Down Memory Lane for Oct. 23

May 16, 1974

Robert W. Smith of Utica, Mich., and his wife were overnight visitors of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Nethers of Sperryville. The two men were Army buddies in 1945 on Company E., 175th Regiment of the 29th Division. They had not seen each other since mustering out of the Army. They reminisced about days gone by. They were near the Elbe River in Germany in 1945.

“The problems of starting a new business, so horribly aggravated by the unprecedented warm winter caused the financial catastrophe in what was thought to be a well-financed operation.” This summing up of the financial difficulties of the Rappahannock Ski Corporation is contained in the minutes of a meeting of creditors held recently at the ski area. According to the minutes, James A. Moore, president of the corporation, stated that “Camelback Ski Corporation has invested over $500,000 in the area, and its bank will not allow it to put up any more money. Directors of Camelback have personally invested another $200,000. Obviously everything possible will be done to avoid bankruptcy and sacrifice of this sizeable investment, particularly as February showed great promise for the future.”

Gail Timmons of Sperryville won the title of “Out-of-Town Honorary Fire Chief” in the Apple Blossom Firemen’s parade in Winchester recently. She is the 16-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Timmons and a junior at Rappahannock County High School. Gail was crowned Sperryville Honorary Fire Chief at the Sperryville Fireman’s carnival last year.

March 3, 1983

In a case heard last Thursday in Rappahannock’s Circuit Court, Judge Shore Robertson granted a temporary injunction against Potomac Edison in a case involving the utility’s right to increase voltage on their lines through the Sperryville property of Susan Cameron. Robertson also gave Potomac Edison’s attorneys permission to file additional authorities with the court and Cameron’s lawyer, David Konick, permission to respond.

Middle Street Gallery’s latest exhibition of works by four local photographers celebrates the artistic showcase’s commitment to feature camera art. Proprietors Sarah Shorter and Dan Lewis will be working in conjunction with Charlie Tompkins, who has a studio at the rear of the gallery, to add photographic shows to Middle Street’s regular schedule. The walls in Tompkins’ studio will always be reserved for photographs. But for the special shows, camera art will hang in Middle Street front rooms as well.

The Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Center has a new program for the citizens of Planning District 9. An Infant Development Program has been funded by a special grant from the Virginia Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. The Infant Program will offer evaluation, case management and referral services as well as direct services. The program is expected to begin serving clients in late winter or early spring, as soon as initial hiring takes place.

Dec. 2, 1992

David Marshall Dwyer was one of three speakers at the First Friday program. “The thing I remember the most of my mother and my four sisters crying because we had to leave,” Mr. Dwyer told an overflow crowd at the library at last Friday’s program, “Down From the Mountains: The Resettlement from the Park.” Mr. Dwyer, who had just started school at that time, asked his father, “Why do we have to leave if we own our place?”

“I got angry with the Park Service, and I stayed angry for many years,” he continued. He said one day years later he was returning to the mountains from Northern Virginia. He had trouble breathing, but the closer he got to the mountains the easier it was to breath. “I got to thinking how much oxygen an oak tree puts out, and I thought maybe it was a good thing they did that.”

He said that his family had a nine-room house. He had just started school in the Hull School near Sperryville. He showed a photograph of the school. “It looks like a shack, but it was the focal point of the community,” he said. “We had dances, preaching and community meetings.”

He said his family raised most of their food. Extra meat was salted down or stored outside in the cold, where it kept well in winter. Cabbages, potatoes and onions were stored in the ground. Many other vegetables were canned in half gallon jars. They had chickens, hogs, sheep and cows.

After the program, he said that the mountain people were “really hurting” when the chestnut blight killed all the chestnut trees in the area.