Down Memory Lane for Feb. 11

Jan. 29, 1981

Miriam Reeve of Sperryville, Ranger Division Secretary at Shenandoah National Park, retired Jan. 17 after more than 25 years of government service.

Mrs. Reeve was born in Matthews, Alabama, and in June 1941 married Roy Lynn Reeve. She spent her early part of her career working in various temporary assignments because of her husband’s Air Force career, and immediately prior to coming to work at Shenandoah National Park in Aug. of 1957, worked for the current Deputy of Personnel Management, Jule Sugarman.

Mrs. Reeve received both Special Achievement and Outstanding Performance awards during her service at Shenandoah National Park, where she has assisted seven Chief Park Rangers, and worked on a variety of special assignments for the Park.

Square dancers and cloggers at the Washington Community Center this Saturday night will stomp their feet to music out of the past — Appalachian folk tunes, Scottish reels and Irish jigs plucked and strummed by Lyt Wood on his hammer dulcimer, Bob Treanor on the guitar and Bill Hudson playing mandolin and banjo.

The trio of Rappahannock musicians hasn’t been playing together long but they make up for hours of practice that they’ve missed with camaraderie and a shared love for traditional music.

While Washington’s water problems are far from over, conservation efforts and greater than anticipated flow from a new town well have combined to scale down the situation from a near state of emergency to the “state of inconvenience” described by mayor Newbill Miller.

Water hauled in three times per day at $105 a load enable the town to turn its public system back on as of Jan. 17 after failure of Washington’s supplementary well left residents with dry faucets on Jan. 9. To offset the expense, the town council adopted an emergency rate increase, charging users $4.45 for consumption of up to 1,500 gallons with a fee of three cents per gallon over that limit.  

March 31, 1983

From a News series about the history of country doctors in the county…Dr. J. G.Brown of Woodville who practiced in a wide area of the county for a span of almost 50 years is remembered by patients, neighbors and friends.

Folks who needed his services — and these ranged from Woodville all the way down to Madison and up into the mountains in between — remembered him as a conscientious, very modern doctor for his day. Stories abound of him saving lives and limbs — sometimes with only the most primitive of tools and conditions.

Dr. J. G. Brown was, in addition to being a regular practicing doctor, the chairman of the health board of the county. He was called in on many consultations by other doctors.

A murderer’s bullet in 1967 ended the life of a local doctor who had practiced in Rappahannock, Fauquier and Warren Counties since the age of 21.

Dr. William E. Lynn died in the driveway of his Huntly home in a case that has never been solved.

He is remembered in all three counties as a doctor who cheerfully made house calls, accepted produce for payment, and treated migrant workers  free of charge.

By 1939 he had founded and built the Front Royal Hospital. He was 25 years old. He later sold the hospital to the town of Front Royal.

Two young brothers, Joseph and Henry DeJarnette, who visited their sister, Carolyn DeJarnette Keyser here, settled in this area for a while and practiced medicine in the town of Washington, where the Rappahannock Medical Clinic is now.

Dr. Joseph went on to Staunton, where he founded a sanitorium and specialized in psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Henry became an eye doctor and lived at the family estate, Mt. Comfort, in Spotsylvania.

Dr. Henry DeJarnette kept a ledger during the years he practiced in Rappahannock, between the years 1896 to 1898. Dr. DeJarnette was the great uncle of Margaret DeJarnette Baumgardner of Sperryville.

His ledger tells that Dr. DeJarnette charged from $1.00 to $2.00 for an office visit. Many of his patients paid their bills with hay, which was worth fifty cents a hundred pounds in 1897. Clarence Miller was one of those who furnished the doctor with hay, providing 1,130 pounds for a credit of $5.65 on his bill.

Sept. 4, 1996

For more than 20 years the members of Willis Chapel Methodist Church have been working to prevent the old Reager School Building which adjoins their property from deteriorating while also working to gain title to the property.

When the building ceased serving a school, title reverted to many heirs of the family of the family that had donated land for the school. Some still live in the area. At least one lives in California.

Finally this past spring the church gained title to the property through donations from the surviving heirs, and now the members are working to restore the building for use as a fellowship hall.

Judy Burke said she has checked School Board records, and the school was in use as late as 1954. She said she never attended the school, but her father did. When he died early in the summer, the family asked for memorial donations to be made to the cause, and Mrs. Burke said that was quite successful.

The total cost of the renovation is estimated at $20,000 to $25,000.

Rescue Captain Charlotte Turnmeyer was please to show off Flint Hill’s new ambulance last Thursday.

The $102,000 advanced life support  unit, a 1996 Ford E450, was purchased with the help of a $62,000 grant from the State of Virginia Emergency Medical Services Division. Money from fundraisers also went to pay for it. Mrs. Turnmeyer and her husband flew to Alabama, picked up the vehicle, and drove it back home.

Bob and Helen Bridges have put 277 acres of their land between Washington and Sperryville into easement, including their end of Jenkins Mountain, their pastures and ponds, and their frontage on both sides of the Covington River.

“Wouldn’t it be horrible to see this subdivided, to see 20 or 30 houses?” Mr. Bridges said gesturing towards the spectacular view from “Eagle’s Nest,” their mountaintop home, which also serves a a bed and breakfast.

“It’s heaven. That’s what it is…We’re only caretakers of this land. If you don’t do something to protect it while you’re alive, you don’t know what might happen to it in the future,” he said.

The Bridges have four daughters and 11 grandchildren, whom they say understand why the land they will inherit has been put into easement.