Down Memory Lane for Nov. 21

April 5, 1973

A 1963 Pontiac sedan, driven by Cover Floyd Baker of Front Royal, crashed into a 1971 Oldsmobile station wagon Sunday morning, flipped the station wagon upside down, continued down the highway and plunged into the living room of Mrs. Laura Fiddler and her son Earl Williams, on U.S. 522 just south of Chester Gap. The driver of the station wagon, Frank Lewis Smith, was fatally injured. Baker was cited for manslaughter, driving under the influence, reckless driving, no insurance, improper registration and no operator’s license.

There is no doubt about what most people in the Piedmont Virginia area think about the Virginia Electric and Power Company’s plans to build a network of high tension power lines through the area. Mrs. Dorothy Davis said she and her husband own property on both sides of the Fauquier-Rappahannock County line. “It makes me nauseated every time I think about having to look at that line. I get all uptight about it.” George Davis reminded commissioners that Rappahannock is a “vertical” county, a county of high hills and valleys. “You could see those towers for miles. It isn’t like flat country where a powerline wouldn’t be noticed half a mile away.”

The Washington Volunteer Fire Department has acquired a water wagon which carries approximately 1,500 gallons of water, a necessity for rural areas. The cost of the truck — about $2,000 — has put a financial burden on the organization and contributions are being sought to assist in defraying the expenses and rebuilding treasury reserves for normal operations.

Feb. 18, 1982

With the opening of the Middle Street Gallery in Washington, Dan Lewis and Sara Adams hope to provide a showcase both for Rappahannock artists and Rappahannock art. Dan, an artist himself said: “We want to have a gallery in the true sense of the word — not an art shop where people are welcome only if they want to buy. We want people to come here again and again to look at our displays and to come back as they change.” Because of the beauty of the county and because most people in Rappahannock are here because they love this area, Dan and Sara decided to specialize in realistic art, art that reflects the sometimes gentle, sometimes powerful beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Leaking roofs, Rappahannock’s version of the Chinese water torture, continue to plague the county school board. Robert Estabrook reported that both the elementary and high school roofs are leaking and that the problems “appear to be spreading. It’s quite urgent now,” he said, adding that he’d received a call that day from elementary principal Mrs. Maggie Piper with news of more leaks. Nelson Lane, appointed by the board as a committee of one to investigate the roofing situation, said he’d been up on both roofs and found materials in good shape — at least at the elementary school.

Dec. 16, 1992

Although secretary Ray Gooch pleaded for “just one meeting without a discussion of street lights,” his cries went unheeded. The Washington Town Council spent nearly two hours rehashing the street light issue at last Wednesday’s meeting after approving a request by Nicholas Raymond of Flint Hill for a special-use permit. Raymond operates a small salad and sandwich delivery service in Flint Hill. He told the council he wants to set up in a small retail space in the basement of the Clopton House on Main Street.

Some of Rappahannock’s home economics students got an inside look at the Inn at Little Washington last Wednesday. The students were somewhat awed to learn that the bedspread in one of the rooms costs $3,000 and that most of the furnishings came from England. The furnishings were chosen by an English theatrical set designer, the guide said. The guide pointed out that none of the rooms have television and only recently have they gotten radio and telephones. As the students left, each received an Inn at Little Washington T-shirt.