Down Memory Lane for Feb. 19

Jan. 16, 1975

When trustees of the Rappahannock Library assume charge of the Helen Fuller estate in March, they will receive less than half of what they had originally expected. Receipts from a public auction of Miss Fuller’s personal belongings amounted to $28,000 in October of 1972, when the sale was held. But that was before a New York art dealer cancelled payment on a $15,000 check and prior to three suits — filed against the estate by Clarence Baldwin, and his wife and daughter, asking a total of $85,000.

The three suits against the estate were settled in November of 1974, according to George Davis, one of the executors. As part of the settlement, the Baldwins received the painting the New York dealer had bought, before he canceled his check. The executors have retained control of the estate to pay a few minor debts, Davis said. It will remain in an interest-bearing certificate of deposit at the Rappahannock Bank until March. Withdrawing it sooner would mean forfeiting an interest payment, Davis said.

Irvin L. Kenyon, Jr., who has served as Game Warden in Rappahannock for eight years, has been promoted to the area of wildlife management from the law enforcement division. Mr. Kenyon will work in the Apple Manor Wildlife Management area in Madison. He will continue to reside in Rappahannock.

The scenic easement program in Northern Virginia has received another boost — this time from Phil and Phyllis Irwin, who have granted an open space easement on their 40-acres farm near Flint Hill in Rappahannock County. The use of scenic easements as a means to protect rural land from development pressures has been gaining favor throughout Virginia in recent years.

Sept. 29, 1983

Once or twice a year some old gentleman will drive into Country Manor’s parking lot, find one of the proprietors and ask politely to walk around the grounds behind the shop. He may study the landscape up near the highway, search the creek bed for an old wooden dam, look for traces of old cement foundations in the field. He and others are searching for remains of Civilian Conservation Corps Camp #27, a camp of mostly Virginia men who lived there for several years during the Depression and went out each day to improve the fire trails, do landscaping and clearing around the park, cut out the hiking trails and generally “built” those parts of the park where nature needed to be subdued or altered. The camp at Beech Spring was one of 80 CCC camps in Virginia.

Jimmy Swindler, as well as Fields Benton, who was at the camp for a while, said that of the $30 the campers received each month, $25 were sent back home. The typical term of service was six months. Swindler remembers that no one could leave before that time unless he had proof of employment.

The Civilian Conservation Corps was the most popular New Deal program in Rappahannock. Camps like the one at Beech Spring employed young single men who were out of work. Daily life was patterned after military routines where the corpsmen took turns at kitchen duty, supervised by experienced Army and Navy men, and local people with supervisory skills. The camps were composed of semipermanent and permanent structures with an emphasis on orderliness, good health and nutrition and hard work. Throughout the state, the 80 CCC camps gave the people of Virginia a $5 million state park system at a cost of only $100,000 to the state.

Traffic to the park brought new opportunities for apple marketing and one of the first men to operate a fruit stand locally was George Rowe, whose success inspired others to dot the road past Sperryville with fruit, craft and souvenir stands.

Sept. 29, 1993

Roy Leake has agreed to sell the county 5.119 acres for $60,000. The land will be used for expansion at the elementary school.

Mr. Leake will receive $30,000 on Oct. 4 and another $30,000 Jan. 4 The title to the property the county will get will prohibit using the property for solid waste collection.

The land on which the school was built was purchased from Mr. Leake. This purchase left a narrow strip of land still owned by Mr. Leake between the end of the school property and Route 636. Mr. Leake also owns land on the other side of Route 636. He has been taking hay from the land the county will buy. It is a buildable lot, however.

Gasoline has leaked Beaverdam Creek from underground storage tanks owned by Quarles Petroleum, Inc. at the F. T. Valley Grocery on Route 231 two miles west of Sperryville. Petroleum products have also infiltrated the grounds in front of the store. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has entered an enforcement action against Quarles Petroleum to clean up the site. Beaverdam Creek is across the highway from the grocery on property owned by Mr. E.D. Coffey, Sperryville.

The Board of Zoning Appeals approved a special use permit to build an efficiency apartments in a two-story garage building in Flint Hill but turned down a variance request last Wednesday. Architect Dwight Matthews presented the apartment application on behalf of the owners Phyllis Pricer and Catherine Criscione. He said that the building had originally been a house and had been moved to its current location and converted to a garage.

He said the owners wanted the apartment for a rental property. They only use the property on weekends and wanted someone on the property full time, he said.