Down Memory Lane for May 28 |

Dec. 11, 1975

A request from the heirs of J. L. Williams for a rezoning and an exception to the subdivision ordinance was denied by Rappahannock’s supervisors at their meeting last Thursday, Dec. 4. Attorney T. C. Lea, speaking on behalf of the Williams heirs, argued as he had at previous meetings and public hearings that Rappahannock’s ordinance is “discriminatory” against parents with more than five children. In that event, the parents, or in this case the heirs, are considered as ordinary subdividers and have to go through the subdivision application process, as required by the ordinance. The Williams heirs also requested a rezoning, from agricultural to residential, since the current zoning for their land allows subdivisions with lot sizes of no less than 25 acres.

There are six heirs to J. L. Williams who want to divide the 37 acres they inherited into seven lots. That would include a separate tract for the “homeplace” which would eventually be inherited by the child that lives the longest. At previous hearings the Williams heirs and their supporters had argued that denying them the right to subdivide would be tantamount to denying them their inheritance.

Last Thursday was Herbert Foster’s last day as a member of the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors. After his successor, young W. G. Eastham, was installed, Foster ended 20 years of service with two suggestions for the new board members to consider.

The first was “to get a good look at these subdivisions” that are spreading through the county. “We’ve seen what can happen when these speculators and land grabbers come in here.” Foster made no specific suggestions as to what the supervisors should do about the “land grabbers.” He just made it clear that it is a problem and that it concerns him.

Charles Manson of Washington surveyed his property in the town Saturday. His results are the same of George Washington, who originally surveyed the town, but his equipment vastly more sophisticated.

Manson takes figures from the electronic computer which works in conjunction with the theodolite after a microwave impulse is reflected from a prism in the distance. With the computed figures, a much more accurate survey is possible with hours of mathematical work eliminated.

March 29, 1984

Rappahannock high school senior Ann Oliver has won the state DAR good citizen award. She received the state medal and a $100 educational award at a breakfast in Roanoke earlier this month during the annual conference of Virginia’s Daughters of the American Revolution. Ann had presented a winning essay called “Our American Heritage and My Responsibility to Preserve it.” She read this paper during preliminary competition in Culpeper in January. Ann was also judged on her scholarship record, a questionnaire and recommendations designed to evaluate leadership, dependability, service and patriotism.

Usually something has to be around for years before it’s accorded the status of institution. Institutions are people going to the same places, doing the same things, day after day, year after year. But occasionally, an institution springs up almost overnight. That’s how it’s been with Rae Haase’s Nature’s Foods and Cafe. In the four years since the lunch counter opened, next door to the new Washington Post Office, it has attracted a gang of regulars.

Institutions end, however. And Nature’s Foods and Cafe will pass from the Rappahannock scene on April 29 when Rae closes the doors after the last Sunday brunch.

Rae Haase has mixed feelings about leaving the business at Washington’s hub. “It’s been a lot of work but it’s been fun, too. I’ve learned a lot and most important, I’ve met so many wonderful people.”

Zoning administrator David Konick recommended last week that the Planning Commission endorse a request from Rev. John K. Burke for a special use permit and variance to setback and floodplain regulations necessary before the minister can expand his Gid Brown Bible Church to provide space for Sunday School. In reviewing the variance requests to be considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals, Konick advised the planners last Wednesday that, in his opinion, denial of Burke’s application would work an undue hardship and unreasonably restrict use of the property. With those assurances, the planning commissioners voted unanimously to recommend approval of Burke’s variance application.

June 29 1994

“I want to get the young people to appreciate their heritage,” said Miss Ruby Jenkins, owner and tour guide for First Washington’s Museum on Main Street in Washington.

That is just one of the reasons why Miss Jenkins began setting up her museum in the early 1970s. Since then, she is proud to report , she has had visitors from all 50 states and 24 foreign countries. She and her museum have been written up in numerous publications, and Channel 7 news from Washington, D.C. included her in a story about Washington which aired in 1989. A video of this can also be seen in the museum.

Miss Jenkins said that she started collecting when she was really young. She always had in mind to have a museum, and picked interesting items whenever possible. Many items were handed down in her family, culled from county auctions or donated by friends. Everything in the museum either from the town of Washington or elsewhere in Rappahannock County.

While responding to a call in Washington Monday evening, Deputy Connie Compton of the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Department wrecked a car. She was going around the curve near the Exxon station in Sperryville, heading toward Washington. According to Sheriff John Henry Woodward, Ms. Compton’s car probably hydroplaned due to the heavy rain, and that caused the accident. He said that she lost control of the car in front of the Exxon station, did a 180 degree turn, and slid off the culvert. She was not injured, and the car sustained about $500 damage to the passenger’s door and fender, he said.

The Chester Gap Hillbillies with Miss Possum Queen won for Best Appearing Comic Entry in the Amissville Fireman’s Parade last Thursday.

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 544 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.