Down Memory Lane for Aug. 6

June 10, 1976

The Raney family has come a long way from 10 grapevines in their New York backyard to Farfelu Vineyard in Flint Hill. Some of  those first 10 vines are still around but they’ve been transplanted around the house — for sentimental reasons, not wine grape production. Contrary to reports printed elsewhere, Farfelu is a first. “As far as we know, we were the first winery to be licensed in Virginia since Thomas Jefferson,” said Charles. Lou and Charles Raney’s daughter, Mauri Payne, studied horticulture at VPI. She has put her knowledge of grafting techniques to good use at the family’s vineyard and winery in Flint Hill.

“We should think about other ways to raise taxes than property and real estate,” said Supervisor H.B. Wood, but no one came up with any answers at last Thursday’s board meeting. The draft budget advertised for fiscal 1977 will require a 50-cent tax increase, bringing the tax rate up to $4.40, levied on $100 of assessed value. County accountant Walter Cox said final budget revision would wait for work from the State Compensation Board on salaries for county constitutional officers.

Cox explained that the most feasible sources of revenue outside of real estate taxes were motor vehicle tags and utility taxes.

“Five dollars on motor vehicle tags will trade off 10 cents on property,” claimed Cox. He stated that each ten cents on the tax rate yields $1,300 in revenue for the county.

The Washington Firemens Carnival is scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday, September 1-4. Contests for Honorary Fire Chief and Little Miss Washington are being held in conjunction with carnival festivities and entries for the contests are being sought. Mrs. Kermit Weakley is in charge of the contests and those wishing to enter should contact her.

May 2, 1985

The Rappahannock Hunt’s hounds began their residence in new kennels at Thornton Hill Farm near Woodville last week. The 30 pairs of American fox hounds are separated into three pen areas; one for females, one for males and another for puppies. Oliver L. Brown, huntsman, is in charge of the hounds’ care, breeding and hunting. He said that the Rappahannock Hunt tries to breed hounds that have red and white or lemon and white markings. The new kennels have large pen areas with concrete floors both inside and outside. “This will make working with the hounds a lot easier and nicer,” Brown said.

George Smoot has been working the land all of his life in one capacity or another. Now he has found a job that fills his days with the work he loves in a setting that makes a pause in work a joy. Smoot is the manager of Sunnywen Farms, located off of Route 627. A total of six people work on the 450 acres for the owners, Gordon and Marilyn Hodgson. There are six acres of vineyards where 10 tons of grapes were harvested last year to be sold to a winery. The farm also has a small peach orchard and cattle besides a lot for growing evergreen trees and a greenhouse.

The six full-time employees, including Smoot, work to maintain the farm while the owners are absent, but Smoot talks to them two to three times a week about the farm’s operation. Smoot surveys the well-kept land and crops with a definite air of pride and contentment. Born and raised in Rappahannock, he has worked on different farms in the county throughout his life. Although he admits he knows little about horses and has little time for the greenhouse, the of the work on the farm falls under his expert guidance.

Peter and Sharon Luke of Amissville are the parents of a daughter, Christina Holland, born on Wednesday, April 24 at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton. Proud grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Larry Genebach of Amissville and Col. and Mrs. E.P. Luke of Sperryville.

Nov. 2, 1994

Habitat for Humanity is about caring and having respect for others in the community, and a branch of the Fauquier Habitat is just starting up in Rappahannock County. Bob Darby of Woodville headed up a meeting at the library last Thursday night to introduce the new chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Over 40 people attended, and signed up on the volunteer sheets passed around the room. Many local contractors, builders, and carpenters were present.

“The organization works worldwide. It builds and rehabilitates houses with volunteer labor, contributions of money and materials,” explained Mr. Darby. “It sells the homes to the partner families at cost in return for a non-interest mortgage over a fixed period of time,” he added. The mortgages are usually for 20 years. The partner family must come up with one percent of the mortgage as a down payment at the time of closing. The first Rappahannock County “partner” family to be approved to have a new home built for them is Barbara Shanks and her family, who live on Piedmont Avenue just outside of Washington. Ms. Shanks has brought up four children in the same house she was raised in.

The school administration is concerned about possible “gang” activity in the high school. A letter was sent out to all parents Tuesday. School Superintendent David Gangel said only a small number of students are involved. Some have been suspended for unrelated actions, he added. There were rumors of a rival gang, but nothing has come of that so far, he said. Dr. Gangel said, “ I’m taking it very seriously. The School Board will not tolerate any threat or harm to any of our students.” He said the administration is working with parents of some of the students involved and with the students themselves “to deter gang involvement or gang activity.” He said he feels this approach is achieving success.

Patricia Holmes of Warrenton will be the new county librarian. Mrs. Holmes will begin work Nov. 14. She has given two weeks notice at her current job as a research librarian with Prince William County. She is also responsible for the vertical files at the Bull Run Regional Library.

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