Sperryville column for June 7

Dairy barn transformed

The former dairy barn at Mount Vernon Farm, renovated and dressed for a wedding last weekend.
Cliff Miller IV
The former dairy barn at Mount Vernon Farm, renovated and dressed for a wedding last weekend.

The dairy barn on the Miller family’s Mount Vernon Farm was, for many years, the largest dairy barn east of the Mississippi River. We have all been witness to the transformation of the farm into an award-winning model of conservation and sustainability. The original farm home was reborn last year as an elegant inn – and now, the dairy barn has been transformed into a unique facility, complete with chandeliers and hardwood dance floor, for weddings and other events. The rustic elegance of this setting was the scene of a wedding this past weekend. With the reopening of the auditorium at the Schoolhouse this past week, the barn creates yet another option for entertaining and events in Sperryville. Contact cliffmiller@gmail.com (that would be Cliff the younger) for more information. Thanks to the Miller family for their vision and perseverance in making multiple viable businesses of this 800-acre farm, all of which contribute to the area’s economic and social vitality.

Art in Sperryville

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the 18th-century philosopher, once said: “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” Tucked into modest buildings and studios, Sperryville overflows, in both quality and quantity, with the boundless imagination of artists.

This week we bring you a detailed listing of artists represented in galleries and in some of the home studios. Our intention is to celebrate in yet another way the richness of creative life in Sperryville. The artists enrich our lives by choosing to present their work in our village and we can support them by attending gallery exhibits, purchasing their work, promoting RAAC’s fall Studio and Gallery Tour and doing our part to tell our friends about our artistic community. This list is not complete, but it represents what we could pull together this week.

Glassworks Gallery (glassworksgallery.com): Shara Abel (original photographic art); Michelle Almond (hand-blown glass and glass flowers); Steve Berry (iron metalwork – lamps, wine racks, candle stands, coat racks); Bill Booze III (Appalachian Mountain book); Rae Breed (Raku pottery); Patti Brennan (slumped-glass wine bottle trays, fused glass, stained glass); Bob Burch (glass paperweights and perfume bottles); Caitlin Burch (lampworked glass jewelry); Jolene Cooper (semi-precious stone-beaded and wire-wrapped jewelry); Cherl Crews (dichro glass jewelry and ornamental hair sticks); Mike Doyle (metal sculpture); Laura East (hand-blown glass); Everything (music CDs); Charles “Flick” Flickinger (bronze, wood and terracotta figurative sculptures); John Fowler (Japanese-style ceramics); Bill Harris (holiday music CDs); Eric Kvarnes (hand-blown glass); Leif Kvarnes (hand-blown glass); Launi Meli (Raku and smokefire pottery); Dick Mazziotti (stained glass); Monica Newell (music CD and pop art paintings); Rebecca Oyster (hand-blown glass); Mike Pivarnik (turned wood bowls).

Old Rag Photography: Ray Boc, Joyce Harmon, Cameron Harrington, Bette Hileman, Francie Schroeder.

Middle Street Gallery (middlestreetgallery.org): Gary Anthes, Patti Brennan, Janet Brome, Paula Endo, Benita Rauda Gowan, Jo Levine, Phyllis Magrab, Phil Napala, Margaret Novak, Pam Pittinger, Susan Raines        , Jim Ramsay, Alexia Scott, Thomas Spande, Christopher Stephens, Linda Tarry, Patricia Underwood.

River District Arts (riverdistrictarts.org): Mary B. Allen, Marilyn Armor, Bonnie Dixon, Paul Erlenborn, Barbara Heile, Jackie Bailey Labovitz, Nina Moore, Rene Ruffner, Michele and Michael Soderman, Rappahannock Pottery Collective, Sara Adams, Doris Jones, Nancy Nord, Susan Hornbostel.

Haley Fine Art  (haleyfineart.com): Stacie Albano, Ron Altman, M. Bauermeister, Alex Bay, Woody Cyrus, Clark Davidson, Jeanne Drevas, Drew Ernst, Jeff Fetty, Michael Fitts, C. Flickinger, Hans Gerhard, Phillip Jamieson, Donna Kriebel, Tom Nakashima, Margot Neuhaus, Bongkyun Noh, Ron Paras, Christian Platt, Sara Linda Poly, Robin Purnell, Neil Rizos, Maggie Rogers, Carol Rowan, Alan Rubin, Christine Sajecki, John Shumate, Belinda Sillars, Rex Slack, Thomas Spande, Chris Stephens, Karen Stinnett.

Sperryville Pottery (sperryvillepottery.com): Suzanne Zylonis.

Monkey Business (facebook.com/monkeybusinessunlimited): Davette Leonard, Nancy Keyser.

Central Coffee Roasters (centralcoffeeroasters.com): Maggie Rogers (etchings).

Sleepywood Rustic Furniture (sleepywood.com): Gerald and Michelle Smith.

Mesmerized by Irish music

Tinsmith, aka (from left) Henry Cross, Rowan Corbett and Brooke Parkhurst of Triple Oak Bakery, perform at Central Coffee Sunday.
Courtesy photo
Tinsmith, aka (from left) Henry Cross, Rowan Corbett and Brooke Parkhurst of Triple Oak Bakery, perform at Central Coffee Sunday.

When the last song was played and Brooke Parkhurst thanked the audience for coming, everyone just sat there . . . mesmerized and enchanted . . . not wanting the evening to end. Besides singing, Parkhurst played banjo, Irish flute, guitar and tin whistle with her band, Tinsmith, at a concert at Central Coffee Roasters on Sunday evening (June 3). The synergy and talent of the three musicians (Brooke, Henry Cross on bass and Rowand Corbett on guitar, bouzouki, bones and djembe) filled the intimate setting with sounds of mostly Irish music that captivated all of us from the very first song. Intermission offered the opportunity to stroll in Maggie Roger’s garden/certified wildlife habitat, as well as to sip coffee and sample food from Triple Oak Bakery. It was one of those perfect Rappahannock evenings when cool weather, the scent of coffee, a garden setting and wonderful music filled our hearts with joy.

Welcome to Sherry-ville

Sherry Stewart is a woman who has always loved to drive country roads in her pickup truck and listen to the radio. In addition, she delights in seeing and meeting people. With those passions, work as a rural mail carrier in the perfect job and something which she has done for 26 years. Born in Flint Hill but raised in Greene County, Sherry returned to Rappahannock County in May of 1993. She drove our back roads part-time until March of 2010, and then six days a week (but still on a part-time status). And now – hooray! – as of May 5, Sherry has been awarded the route as a permanent letter carrier. Supported by community petitions to achieve this status, Sherry is now officially “ours,” and Sperryville residents are delighted. Congratulations to Sherry and thanks to all those who helped make this possible.


Anne Hufnagel celebrated a milestone birthday on Sunday (June 3). Her active participation in Pilates is testimony to her strength and good health. Happy Birthday, Anne.