Down Memory Lane for Sept. 7

Dec. 9, 1998

It’s possible Gene Scheel has walked and seen more of Rappahannock County than anyone in a long, long time. The noted map maker and historian painstakingly field checks every feature on his beautiful, hand drawn historical maps. Chances are you’ve seen his distinctively detailed work somewhere: the historical maps of Culpeper and Fauquier counties, the Mosby Heritage Area Map — over 50 in all, mainly of the Virginia Piedmont, Tidewater and Upper Shenandoah Valley. What you haven’t seen is such a map of Rappahannock. Until now!

After years of wishing for such a map, the Rappahannock Historical Society received a grant from the Hampton Foundation a year ago, and Gene was off and running (okay, walking). And when I caught up with him in November he was still going at it. When does he decide to stop? “When I start loosing material,” he said.

I followed Gene to a house near Viewtown. “Stay in the car,” he said, “I’ve never met this guy.” Well, Mr. Levi Atkins Jr. didn’t mind the Historical Society tagging along. After returning to U. S. 211 we turned onto a private lane, unlatched a few chained fences, and drove along a dirt road through the “Big woods,” emerging in fields west of Poe Mountain.

After about an hour’s discussion of the proposed amendments to the zoning regulations concerning family apartments, the board of supervisors made some changes in that proposal from the planning commission.

They left the standard as to how far an apartment can be from the main dwelling at 50 feet. They left as is the standard which says the apartment must be occupied by a family member for two years and after that my be rented. They did away with the standard which says a family apartment may not be occupied by more than three people and they adopted a new standard which says there shall be no more than one family apartment per separated parcel of land.

Although not all the citizens who attended the public hearing agreed with the last standard, there was a general feeling of agreement that the ordinance had been made much more palatable to residents.

June 3, 1976

Bill Bailey “went organic” in his gardening when he moved to Amissville five years ago. He took advantage of Johns Hopkins’s early retirement policy and left his position there to build a house in Rappahannock County. “At 65, I can honestly say that the last five years of my life have been the best. Julia (Mrs Bailey) and I have talked about it and we decided that our five years here have been the most enjoyable.”

Bill’s garden is picture perfect. The plants are large and healthy and there’s not a sign of a weed or a bug anywhere. The cabbage is particularly impressive, and he volunteered that it had been doused with nothing more that old dish water.

Bill also believes that big is not necessarily better, especially when it comes to gardens. “A lady called me, said she’d heard about my gardening and asked me to come over and see hers. She had a whole field plowed up! I told her she’d have to hire a man to take care of it for her.”

Bill’s garden is small but every inch of space is utilized and when one crop is pulled, another takes its place. Bill and Julia sell the produce that they don’t eat, preserve or give away, at the Warrenton Farmers Market.

Edgar F. Puryear, Jr., of Madison has announced his association with Douglas K. Baumgardner of Rappahannock County for the general practice of law.

Baumgardner, a 1976 graduate of the University of Virginia Law School, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fanning M. Baumgardner of Washington. While in law school he served as director of the Virginia Legislative Service, as the law school representative to the Judiciary committee for the University of Virginia, and as clerk and research assistant to Judge Rayner V. Snead of the twentieth judicial circuit of Virginia. Also he served on the editorial staff of Virginia “Law Weekly” and as legislative assistant to Delegate D. French Slaughter, Jr. of Culpeper for the 1975 session of the Virginia General Assembly.