Washington column for April 6

Manahoac Lake Motel

Everytime I turn into Washington off U.S. 211, my eyes catch the old motel on the left side of the road, just sitting there with no life whatsoever. In my mind, I can hear it saying SAVE ME.

I can remember when it was called the Manahoac Lake Motel, named for the Indian tribe thought by some to have camped on the site, with its small lake (most of which was filled when the two-lane U.S. 211 came through back in the 1970s). It was a beautiful site back then. I had heard through the grapevine that George Davis Jr. was the one to have built the motel.

It's seen better days: Manahoac Lake Motel, then and now.
It’s seen better days: Manahoac Lake Motel, then and now.
Courtesy photo

In 1979, Paul and Joan St. Clair bought the property and had it converted it into the Black Kettle Motel and Restaurant. They were the last ones to operate the motel. It has been going downhill ever since.

Such a shame that the town doesn’t have an operating motel that doesn’t charge visitors an arm and a leg to spend the night and enjoy the history of Washington. I have heard over the years that not too many young people stick around this town and county very long. Wonder why?

I had heard that two men from Harris Hollow own the property now — not sure what their plans are with the building. But I do hope that they have a plan soon. It’s just not a pretty site when coming into the Town of Washington.

Everyone wants our town to be beautiful for the tourists. If you were a tourist coming to visit, wonder what your first expression would be to see the old motel? Swing by and take a look at the motel and listen for the voice and what it is trying to say.

New thrift

The Washington Volunteer Fire Department’s new thrift building is under construction. By Jan Clatterbuck/Rappahannock News

The Volunteers at Firehouse Treasures Thrift are delighted to announce contracts for the construction of a new thrift building were signed and the first phase of construction of a 30 feet by 70 feet pole building began on March 27th. The roof is now in place and the concrete floor is under construction.

The new thrift is to be built directly behind the current site at 10 Firehouse Lane. The sheds that have housed the old thrift for so many years will be removed, providing additional parking area to the Washington Fire Department. The new building will finally allow the firehouse to adequately display all of the quality merchandise that has been donated to it. They will have a large work area to process donations and will no longer need to clutter the sales floor with boxes and bags of “treasure”.

Much remains to be done before the thrift can actually take occupancy but they are well on their way. For now, they will continue to operate in the sheds on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Angus news

According to Allen Moczygemba, CEO of the national American Angus Association with headquarters in Missouri, Ella Updike of Washington is a new junior member.

Junior members of the Association are eligible to register cattle in the association, participate in programs conducted by the National Junior Angus Association and take part in association-sponsored shows and other national and regional events.

The American Angus Association is the largest beef breed association in the world, with more than 25,000 active adult and junior members. Congratulation Ella!

Cemetery mowing

I had a phone call on Monday morning from one of the trustees of the Washington Masonic Cemetery, Inc. They would appreciate it if the Christmas flowers would be removed from the cemetery. They are going to start the mowing in several weeks. For more information, call Russell Racer at 540-636-3841 or Bud Corder at 540-675-3291.

Have a wonderful week!