Down Memory Lane for Oct. 26

Feb. 3, 1999

The specter of 200-foot telecommunications towers with warning lights being built on mountaintops elicited a lively discussion at the board of supervisors meeting on Monday.

County Administrator John McCarthy suggested a public meeting to determine public sentiment for cellular telephone service.

The board decided to hold a joint public meeting with the planning commission in mid-March at the high school with the telecommunications companies also being invited to present their ideas.

“It is the subject of a lot of litigation,” said County Attorney Peter Luke. He advised the board to hire a court reporter to transcribe the meeting in case the county is taken to court.

“The companies located six mountaintop sites in the county, but were turned down by two of the landowners — with threats of gunplay,” McCarthy said.

Robin Kevis has his hands full.

He has undertaken the renovation of the old Mattie Ball Fletcher house at Main and Calvert Streets in Washington — a major project and his clients are his parents, Charles and Carroll Kevis.

The Mattie Ball Fletcher house was built in the mid-1700s and is a fascinating antiquity.

The house has been home to a number of notables. Daniel Mason, the local magistrate, resided there during its manifestation as a jail through the Civil War.

At the turn of the century, the house served as the town’s first telephone office.

Shortly thereafter, it was totally renovated by Mrs. N. B. T. Coleman, nee Corrie Peyton and became known as the Peyton House, an antiques showroom.

The Peyton House’s last resident was Martha Ball Buckner Fletcher, who at the time of her passing in 1996 at age 107 was the oldest descendant of Martha Washington.

The spirit of Mattie Ball Fletcher lives on in the old house, and the Kevis family will find pleasure there, recalling the lives of those who lived there before them.

Feb. 21, 1980

By state law, Rappahannock County must soon base its assessments for local property taxes on 100 percent of fair market value. But the date of implementation and the procedures to be followed in the reassessment have to be decided by the county supervisors, according to Fred Forberg, director of the property tax division from the state office of taxation.

Forberg explained the options open to the supervisors at a work session last Thursday attended by E. P. Luke, Dick Latham, Hubert Gilkey and H. B. Wood, along with clerk Diane Bruce, commissioner of revenue Merle Scoggin and deputy commissioner Becky Burke.

According to Forberg, 1981 is the year that the county must reassess at 100 percent of fair market value with the new figures reflected in tax bills that go out in1982. But, he told the supervisor, if they wait until the deadline, the reassessment will have to be done by a more expensive private firm instead of by the state tax office.

Should the supervisors opt for reassessment it will have to be done by a more expensive private firm instead of by the state tax office, then they have to complete the process in 1980, the last year that the General Assembly will allow state appraisers to offer this type of service.

Amissville Volunteer Fire Department president Jack Atkins estimates that damage from the fire that broke out at the department building last Thursday, Feb. 14, with the amount to between $75,000 and $100,000.”

“But that’s just my figure,” he added, noting that the official appraisal will come from the insurance company representative who inspected the fire hall on Wednesday.

According to Atkins, the insurance company has officially classified the fire as of “undetermined origin” although the blaze is suspected to have been sparked by an “electrical problem.”

The firemen must rely solely on plectrons in their homes for fire reports. “That’s the only alarm system we’ve got right now,” Atkins said.