Down Memory Lane for March 29

Oct. 4, 1990

Amissville celebrated its 180th birthday this year, and someone noticed.

Crafters, musicians, antique car owners, elected officials, pet farm owners and local businesses supported the Amissville Volunteer Fire Department’s Craft Show, held last Saturday and Sunday on the firehouse grounds in Amissville.

Co-chairman of the event, Cathy Smith, said the sponsors estimated 2,500 spectators attended both afternoons, helping to make the event successful.

More than 40 crafters came to help celebrate the event offering everything from home-ground and baked bread to ceramic dolls, stuffed animals and Christmas ornaments. The company’s auxiliary provided food and drink.

“It went real well,” Mrs. Smith said, adding the department has started an event “that is for the whole family — pet farms for the kids, sportsman’s attraction for the dads and crafts and things for the mothers.”

While the department used the event as a fundraiser to help the fire company, the Ruritans held a stand selling barbecue and the athletic association sponsored a booth.

With eyeball precision, the pitcher lines his shoe with the peg 40 yards away. Aim is detailed. The arm swings and the horseshoe swings across the pit to ping against the peg.

It’s a point scored for the winning team.

The ping, ping of horseshoes against peg rang across Chester Gap last Saturday morning, as the sixth annual horseshoe tournament sponsored by the Chester Gap Volunteer Fire Department, drew horseshoe tossers from around Rappahannock, Fauquier, Culpeper, and Warren counties.

Twenty-two teams gathered to toss their shoes in the double elimination tournament, played with firehouse supplied horseshoes and pegs old men, young boys, practice-perfect players, champions and losers paired up with team members to toss for the three trophies for first, second and third place, awarded at the end of the day.

There were newcomers to Chester Gap, like Paul Covington and his partner Charlie Hitt, while others are faithful supporters of the department and tournament like James Shipe and Timmy Williams, the mastermind behind the game.

Each in their own way supports the local fire department.

Nov. 24, 1999

Jerry and Sherri Mills opened the Amissville Consignment Shop on Saturday, Oct. 30. The shop is located in what used to be a beauty parlor. On sale is what Mr. Mills describes as “antiques and collectibles.”

This is Mr. Mills’ first foray into the consignment business. Previously, he has owned an auto repair shop, a pet shop and still will operate his excavating business.

Mr. Mills says, “My interest for old collectible stuff brought me into the business. My mother was a refurbisher and reupholsterer of antique furniture.”

On opening day, the Mills’ had one-third of the merchandise that they currently have. The response to the shop has been substantial. All of the newly acquired merchandise has been from people putting items on consignment.

Mr. Mills says, “People will put a price on them. We don’t buy things from people. Business has been good and improves each day. They like the idea of the consignment shop. They like knowing they’ve got a place to bring their stuff and sell.”

A whole year is available to write down something about the county. How to start? What to write about? The answer is Y2K Y2K (the Year 2000 in computer jargon) is when all the computers in the world face the problem of going from 1999-2000. Since most old computer programs use only 99 to stand for 1999, the shift to 00 might be taken as 1900. Some people think it will cause the end of life on earth as we know it: others will ignore the problem entirely.

Maybe everything will be okay. Maybe not. No one knows, but you’ll find out. Then you can write down what actually happened.

Example: On Dec. 14,1868, 132 years ago, William Fletcher was appointed by the court of Rappahannock County as road surveyor for Precinct 13. Was he in court that day to hear of his appointment? Was there any celebration by friends and family? Was it snowing on Dec. 14, 1868? What did he do as a road surveyor? What was Precinct 13?

Nobody knows the answers and maybe nobody cares. William Fletcher passed on and probably left no record of his life and times in Rappahannock County in the year 1868. But you or your organization could leave a trace, a touch of immortality if you will by writing about your life and times in the Year 2000.