Down Memory Lane for May 5

June 15, 1950

Washington — Virginia — yes, sir — er, I mean, “yes, ma’am” — is so puffed up with all this publicity about the election that one will have to forgive the town if it doesn’t get back down to earth for a few days.

The Evening Star yesterday carried the newly-elected mayor’s picture on the front page along with the list of the women council members. A reporter and a photographer were in town from The Evening Star for several hours yesterday photographing and interviewing our famous all-woman town government. The Washington Post, too, had reporters in the town, and the national newscasts carried a report of the town’s “Revolt of the Women.”

On Friday, June 16, between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. at “Thornton Hill,” the home of Mrs. William Meade Fletcher at Sperryville, friends of Miss Mary Elizabeth Hite will entertain at a complimentary party honoring Rappahannock’s new authoress.

The many friends of Miss Dolly Hite in Rappahannock and the adjoining countries, who are interested in her recent publication, “My Rappahannock Story Book,” which is just off the press are cordially extended an invitation to attend the party.

The parade and the Liberty Bell replica exhibition program, sponsored by the American Legion, at Washington Monday evening, was well attended by the citizens of the county. The parade, forming at the residence of L.V. Merrill, proceeded down Main Street, turning at the C.T. Bruce residence and concluded at the Courthouse.

The national anthem was sung by a quartet composed of Mrs Helen Kilby, Mrs. Lucy Clater, Jack Brown, and L. J. Turner. The Pledge of Allegiance by the entire assemblage was led by the Boy Scouts of the county. The program was concluded with the ringing of the Liberty Bell by Mary Norman Davis, dressed in patriotic colors, representing Miss Liberty.

Dec. 22, 1983

Jimmy DeBergh is the youngest man ever to be named Smucker’s broker of the year. The 35-year-old Rappahannock resident was honored at the annual brokers’ banquet at the National Frozen Food Convention in Chicago in October. Chairman of the Board Paul Smucker said nobody had ever done it so fast — DeBergh’s Harris Hollow Frozen Fruit Company was just founded in February, 1982. DeBergh says the annual surprise is important in the industry. It as only DeBergh’s third year to attend the convention.

Attending his final School Board meeting before assuming his new duties as county supervisor next month, Nelson Lane made a motion on a subject dear to his heart — the Pledge of Allegiance.

At at policy manual review session in October, Lane had said he was ready to go to court if necessary to get the pledge to the flag reinstated during the school-day routine.

In recent times the pledge which refers to “one nation under God,” has become controversial in light of litigation to enforce separation of church and state.

Juniors James Dennis and Cindy Dodson are Rappahannock’s nominees to attend the Governor’s School for gifted and talented next summer. Approximately 450 students from across the state will be chosen in February for four weeks of advanced study in humanities and social science. The classes are held at Mary Washington, VPI and Langley. Last year Dawn Watson and Peggy Stevenson attended from Rappahannock.

July 30, 1997

Marilyn Hoffman of Woodville joked that she doesn’t get off the farm that much, but buying a dress that belonged to Princess Diana at Christie’s did get her to Manhattan.

On her son’s suggestion, Diana decided to clean out her closets by auctioning off 79 of her famous and elegant gowns collected during her marriage to Prince Charles.

It cost $2,000 to guarantee admission into the auction. The price did include an extra ticket for a guest and a leather-bound catalog with Dianna modeling the dresses, including sketches by designers and close-up shots of the luxurious details.

For $60 one could purchase a regular catalog, a viewing of the dresses and lottery ticket for admission into the “overflow room” with a large screen, closed-circuit television of the action in the main room. In all, 1,100 attended the auction.

Marilyn said she was open to the idea of buying a dress when she left for New York but said she was waiting to see what the bidding would be like.

When she finally did bid was just between one other woman and herself, and she bought it on the second bid for $26,000 (plus $3,900 New York state tax.) As it turned out many dresses sold for between $20,000 and $39,000. The lowest bid was for $20,000.

On Saturday, June 28, 1997 descendants of the late Gabe and Florence Foster Burke met at the 4-H center in Harmony Hollow near Front Royal, Warren County for their first family reunion. The family of Gabe Burke and his wife Florence Foster consists of 12 children whose ages range from 77 to 47.

Historically, Burke is considered to be of Irish extraction. Coming to Ireland around 1185 the family held positions and land in counties of Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Tipperary and Limerick.

Virginia law mandates that towns have a plan for their futures and that it is reevaluated every five years. In accordance with these regulations, Washington citizens, the town council and the committee on the future of the town are taking a 20-year look ahead. As part of this process approximately 36 people attended a discussion at the town hall last Friday evening about what may lie in the village’s future.

Some residents wanted to see the historical character preserved and farm lands maintained around the village. Still others wanted to keep Washington as safe as it is now. Wendy Weinberg hopes for continued variety in Washington. She explained that the town has everything from The Inn to the Tavern as well as two theaters, one of which brings in outside acts and the other which has resident performers.