Washington column for Nov. 29 

Hiking to the Bowen Place

This note comes from Jean Morris of Sperryville:

Saturday, Nov. 3, was chilly and breezy, a perfect day for hiking. We were in the Shenandoah National Park on the Hull School Trail. Two miles up the trail we found the first landmark, the ice pond still fairly recognizable if you know where to look for it. Opposite the ice pond on the left side of the trail had been a sawmill, on up the trail a few yards was the home site of a black family; Charlie Munday and his wife, Aunt Pen and her mother Bet. Across the trail on the right a pin factory had once operated. No traces of any of these structures remain nor does the fence post that marked the entrance to the Bowen house site. There’s nothing left either of the blacksmith shop just inside the gate.

The former Joe Billy Bowen home site, which was voluntarily sold to the federal government when it created Shenandoah National Park. Photo courtesy of the family of Sally D. Keyser.
The former Joe Billy Bowen home site, which was voluntarily sold to the federal government when it created Shenandoah National Park. Photo courtesy of the family of Sally D. Keyser.

The home site was part of a 153-acre tract owned by Annie V. Bowen. We found the road and small tributary coming down to the right and a very large pine which had once stood sentinel now lying broken and decaying on the ground. Going only a few feet beyond the pine, there it was! The concrete steps and walls of the summer kitchen cellar. We fastened in our minds two landmarks that would make finding the Bowen home site easier next time.

The hikers included relatives and friends of Joe Billy and Annie Bowen, including: Charlie and Radica Bowen from Florida; David Bowen Sr. and Jr. from West Virginia; Billy Bowen, Mary Beth Robbins and son Gary from Massachusetts; Bob and Diane Cameron from Fairfax, Va.; Barry Atchison and Bud Smoot from Culpeper; Lisa Ware and Jean Morris from Old Hollow; Jerry Tamchin and Wayne Baldwin from Madison.

The day ended with us tired but looking forward to the next trek to the the home site and the family cemetery. We invite anyone interested in Rappahannock’s past and who enjoys hiking to accompany us on our next excursion. Watch the Rappahannock News for dates and time.

Christmas in Little Washington

Little Washington is continuing its holiday celebration with the eighth annual Christmas parade and festival sponsored by the Rappahannock Hospitality & Visitors Association (RHVA). The parade starts at 1 p.m. following the route along Gay Street and Main Street with floats, animals and Santa Claus himself. All-day artisan markets at town hall and RAAC Community Theatre, local artists and crafts and food. The theme this year is “Nutcracker.”

Calling all cat lovers!

Join RappCats at Christmas in Little Washington, Dec. 2 for some festive photo fun: Stop by the organization’s table at the corner of Main and Jett streets with your favorite Christmas picture of your cat, and you and your cat could win a fabulous “Jingle Cat” prize.

More Christmas connections

Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue will be staffing its booth at the Christmas Parade this Sunday at the entrance to the Rappahannock Medical Center on Gay Street. Hot food and hot drinks will be available.

The public is invited to see former Flint Hill Postmaster Lee Morrison’s private Christmas stamp collection at the Washington Baptist Church from 8 to 5 this Saturday (Dec. 1) and 11:30 to 4 Sunday (Dec. 2). He will be set up in the church’s Fellowship Hall. He loves to have children come so he might encourage some to take up stamp collecting as a hobby.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, there’s a Hanging of the Greens service at Washington Baptist. All are welcome at this English tradition of decorating your home and church with wreaths, garlands, Christmas trees and evergreens for Christmas. This program is to help everyone understand better the meaning behind the Christmas symbols and how they relate to the birth of Christ. For more information, call the church office at 540-675-3336.

“The Christmas Cupcake” is the title of this year’s Children’s Christmas play, which takes place during the morning worship service on Sunday, Dec. 16 at Washington Baptist Church. All are welcome.

Breakfast with Santa

Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue holds its all-you-can-eat breakfast with Santa from 7 to 11 Saturday, Dec. 15 at the fire hall, with all your breakfast favorites including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, pancakes, sausage gravy, biscuits, hash browns, fried apples, coffee and orange juice prepared by your local fire and rescue elves. Cost is $8 ($4 ages 4 through 12, younger kids free). Santa will be more than happy to pose for Christmas photos and to hear those Christmas wishes. All proceeds benefit the squad’s daily operations. For more information, call 540-675-3615.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to one great lady, Carrol Beard, who celebrates her special day next  Tuesday (Dec. 4). Happy birthday, Carrol.