Down Memory Lane for March 30

May 19, 1983

At the May meeting of the Washington Town Council, members agreed to postpone the public hearing on the renewal of Potomac Edison’s franchise until representatives from both groups reviewed the changes made by town attorney Douglas Baumgardner. The council had requested Baumgardner to change the wording in some portions of the proposed agreement to make its language more specific. In particular, the revised agreement eliminates the possibility of tower construction within the town, limits the utility to poles, wires and lines necessary for the provision of power to the town only, and requires a permit from the town for maintenance of the lines.

PotEd representative Kenneth Nichols said that the power company could operate under an extension of the existing thirty-four year old agreement. Nichols agreed to return in June and answer any of the council’s questions on the agreement, to be followed by a public hearing .

Mayor Newbill Miller told the council that the town is beginning to encounter difficulties with the existing zoning ordinance with Planning District Director John Cappelle and that Cappelle had promised the town an update of the 1970 ordinance by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the State Health Department has turned down the proposal from the Rappahannock supervisors to bury dead dogs at the county-owned dumpster site in Amissville.

“If you want to bury animals separately, away from a landfill, you need a permit to do it,” said Robert Foreman, regional director of the department’s Bureau of Solid Waste and Vector Control. “You’d have to get a sight evaluation and go through the whole approval process.”

Foreman suggested another alternative for disposal of the remains of strays put to death by the county dog warden. “I don’t see why you don’t use your landfill,” he said, referring to the privately owned and operated solid waste disposal site maintained by Clifton Clark and Community Trash, Inc., under a special use permit from the county.

Supervisor Chairman J. R. Latham, who was alone in opposing the plan to dispose of dogs in trenches at the Amissville dumpster site, reported this week that other alternatives are being explored.

Dec. 24, 1997

Fire Chief Richie Burke and retired chief Charles K. “Pete” Estes thumbed through mounds of records, journals, and ancient photographs searching for the beginnings of the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Company. Their quest took them from attics to graveyards as they pursued elusive clues and jogged cobwebbed memories.

Over the years, much of the documentation has disappeared, buried perhaps in personal files and photo albums. Nearly 30 years’ worth of secretaries’ minutes are missing, along with many of the original corporate documents.

So far, Estes has identified more than 140 individuals who have been members at one time or another. He and Burke would like current and past members of the company to help unearth parts of the company’s past so that a permanent historic display can be set up at the fire station.

Founded in 1947, the county’s second volunteer company roared to life on the backs and heart of returning veterans of World War II. Roy B. Leake reported in a journal that a large crowd attended the first organizational meeting at the Sperryville High School Auditorium. That building became the Sperryville Emporium and is now leased to Faith Mountain Company. Garland M. Black, then the manager of the Mount Vernon Stock Farm, off U.S. 211, was elected the first fire chief.

Pete Estes’ grandfather Charles was one of the founding members. Charles’ grandfather, James A. Estes, contributed his red barn behind the present Sperryville post office for the first fire station.

According to old meeting minutes, each of the 15 charter members contributed $200 of their own money to purchase two U.S. Government surplus fire trucks from Fort Meade, Md.