Down Memory Lane for May 26

July 27, 1950

Mrs. Ashby Jenkins is recovering at her home at Nethers Mill, after being bitten on the ankle by a snake while in her garden Saturday afternoon. The snake is thought to have been a copperhead, which Mrs. Jenkins is reported to have stepped on prior to being bitten.

She had been pulling weeds out of a bean patch in her garden when she decided to pick off a few blackberries to eat, which were growing near the garden fence. The snake which bit her was hidden among the berry bushes unnoticed.

A large crowd of people from various parts of the county and many outsiders attended the public auction sale of some of the personal property of Mrs. Lillie M. Lillard, held Saturday at the J. W. Critzer service station in Washington. An unusually large collection of fine tools attracted men buyers. The ladies, as usual, enjoyed the sale of household articles. One gentleman was heard to groan that he might as well go home and get the truck for his wife was trying to buy the place out, but the story at the end of the sale sounded as if he had bought more than she had.

A black mountain rattlesnake which was caught Sunday, is on display at the Moore and Payne Motors at Washington. The snake measures approximately 2½ feet in length and four inches around and has six rattles. The snake was found in a blackberry patch on the Ernest Smoot farm in Harris Hollow by Loring Anderson. Quite a number of spectators have already been viewing the snake since it was caught.

May 18, 1961

With the consolidation of public elementary schools now completed in Rappahannock County, the “two-room” schools located in the various magisterial districts have become obsolete and will be sold at public auction. The sale will take place at the front door of the courthouse in the town of Washington on Saturday, May 20 at 9:30 a.m.

The first school listed to be sold is the Flint Hill Elementary. The original one and one half acre tract was acquired by the trustees of Wakefield School District by condemnation from A. W. Dearing in 1895, to replace the Flint Hill Academy adjoining the Methodist Church property.

The second school listed to be sold is the Amissville Elementary. The original land was acquired by the trustees of Jackson School District from J. J. Silvey in 1907. The schoolhouse, rebuilt in recent years, is beautifully located on Highway 211 with a view of the mountains.

The third school listed to be sold is the Woodville Elementary. The original tract of land was purchased by the trustees of Stonewall School District from A. T. Botts in 1909. The first schoolhouse at this location was completely destroyed and blown away by the 1929 hurricane.

Mary Frances Pullen, 18-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wade Pullen of Flint Hill, has been named State Homemaker Degree winner, according to the notification of this week from Mrs. Eliza H. Trainham, area FHA adviser. The State Homemaker Degree is awarded to FHA members in recognition of their contribution to better family living in their own homes and in the community by the Virginia State Association of the Future Homemakers of America.

Mary Frances, a fourth year FHA member at Rappahannock High School, will be awarded the Degree at the State FHA Convention at Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke, Virginia on Wednesday, June 21, at 1:30.

The Rappahannock Board of Supervisors appeared in a body before Judge R. V. Snead requesting the removal of Sheriff J. W. Critzer from office. Complaints registered were failure to enforce the county ordinances, including the law requiring county license tags on all motor vehicles; failure to execute civil court processes and executions; insecurity of jail and law attending resulting in escaped prisoners; and failure of the sheriff or deputy to have a driver’s license. Sheriff Critzer declined to comment on the situation to the press.

Oct. 8, 1997

The home of Carolyn Tholand Ward is a tiny house with a large history that began in 1798 when James Yates bought the land for six pounds and one shilling. It seems that nothing was built on the land by Yates or by subsequent owners until 1834 when a two classroom building, thought to be part of the Old Washington Academy, was established.

During the Civil War the building was turned into the local Union Army headquarters and hospital. After the war it became a social center where dances and weekly poker games were held. Perhaps the poker players gave Rabbit Gum its name, maybe as a euphemism for their activities. A gum is a two-compartment trap and because the old schoolhouse had two front doors, it looked just like a gum.

Also, there were rabbits in the briar patch on the land and maybe they were trapped there in a gum. No one really knows the origin of the name but it has been Rabbit Gum for many years. However, it is known that it became the town’s first public school in 1871 and that it was remodeled in 1960 when the dining room, kitchen, bath and garage were added.

“Big Daddy” Don Garlits, nationally known drag-car racer, drove into Sperryville in his rebuilt 1936 Ford hot rod his rebuilt 1936 Ford hot rod on Sept. 23. His wife, Patricia, accompanied him on this trip to visit their daughter, Donna Perry, recently hired by Faith Mountain Co. as a control buyer.

The car was a replica of the hot rod that he owned when he and his wife married in 1953. Garlits raced and turned over his original ’36 Ford, but he assembled a second from parts found in different states.

In the 1950s it was state-of-the-art in drag racing, he said and became of that the car will eventually go into the Garlits’ Classic Car Museum and International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Ocala, Fla.

The Child Care and Learning Center had a summer 4-H workshop on the The Incredible Edible Egg. Approximately 45 children learned different facts about the egg. Each child made an omelet adding different items such as cheese, onions, green peppers and even salsa. It was a learning experience. An omelet was made by Derek Jordan during the workshop.

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