The Rappahannock Historical Society was reactivated Monday evening with a meeting and election of officers at the courthouse in Washington. New RHS president James F. Massie stated that henceforth meetings will be held three times a year — in February, May and October. First priority of the society is to restore the RHS-owned old historical building on Gay Street. It was felt that this is necessary on many counts, chiefly to have a suitable home for documents, books, maps, etc. that have been donated to the society. It is one of the oldest buildings in town, having served as a barroom, office of the treasurer and a law office.
The Mount Marshall Fire Road, a trail used by hikers and horseback riders in Rappahannock County for nearly 50 years, has been closed at two points by owners of 25-acre subdivision lots who live along it. The road begins at Route 625 and winds up toward Mount Marshall in the Shenandoah National Park. Along the top of the Ridge, it intersects with the Skyline Drive and Bluff Trail for hikers. After the fire road was blocked, Dr. and Mrs. Norman Horwitz, who have land farther up the mountain, told the Rappahannock Trail Riders that they could use their driveway to reach the trail from Route 625. The legality of blocking the trail has not been determined. Fanning Baumgardner, assistant zoning administrator, believes the road may be a public right-of-way. Attorneys for the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection are studying the issue.
Over 200 students have entered the Rappahannock Library’s big book review contest. “This welcome and enthusiastic participation, “ said George E. Muth, newly appointed member to the library board of trustees, “makes you realize that a vital public library can fill a need in the county’s educational system.” All participants and parents will be invited to a prize-awarding party shortly after the contest closes.
John Jackson will bring the music he’s performed at the White House, Wolf Trap and around the world back to Rappahannock on Dec. 17 for a concert in the old Gay Street theater. John began his musical career in the F.T. Valley, where he was born and raised. His father, a sharecropper on local farms, played the guitar; his mother played the French harp and accordion. He grew up surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins and visiting blues men who performed that uniquely American form of music at tourist homes in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the county’s western border. His first guitar lessons were from a man he remembers only as Hap, a convict on the crew that built Rappahannock’s first paved road.
Kristie Johnson, a senior at Rappahannock County High School, has been selected for the DAR “Good Citizen” award, sponsored by the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Culpeper Minutemen. Kristie, 17, is the president of the National Honor Society at RCHS, and an SCA alternate representative. She is also in the choir, on the staff of the school newspaper and appeared in two recent dramatic production. She is also a member of the Woodville Baptist Church. Kristie moved from Springfield to Woodville with her family in 1975.
In two separate incidents, vandals struck at Rappahannock County High School over the holiday weekend. According to principal Robert Chappell, damage was done by a heavy car or truck to the front lawn and the back grassy area. A vehicle dug out gullies in these areas and then pushed over the bleachers on the baseball field sometime Friday evening. On Saturday night, vandals threw liquor bottles, batteries and beer bottles through a classroom window at the front of the school. The Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident.
Spring Mountain School, on Mt. Salem Avenue in Washington, was granted a new special-use permit by the town council at last week’s meeting. The school had asked to increase the number of children in attendance during normal school hours from 20 to 40. In addition, the school requested that it would be allowed to rent classroom space to outside groups or organization. Bethany Craig is the school’s director. She was granted the use of two classrooms, but does not have rights to the auditorium. Ms. Craig will also be allowed to rent classroom space after school hours to certain groups with certain stipulations The groups will consist of no more than 20 children and will meet no more than four times a week.
Lisa, a 7,000 pound Asian elephant, is one of the stars of the Roberts Bros. Three Ring Circus, which is scheduled for performance in Flint Hill at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at the Firemen’s Carnival. The circus, which is sponsored by the Flint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, tours this year with an all-new production of traditional acts including acrobats, animals, aerialists and clowns.
Louise and Thomas L. Eastham have sued the county over their assessments. A petition filed by attorney Douglas Baumgardner on behalf is the Easthams asks that the assessments be set at the level set by the Board of Assessors, not the level set by the Board of Equalization. Mrs. Eastham owns the nearly 2,500-acre Ben Venue Farm. Mr. Eastham owns 296 acres nearby. The Board of Assessors set the assessment on Ben Venue at $4.7 million and the assessment on Mr. Eastham’s land at $938,100.