Down Memory Lane for Oct. 8 |

Jan. 10, 1980

Alvin D. Grigsby of Castleton bagged a 28-pound bird on the last day of 1979 to close out the old year with a bang. Grigsby said he was out hunting deer when a flock of turkeys wandered by, totally unsuspecting. Grigsby shot the bird through the neck without damage at all to the meat.

Eighty pigs and three brood sows were burned to death and a large barn with farrowing quarters was completely destroyed by fire Friday at the John Sheffield property in Viewtown. Origin of the fire was unknown. According to Mrs. Sheffield, she had fed and watered the animals in the morning and checked the barn that afternoon. She had looked out from the house about a half an hour before Mrs. Margaret Barron called on the phone to say the barn was burning and she had called the fire department, Mrs. Sheffield said. The Barrons live across the road at the Viewtown Store.

Mary Tauss of Scrabble assumed the duties of secretary at the Rappahannock Mental Health Clinic in Washington on January 2. She graduated from NOVA and completed her junior year at George Mason College in Fairfax where she lived before coming to Rappahannock two years ago. She is married to Brian Tauss, a counselor at the Camp 11 Corrections facility in Culpeper, and they have a 20-month old daughter, Elin Louise.

Oct. 17, 1985

Headmaster William Lynn is considering cancelling all athletic events between his Wakefield School and Rappahannock County High School beginning in 1986 as a result of a rash of vandalism that began with the theft of the school’s sign and escalated to a rumored threat to commit arson.

The advice of the trustees to the 13-year old private school located near Huntly was to immediately discontinue competing athletically with the larger, county-rival public school.

Lynn said he suspects the acts of theft and vandalism are the result of school rivalry, fueled by the Wakefield School Homecoming on Oct. 5 when the public school was beaten by the private school in a traditional soccer match.

Mired in debate, the Washington Town Council postponed a decision to ban helicopter landings in town, a proposed ordinance some say is directed solely at the activities of a local restaurant. Mayor Peter Kramer told the council he would approach the owners of the local restaurant to hammer out a compromise. His suggestion was made after the council heard disagreement over the value and legality of such an ordinance.

Frank Reynolds, a town resident, told the council at its Oct. 9 meeting that passage of the proposed helicopter ordinance would not be “neighborly.”

It is at least the third time in three months that the council has discussed a proposed ordinance banning helicopter flights within 300 feet above town limits. Detractors of the proposal say the ordinance is specifically aimed at preventing The Inn at Little Washington, a posh local eatery, from flying out-of-town patrons to the county by helicopter.

The 29th Annual Rappahannock House Tour and Dried Flower Sale, the popular event held on the third weekend of October when the colors in the Blue Ridge foothills should be at their best, will begin on Oct. 19. The last house on this year’s tour is “Meadow Grove,” the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Fletcher Massie. “Meadow Grove” is located approximately three miles south of Ben Venue on Rt. 729, one of the first highways to link this part of the Commonwealth with the east and south of colonial Virginia.

The farm was established in 1739 from a land grant from King George III. In 1749, a parcel from the Fairfax Grant was added and in 1802, then governor of Virginia, James Monroe, signed a deed to a third portion. This deed is on display in the den. “Meadow Grove” has been the home of six generations of Massies.

March 15, 1995

Helen Williams is the school system’s new learning environment coordinator. She replaces Richard Smith, who will become the director of pupil personnel. He is replacing Margarita Piper, who retires at the end of June. Her new job is to ensure that the county’s schools are safe and that the students are not exposed to unsafe or dangerous chemicals or other hazards.

She will oversee the maintenance staff, be responsible for the water and septic systems and serve as the compliance officer and assist with transportation. Mrs. Williams is leaving teaching after 22 years to take up the new position. She said she decided to apply for the job to get a different perspective on how school systems work.

Virginia State Police Sergeant Gary T. Settle was transferred to Area 15 in Culpeper effective March 1. Being assigned to Culpeper also includes duties and supervision in Madison and Orange Counties. Sgt. Settle also has been assigned to the Division II Tactical Team. He was a member of the team for four years. Sgt. Settle has been employed by the Virginia State Police since July 1986.

Architect Dwight Matthews has attained that which many strive for in Rappahannock: he has a successful business based in the county where he lives, and no longer has to commute to his job. When a small building next to his house on U.S. 522 in the village of Flint Hill came up for sale, his dream of having his own office and workspace near his home became a reality. Now he can be there when his two children, Dorian and Whitney, arrive home from school.

The house he has designed in Rappahannock County show his versatility and ability to work with clients’ wishes. Dr. Werner Krebser’s  new home is a mixture of tone and tudor. He designed a large addition for a Victorian House known as Belle Meade, owned by Susan Hoffman and Michael Biniek in the F.T. Valley, which is now a bed and breakfast and site of a summer camp. He also built a separate kitchen at the Conyers House to match the original building which dates back to the 1700s. An addition at the Foster-Harris House in Washington which is presently under construction is also Mr. Matthew’s design. The Rappahannock County Library was his design too.