Down Memory Lane for Dec. 24

Oct. 9, 1980

Miss Lucy Conrad returned to Rappahannock last week for one of her periodic visits to the county she’s loved for 25 years.

In a switch on the standard practice that sees American and foreign students trading places, Miss Lucy swapped jobs with county teacher Mary Miller Wood a quarter of a century ago.

Mary Miller traveled to the Canadian province of British Columbia where she lived with Lucy’s sister for a year and taught in public school there while Lucy rented an apartment in the old Sperryville hotel and taught fifth grade here at that neighborhood’s elementary school.

The two women became friends as a result of their shared experiences as exchange teachers and have maintained close contact through the intervening years.

In Sperryville, shortly before the entrance to Skyline Drive, is the Country Manor Gift Shop. This is the home of the Blue Ridge Mountain Trolls, who have captured the imagination of local residents and tourists alike.

The troll is a very hairy little creature, most recognizable by his bulbous nose which is fashioned by mountain craftsmen out of a knobbly gourd. The troll is festooned with sea shells, pine cones, and nuts which give him a whimsical rather than unfriendly look. A sign above the troll shelf at Country Manor explains: “Blue Ridge Mountain Trolls can be seen on moonlit nights cavorting about the mountains. They can be caught with two hickory sticks and a burlap bag.” If you’re not too quick with the old hickory sticks, you can put moonlit nights in the mountains to better use and purchase a troll of your very own at Country Manor from Phyllis and James Swindler.

At every first grader knows, A is for apple. In Rappahannock, youngsters learn another A — the second one for antiques, Sperryville merchants combine the two to form the backbone of the village’s economy, attracting customers shopping for both winesaps and old oaken dressers.

During autumn months, Elmer Atkins is Sperryville busiest business man, hard pressed to find time to divide between his cider mill nestled a little way up the mountain and his antique shop on Route 211

Sept. 22, 1988

It happened around 6 p.m. at Mayhugh’s Grocery in Amissville, Jeanie Brochette, an Amissville resident, mother, and grandmother and a carrier for The Washington Post, is a regular customer at the little country store, but this time she wasn’t shopping for eggs, bread or milk. She came for three lottery tickets. And she left a $5,000 winner.

Community service honors go to Richard Compton whose Compton Excavating Company donated a road grader and driver Sam Compton for a day to fine grade and rake the diamonds at the Amissville Ruritans’ Stuart Field.

The Town of Washington’s water system had its annual inspection in August, and according to a letter to Mayor Dean Morehouse from the Culpeper Regional Health Department office, it came up short.

Inspector Joe Burner cited the system for failure to submit monthly monitoring reports, lack of a backflow prevention system, a broken automatic chlorinator, lack of a disinfection system for the spring-supplied water, and lack of required documentation for the second of the town’s two wells.

Water Authority supervisor Brad  Fisher blamed the Health Department for the problems with the records. “We have sent them copies of the reports they have asked for . . . Every time I call the office the person who wrote the report has left — and no one else knows anything about it.”

March 20, 1996  

Members of the Washington Town Council agreed to wait until the April meeting to take a vote on whether to allow alcoholic beverages to be served at events held in the Town Hall.

Member Ray Gooch said he had asked to have a discussion of the issue placed on the March agenda at the request of owners of bed and breakfast businesses who said they might be able to host small conferences for people who would meet at the Town Hall at the end of the business meetings.

The council’s policy for the use of the hall includes a prohibition on serving alcohol. Mr. Gooch said more events would be held in the Town Hall if that prohibition were lifted, and the town could recover some of the cost of maintaining the building.

E. “Skippy” Giles whose house is nearby said, “I don’t want alcohol served here.” Mr. Giles said he was also concerned about parking problems.

“That is an issue, but it is not related to alcohol use. If the use of the building creates problems for residents, we can take that into consideration in the future,” Mr. Gooch said.

Dr. Neil Mayberry has the distinction of being the only dentist with an office in Rappahannock County. He has had a practice in the town of Washington for 16 years, at various locations, and on the first of March moved his office to a building on Main Street, in between Porter Street and the Foster-Harris House. Most recently he had an office in the medical center in Washington.

Dr. Mayberry’s main practice is located in his residence on Main Street in Luray, where he sees patients Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and every other Saturday. At his Washington office, he sees patients every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and every other Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “I don’t think this county could support a full time dentist, so I think this arrangement has been good,” he said.

Last week the Extension Quilters group presented the Sheriff’s Office with 18 child-size quilts and 13 fabric bears. These will be kept on hand to give out to children who have suffered some sort of trauma to provide a sense of relief and security, said Sheriff Gary Settle. According to major Rick MacWelch of the Sheriff’s Office, this program has been in place in Fauquier County for several years. He recalls a little girl in Fauquier whose leg had been severed by a lawn mower. He gave her a bear to take her mind off the leg. She had the bear named by the time she got to the hospital, and even took it into surgery with her.

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