Down Memory Lane for June 9

Sept. 28, 1950

A caution light has been installed on the corner of Main and Middle streets in Washington. This light has been badly needed for years, as this is one of the most dangerous corners in town. The former P.T. A., the former town council and the present town council have worked on this project. It is hoped the State Highway Department will realize the need for more traffic signs and markers in Rappahannock County.

Gibson Wharton, at Hampton Service Station, has been appointed to handle automobile and truck licenses, formerly handled at the office of Attorney R. V. Snead. Hampton Service Station is located between Sperryville and Washington, on U.S. Route 211, and licenses may be purchased at any time.

The R. G. Quaintance estate was sold the past week to Earl B. Combs of Washington D. C.

This property, known as “Mountain View,” is considered one of the better farms in Rappahannock County, it has between 970 and 1000 acres. The house is of frame construction. The property is 1½ miles southwest of Woodville and adjoins the Jim Miller place, Daniel Coughlin, and the J. G. Brown estate on the west; Mrs. Holmes Hall farm on the north and the old Gum Browning place on the east. The property was sold privately.

July 6, 1961

Mrs. Mary E. Burke had a most painful and serious accident last week when she was injured by her power mower in the yard of her home on Gay Street in Washington, Va. She lost her big toe and injured the other toes on her right foot when she attempted to remove the garden hose from the path of the mower. Her foot slipped on the wet grass into the mower.

Mrs. Burke’s son, Earl Burke, rushed her to the hospital and after receiving treatment is at home.

Three boy scouts about 12 years of age, from the metropolitan area, appeared at the door of the W. A. Buntin home in Washington Sunday morning to report themselves lost. They had spent a miserable night in the woods in Harris Hollow after becoming separated from the rest of the troop of nine and their leader early Saturday afternoon. The scouts were hiking to Skyline Drive to camp out.

The boys were exhausted and hungry for they had not eaten since one o’clock Saturday, and were covered with ticks, but otherwise apparently suffered no ill effects from their night out.

After giving them breakfast, Trooper Buntin drove up the hollow trying to locate the rest of the party. Failing to do so, he notified one boy’s mother who came for them.

On June 24th the Washington High School Class of ‘38 held a reunion, the first since the class graduated.

A social hour was held at the home of Mrs. Robert (Stella Dennis) Johnson and Mr. Johnson on the Browntown Road, Front Royal, followed by dinner at the Virginia Gentleman Restaurant. Old acquaintances were renewed and many new ones made. Due to distance and engagements, there were nine members of the class who were unable to attend and were very much missed by the others.

A pleasant surprise was in store when Mr. Milton Hollingsworth, who was principal of WHS in ’38, and his wife, Sylvia, arrived from Norfolk for the occasion. Mr. Hollingsworth is now retired.

Dec. 24, 1997

The Rappahannock County Planning Commission turned down two applications for special exception permits at its meeting last week.

W. F. Bear and Karen L. Bear had applied for a permit to construct a second dwelling on their property located on Fodderstack Road, one mile north of the town of Washington.

The commission had tabled the application in November requesting that Bear get slope calculations on the 50.41 acres. The county requires 50 acres of developable density in order to construct a second dwelling in that area. Bear asked for an exemption from the maximum density requirement.

It was determined that seven acres was in 25 percent or more slope and the commission recommended denial of the application based density and slope calculations.

In new business, the Washington Town Council considered a request from Charlotte Freeman for a street light on Piedmont Avenue. The proposed light would be outside town limits. Questions of payments for electricity, cost of providing the fixture, and the need for other lights were discussed. The council agreed to refer the matter to the county administrator for comment.

The Sperryville Historic Committee has been working diligently toward getting a historic marker for Sperryville to mark the historic district. On Dec. 3, the Virginia Board of Historic Resources approved the new historical highway marker for Sperryville along with one for Ellerslie in Washington, Va.

The Sperryville marker will have the following information on it. “Laid out by Francis Thornton Jr., in 1817, Sperryville survives as an upper Piedmont crossroads village. In the early 19th century John Kiger built Conestoga wagons here. By the 1850s two turnpikes (Thornton’s Gap and Sperryville and Rappahannock) intersected here. In 1867, the Smoot family, of Alexandria, built a nearby tannery that closed in 1911. By that time, the town boasted four churches, five general stores, one hotel, six mills, numerous shops, a Masonic hall and a population of 350.