Down Memory Lane for Oct. 16

May 9, 1974

Mrs. Alice Verner of Washington has received a 50-year pin as a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She was initiated into the order in Charleston, W. Va., in March 1924. A member of the Tiskelwah Chapter No. 45, Mrs. Verner graduated from Sperryville High School and took a secretarial course in Richmond. She worked in Baltimore before going to West Virginia. She returned to Rappahannock in 1932 and presently makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Mary Updike and their bird, Polly.

Mrs. Roberta Jackson was the most outstanding student enrolled in the adult education sewing class which concluded last Thursday. Mrs. Elizabeth Scherschel was the class instructor. Mrs. Jackson had never done any sewing before and was able to complete a dress.

Dog warden Jack Bruce reported to the supervisors last Thursday that Tom Lee had lost four lambs. “The dogs tore up a bunch more but they’re still surviving, so he didn’t put in a claim.” Bruce said he had destroyed the dogs that did the damage. “There should be more care taken to see that this doesn’t happen,” Mrs. W.R. Boar said. “Can’t we have an ordinance that requires people to keep the dogs tied up and on their own property?” Resident George Muth said the dogs should be shot so they can’t do it again. “In this case it’s already been done,” Bruce told him. Attorney Pete Luke said he thought the owner, not the county, should be liable. “When the dog and its owner is known, the owner’s liable, General law gives the county claim,” Commonwealth’s Attorney George Davis said. “But often we don’t know, so it has to come out of the general fund.”

Feb. 24, 1983

The sign, white and weather worn, hangs suspended between two poles to the right of the road as you turn into Sperryville off U.S. 211: Hotel Lee Highway. Present owner Bill Loomis designed, built and raised the sign in 1978 shortly after purchasing the building it advertises, a white two story structure on Main Street across from the Sperryville Church of God of Prophecy. “I bought this hotel from two fellas — Myron Palmer and Andrew Kozie. It was known before they had it and still is, legally, as Hotel Lee Highway,” Loomis said. recently. Though he kept the name and even built the sign for it, Loomis’ hotel isn’t a hotel now, but an apartment building with five residents.

From a feature on Feb. 24, 1983 on Rappahannock County history:

  • Luther Warfield Brown was just 15 years old when he set out walking from Sperryville to Richmond, determined to offer his services to his country in the Spanish-American War of 1898.
  • According to his daughter, Sperryville postmaster Aline Johnson, Brown wanted to enlist in the 3rd Virginia Volunteer Infantry Company B. Because of his youth, the young man was sent back home to get permission from his family. “He used to say that he wore out a pair of shoes that were thin to start with on that walk,” Mrs. Johnson recalled.
  • During the war, The Meadows in Washington served as a hospital for the Union soldiers. For reasons no one can explain, the attic seems to be the room used for this purpose. Names of soldiers treated there were written on the wall and bloodstains marked the floor.
  • Union Soldiers who died at the Meadows were buried under a big walnut tree in the back.
  • Also used as a Union hospital was the Rabbit Gum, the old academy in Washington.
  • County commencement was a tradition that continued for years in Rappahannock and gave youngsters a chance to show the school board and reluctant taxpayers what they had learned in the previous year. Students marched through the streets of Washington, displayed exhibits, and had games and exercises. Despite teachers’ complaints, the practice continued until World War II put a limit on gasoline.

Dec. 2, 1992

The rich tradition and quaint charm of historic Washington comes alive begin at 11 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 5), with personal character tours and historic tours of the art and architecture of the town. The renowned Inn at Little Washington will be serving its delectable Christmas treats at Santa’s Bakeshop in the new town hall. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Child Care and Learning Center and the fund for new costumes for the First Washington Colonial Dancers. A special treat at the celebration will be colonial meals served at the local cafe and a traditional Christmas dinner served at the Washington fire hall.

Several merchants report that last weekend’s Blue Ridge Christmas in Sperryville was a success. Jimmy Swindler Jr. of Country Manor, the head of the Sperryville Business Council, said that merchants he talked to were very pleased about the weekend, especially the crowds Friday and Saturday. “Before we started Blue Ridge Christmas, this weekend was no busier than any other weekend in November or December,” he said. “It doesn’t beat the two busiest weekends in October, but it’s getting there,” he added.