Down Memory Lane for Sept. 28

Dec. 30, 1998

A proposal seeking federal and state funding to finance improvements on Sperryville’s Main Street, a footbridge and a hiking-biking trail will be presented to the Board of Supervisors at 7 p.m. on Monday night. The board’s support is critical.

“I am pleased with the proposal,” committee member Bayard Catron said. “It is almost as if the program were meant for us because it fit the criteria so well.”

The project is in two phases, Catron said, with the Main Street and village composing the first part and the hiking-biking trail constituting the second part. The trail, he said is planned to connect the west end of Sperryville to the historic district.

Plans for phase one include removing the asphalt from Main Street, lowering the street level and improving drainage; constructing pedestrian pathways with lighting; landscaping; designing and installing a footbridge over the Thornton river; and designating public parking areas donated by the residents.

Planning for the hiking biking path along the Thornton River from the village to Shenandoah National Park would be included in phase one, as well as historical and archaeological planning, research and publications focusing on the transportation history of the area.

“At a time of his life when most people are making fewer commitments and slowing down it seems he is making more commitments and speeding up,” said Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy of 1998’s Citizen of the Year. He was speaking of John Hartline.

McCarthy said he has worked with Hartline on dozens of boards and organizations over the years. “He has been a joy to work with and someone who I respect and admire.”

Hartline had a long and distinguished Army career and retired as a colonel. He then worked as a civil engineer on construction of the Metro in Washington D.C. and retired again. For years he had a weekend place in Rappahannock and moved here full time after his second retirement.

The list of what he does goes on and on. He’s a member of the Rappahannock Lions Club and has been very active with the club’s programs in the community.

Hartline was on the board of directors of the Washington Volunteer Fire Department, the Child Care and Learning Center, the local branch of the American Cancer Society and on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington.

Jan. 3, 1980

Weather was the big story for 1979 in Rappahannock. An angry Mother Nature used all the weapons in her arsenal, first dumping snow with high winds, then rain, rain and more rain and finally another unexpected blanket of wet snow on the county.

The “Blizzard of ‘79” struck on Sunday and Monday, Feb. 18 and 19, leaving over a foot of new snow on top of the layer of ice deposited by earlier storms.

Gusty winds piled up drifts that kept roads blocked for over 24 hours in some locations as highway crews battled around the clock to keep main thoroughfares passable. Temperatures that hung ten degrees below the freezing point for daytime highs complicated the highway department’s recovery from the worst storm to hit the Washington D.C. area in more than half a century.

Potomac Edison and Northern Piedmont Electric Cooperative both described the freak, early-fall snow storm as the worst disaster to ever hit their companies. Homes in some parts of the county were without electricity from early Wednesday morning until the following Monday as utility crews shoveled across fields to reach downed lines.

If motherhood is measured by the bestowing of love, honor and gratitude, then Mary Botts Quaintance is mother to hundreds and hundreds of Rappahannock children.

Chosen 1979 Woman of the Year by the Rappahannock News, Mrs. Quaintance has led uncountable numbers of youngsters towards educational goals and respect for other during her 48 years in the county’s public school system.

At first teacher, then principal of the neighborhood school in Sperryville and finally as principal of the county’s consolidated elementary school, Quaintance set an example of deportment for her charges. She could say “Do as I do,” not “Do as I say” to the students who looked up to her as a model.

As devoted as she was to education, Mrs. Quaintance was equally untiring in her efforts to promote better health among the county’s youngsters. As part of her special five point program, she sent students to dentist offices in Culpeper, Front Royal and Luray, often carrying them at her own expense in her car if school transportation wasn’t available.