Washington column for Aug. 2

Goodbye to their inn, not their town

With real estate agent Denise Chandler in front, Gary and Michelle Schwartz pose with their “Sold” sign at their Heritage House B&B.
With real estate agent Denise Chandler in front, Gary and Michelle Schwartz pose with their “Sold” sign at their Heritage House B&B.

After 10 years as innkeepers of the Heritage House B&B, Gary and Michelle Schwartz (with the help of Denise Chandler of Country Places Realty) sold their five-bedroom Main Street inn a couple of weeks ago to the Inn at the Ridge LLC, aka Jim Abdo, the longtime Woodville weekender who is also a prominent Washington, D.C. developer, restorer and revitalizer of down-at-the-heels buildings and neighborhoods.

“Sharing the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley with others has been something my wife, Mai, and I have enjoyed doing at our weekend home here for over 15 years now,” Abdo emailed last week, shortly after the July 18 sale of the Heritage House B&B was finalized. “Taking our love for this area a step further, we are ecstatic to be joining the ranks of the fine bed and breakfast establishments in Rappahannock County.

“We are humbled to be continuing on the rich tradition of gracious hospitality that Michelle and Gary Schwartz provided to Heritage House guests for over a decade. We recognize that we have big shoes to fill and appreciate the high service standards that the Schwartz’s set for the inn.”

Abdo called Washington a “special getaway destination,” adding that “it is our hope to provide guests with personalized service and comforts that celebrate and showcase all that Rappahannock County has to offer.

Although the Schwartzes sold their B&B, they have moved only to Piedmont Cottage, just behind the Inn on Piedmont Avenue. And just a few days before the sale, Gary Schwartz was elected vice mayor by his colleagues at the Washington Town Council.

‘Killer Shrews’ in town

The red-carpet premiere of “Return of the Killer Shrews,” the long-awaited (or at least long-in-coming) sequel to the 1958 cult classic, “Killer Shrews,” is at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10 at the Theatre in Washington – a pre-opening fundraising event for that weekend’s “Hazzard Homecoming” at Ben Venue Racecourse. The film stars James Best (who was in the original “Killer Shrews”) as well as his “Dukes of Hazzard” co-stars John Schneider and Rick Hurst – all of whom will be in attendance. Also expected are “Dukes” cast members Catherine Bach, Sonny Shroyer and “Hazzard Homecoming” host Ben Jones, known to many outside of his Rappahannock County home as Cooter, the “Dukes” garage mechanic.

Tickets are $10; all proceeds to go to Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC).

Softball game

Remember: The coed softball game between Washington Baptist Church and Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church is this Saturday (Aug. 4), starting at 6 p.m. at the high school ball field (which is behind the elementary school). Everyone is welcome, for watching and fellowship with others. You might want to bring your own lawn chair and, of course, your camera.

WVF&R breakfast

The Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s next all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet is 7 to 11 on Saturday, Aug. 18 at the fire hall, with all your breakfast favorites (scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, sausage gravy, biscuits, hash browns, pancakes, fried apples, coffee and orange juice). Cost is $8 ($4 for ages 4 to 12, younger kids eat free). Call 540-675-3615 for more information. After breakfast, walk off some of those pounds next door at the Thrift Shop while you look for bargains.

Bread and hospitality

The Rappahannock News would like to thank Ken Thompson, owner of Peter Kramer Building on Gay Street, for the use of the lounge at his Rappahannock Office for our monthly public story-idea meeting last Friday (July 27). Ken was nothing but a perfect host in our eyes, serving coffee and zucchini bread made by his wife Mary. (Thank you, Mary!) Just another example of helping the community.

Norman reunion

The annual Norman family reunion is Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Rappahannock County Park pavilion on U.S. 211, Washington, rain or shine. A picnic lunch will be served at 1 p.m. All relatives and friends are invited to attend. Please bring a covered dish and a beverage. Plates, cups and plastic utensils provided. For more information, call Bessie Norman at 540-937-5147.


The town would like to welcome Cathy Young to her rented home on Main Street. Welcome, Cathy!