Down Memory Lane for June 7

50 years ago
September 13, 1962

Specialist Robert E. Atkins, who is stationed with the United States Army in Worms, West Germany, has been awarded an engraved cigarette lighter and a letter of commendation for driving a military motor vehicle 15,000 accident- and incident-free miles in the command. The award and congratulations were presented by Major Kilcauley at ceremonies in Worms. Specialist Atkins is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh S. Atkins Sr. of Sperryville.

Announcement is made this week of a change in ownership of Rappahannock News. Basil C. Burke, attorney of Madison, has sold the newspaper and real estate to Angus M. and R. Duff Green of Culpeper and Orange. Ownership was effective Sept. 1, with last week’s issue being printed at the plant of The Orange Review, in Orange. The larger size paper of this week is expected to be continue.

Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Williams of Washington have purchased Bertha’s Diner, the restaurant on Route 211 in the town of Washington. Mrs. Williams had been employed there for some time by Mrs. B. R. Armel, the former owner.

25 years ago
April 23, 1987

On Easter Sunday afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Norman were out for a walk and checking their cows, when Mr. Norman looked down and discovered a piece of pink plastic on the grass. He reached down and picked it up and found it was part of a balloon with a note inside which read as follows: “Alleluia, Christ is Risen. Happy Easter from The Redeemer Lutheran Church, 500 Pearl Street, Lancaster, Pa.”

Calling fruit production “the only viable agricultural industry for Rappahannock County right now” and insisting that local farm labor is “really a myth,” Newbill Miller led his fellow planning commissioners to a compromise recommendation on a migrant labor camp after a protracted debate at last Wednesday’s public hearing. At issue is a special exception application from orchardist Alex Sharp to expand his existing camp in Harris Hollow to house 16 migrants and allow the facility to be used year-round. (Mr. Sharp’s 1984 permit, clarified last year by the Board of Zoning Appeals, limits the camp to 10 workers and specifies that they may be housed there only during the apple harvest season.)

The Rappahannock Water and Sewer Authority, which operates the Sperryville sewerage treatment facility, announced that its contractor will return to Sperryville “sometime within the next 60 days” to re-grade and landscape around septic tanks which were installed last year as part of the sewage treatment project. WSA secretary James E. Swindler II requested that any resident served by the WSA project who feels that grading or landscaping is necessary in the vicinity of their septic tank contact the WSA in writing by Friday, April 24.

10 years ago
Jan. 2, 2002

America may be fascinated by fantasy and fiction, but book buyers in Rappahannock County showed a strong inclination to read history this year, judging by the bestsellers of 2001 at the Old Sperryville Bookshop.

Here, based in the past year, are the 10 best selling new books of 2001: 1. “Eye of the Storm,” written and illustrated by Private Robert Knox Sneden (hardcover, $37.50). This is a lost treasure of the Civil War, a beautifully packaged memoir of a Union soldier – a mapmaker and artist – and his striking watercolors of the camps, battlefields, prisons and other scenes of the conflict. Two historians of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond tracked down Sneden’s previously undiscovered artworks and manuscript, and edited them into one of the best first-person accounts of the Civil War ever done. This book was so successful that a sequel, “Images of the Storm,” has been published, featuring many more of the 500-plus artworks he produced . . .

[A decade after the preceding was published, Sneden’s story was featured on a Civil War Trails marker in Woodville; see the box above.]

Five Virginia Outdoors Foundation conservation easements accorded last week have produced a new running total of 945 acres so protected in Rappahannock County, or slightly more than 20 square miles. Three of the new easements, covering 118 acres , were granted by neighbors on both side of the Jordan River – Ann and Joyce Harman, James Warwick, and Carl and Eileen Leighty. Stephanie Ridder and John Beardsley donated an easement protecting 156 acres, of which approximately 30 are on the Fauquier side of the Rappahannock River. At the east end of Turkey Mountain, Raymond and Linda Riddell placed 80 acres under easement.