Down Memory Lane for Nov. 2

March 24, 1999

People like the convenience of cell phones. But they don’t like the idea of out of towners whizzing through the county in fast cars, chatting away as they drive.

And people like clear views of the unspoiled mountains and hills. But they don’t like the idea of those mountains interfering with the ability of local police and rescue teams to talk to each other on the radio when they need to.

It is conflicts like these that are giving county residents pause as they mull over requests from Sprint PCS, a cellular phone service provider that wants to set up shop in Rappahannock.

Unfortunately, Sprint’s main goal is to erect a number of 250-foot communications towers throughout the county, an idea that does not sit well with many local homeowners.

“You’re asking us to trade off our beautiful views and the place that we cherish for the convenience of your customers who are just passing through,” said Sperryville resident Jim Gannon. “I think that a terrible trade-off.”

Otherwise, Conner Miller of Washington qualified for the Southern Regional Wrestling Tournament this past weekend at the District Wrestling Tournament in Manassas.

Conner won the silver Medal in the 52 pound Bantam Division. Conner is a first year wrestler on the Culpeper Youth Wrestling team.

He compiled a respectable record over the season. His tournament record for the year was: 2nd Stuart’s Draft Tournament, 1st Orange County Tournament, 2nd Culpeper County Tournament, 1st League Championship.

The District Tournament held this past weekend in Manassas had over 500 wrestlers from North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. This district is one of the largest and toughest wrestling districts in the United States.

March 13, 1980

Supervisor’s E. P. Luke, Clarence Baldwin and Hubert Gilkey joined forces at last Thursday’s board meeting to vote down proposed ordinances aimed at controlling illegal road hunting in the county.

The two laws would have prohibited carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun in a motor vehicle on a public right-of-way, or carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun while walking on a public right-of-way without permission to hunt from landowners on both sides of the road.

The vote came after a public hearing held the night before, March 5, and consultations in executive session with commonwealth’s attorney Douglas Baumgardner, sheriff W. A. Buntin and game warden Jim Bankston.

Lee Bird, Washington landowner and patron of the ordinances, maintained that a passage of the new regulations would help to enforce existing laws that make it illegal to shoot from the highway. “Houses have been hit. Animals have been hit. Both dogs and cattle have been shot. It’s just a matter of time before a person is shot,” Bird said. “I think the general public has the right to feel safe from hunting on public roads.”

Citing the dangers posed by hunters who shot from the road, often onto property that is posted, Bird noted that a rifle bullet has a killing distance of at least two miles, maybe more.

Hunting aside, after 38 years of service to the public as postmaster of Castleton, Ray T. Cannon has retired effective February 29.

“I decided I couldn’t be the Lone Ranger and was convinced I should quit,” he said.

In a more serious vein, Cannon explained that he had been in the office long enough, since November 1940, and would have more than enough to keep him busy with his approximate 500 acres of farmland and some more which he rents, and his real estate firm, too.

Castleton Post office was established in May 1878 with James Wright as the first postmaster, and was located in a small building across the road from Cannon’s Store. The population of Castleton at that time was 40.

“Wright was followed by several others and from 1914 to 1940. My father, James F. Cannon, held the post master’s position,” said Cannon. “Then my mother, Nena B. Cannon was in charge for a few months until I was named and assumed my duties in November 1940. Guess it’s a family tradition, and back then politics had a lot to do with it,” he continued. In 1953 the post office moved into the Cannon’s home, where it remains.