Down Memory Lane for April 20

Sept. 22, 1983

Among the homes to be featured during the 27th annual Rappahannock County House Tour and Dried Flower Sale on the afternoons of Oct 15-16 will be “The Meadows,” a large, handsome plantation-type house in the town of Washington.

Part of the home was built several years before a young engineer named George Washington surveyed the town. Over the past few years, the owner, the nation’s capital, has made additions and modifications that have integrated the whole into a structure of unique integrity and dignity. A legend associated with the house tells of of a ghost that had to be eliminated by silver bullets before servants would come to work there. Wounded Civil War soldiers wrote graffiti on attic walls.

Today the house is a showcase for the owner’s collection of mementos of his travels throughout the world.

Meanwhile, “We have a request from the circuit court judge to renovate the courthouse,” announced supervisor chairman J. R. Latham at Monday’s special board meeting, dropping a fiscal bombshell on the county fathers.

Under the Virginia Code, the county board of supervisors is responsible for providing adequate court facilities; the judges themselves determine just what adequate is.

(The renovation request came in a letter from senior Circuit Court Judge Carleton Penn received sometime in July. Latham explained later that he’d circulated the correspondence to his fellow board member, H. B. Wood, and in the process, it was misplaced.)

Circuit Court Clerk Diane Bruce, who also serves as clerk to the board of supervisors, explained that the judge wants an arrangement where three groups — prosecution witnesses, defense witnesses and jurors — can be segregated.

“Another problem is that the jury room (behind the judge’s bench in the upstairs courtroom) is not very well sound-proofed,” Baumgardner advised. When the judge sends the panel to that room so that attorneys can argue a point outside of the jury’s hearing, the voices of the attorneys frequently carry through the closed door, he said.

Dec. 12, 1968

A modern 4,500 square foot IGA food store will open in Washington on Gay Street on Dec. 19. The store will be owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Sophia and will be a member store of the giant IGA food chain.

The store will feature a modern complete meat department, produce, department, dairy department, frozen foods, and a complete line of groceries and health and beauty aids. The store will operate on the same low price cash-and-carry policies as the other members of the IGA chain.

The owner, Mr. Sophia said, “We are delighted to bring a complete modern food store to this lovely section of the country. It has always been my ambition to own and operate a store of my own and I am most happy to have this connection with IGA and this fine community. The people that I have met here already have been very helpful and we are looking forward to a long period of service to this community.”

Mr. Sophia added, “Our IGA studies have shown that Rappahannock County is beginning now to grow and to justify a modern food store. In the years to come I expect to see the population, the income, and the real estate values increase much more rapidly than in the past. We want to be a part of this growth. Furthermore, a modern food store will be an encouragement to people to live in this area.”

As the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors opened its December meeting, the minutes of the last meeting were read by Mrs. Betty Coats. The minutes were amended to include that taxpayers should be notified by mail the amount of their new assessment following the reassessing this year.