chairman Peter Luke, who was ill.

Victoria M. Laing has been named Rappahannock High School 1975-76 “Betty Crocker Family Leader of Tomorrow.”  Victoria won the honor by competing with other seniors in the written knowledge and attitude examination on December 2. She will receive a certificate from General Mills sponsor of the annual educational eligible for state and national honors.

Feb. 21, 1985

Washington’s proposed Town Charter has won approval in the General Assembly, but both the House and the Senate rejected a key provision that would have allowed the Town Council to act as its own planning commission. The Rappahannock News learned of these developments from Delegate Raymond “Andy” Guest and Senator Kevin Miller’s leading aide, Dee Floyd.

In striking the provision that would have allowed the council to become its own planning commission, the Assembly dealt a blow to the council, which put in extra time and effort to secure passage of that provision. Toward that end, the council authorized council member Newbill Miller to appear before the House committee on Counties, Cities and Towns in an effort to lobby for the provision.

Filling a house with 14 boys ranging in age from 11 to 18 probably would not be most people’s idea of something to do voluntarily. For Majorie Suydam it was a conscious decision she made at the beginning of the school year, and she is happy with that decision and the way it changed her life.

That decision was to rent a house in Huntly and operate a home away from home for boys who need a place to live in Rappahannock so that they can attend Wakefield School. “My husband and I came to Rappahannock on our honeymoon, and I’ve always wanted to come back to live,” said Suydam. “My daughter, Helen Ruisi, is a teacher at Wakefield, and she told me about how some of the students needed a place to live and I came up with the idea.” Suydam has rented the house for five years, and she said that she will make a decision then about whether or not to continue with the lodge. “Right now, I hope that I’ll always have boys interested in staying here,” she said.

Aug. 31, 1994

Last Wednesday Terri and John Diley of Amissville received a special use permit from the Board of Zoning Appeals to operate a residential care facility in their home. The Dileys’ application was tabled for a month by the Planning Commission the week before. However, the BZA decided to hear the case at their meeting and accepted the application. The Dileys plan to have no more than five full-time elderly residents at their home. Mr. Diley said, “We want to restore dignity in the lives of these people, provide home-cooked meals and personal attention.” The Dileys said they do not plan on caring for Alzheimer’s patients or others who require around-the-clock care. Mrs. Diley is not a nurse, but has been caring for elderly people for over 10 years. She said that a woman at Warrenton Overlook, a nursing home, said that she could” keep it filled” for us. The special use permit was granted, subject to the following conditions: the permit runs with the applicants, not with the property sign erected will be on the Dileys property; and floodlights will be turned off by 10:30 p.m. except emergencies.

Elizabeth Jones has resigned as assistant librarian to have more time to work towards her masters  degree in library science. The Library Board accepted her resignation at the Thursday’s meeting. Mrs. Jones has been a part-time assistant librarian for eight years. She organized the children’s story hour and summer reading programs for a number of years getting impressive contributions from the community for those  programs.

Congressman Frank Wolf, R-10th District, came by the Rappahannock News building last Tuesday to ask “What’s new?” and heard the Aileen plant is to shut down early October. By Wednesday he was at the plant talking with employees about helping them get new jobs.

He said he would organize a job fair at a public place invite companies with job openings to come  and conduct interviews.  He said that similar job fairs had been successful in helping people put out of work by the planned closing of Vint Hill Farm Station. “ I hope we get companies with more jobs than there are people here,” he said.

He admitted some might not e able to find jobs as good as they had at Aileen, but others might find better.

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