Down Memory Lane for Oct. 11

May 11, 1978

There is a brand new trophy in the trophy case at RCHS. It has a statue of a girl running on it and it says “Skyline District Champions 1978.” The Rappahannock Varsity girls track team brought good news back with them from JMU.

All of the factors that must come into play for the team to be a success were there. These factors were the talent; the ability to put in your best effort, the coaching of Miss Ann Spieker and Miss Powers, the infallibility of team spirit on the part of members, managers and coaches as well as devoted fans. Small injuries such as shin splints, sore ankles and muscles are constantly adding to the fatigued athlete’s mentality. The Lady Panthers didn’t let that get the best of them.

Two young ladies from Rappahannock placed in the high jump — Johanna Day took 4th and Jamelle Prudhum was 6th. Johanna cleared 4’10”, but was called away to the hurdle trials. After qualifying for the finals in the hurdles she returned to the high jump, but was unable to clear 1’11”. Jamelle was concentrating her main effort into her running events, so her high jumping lacked her usual success in clearing 4’8”. Both girls will compete in the regionals in this event, however.

It’s almost a family affair — the Sperryville Corner Store — with brothers-in-law owning and operating it and a sister of one working in it, plus children during summertime.

Randolph Clater and Wilson Burke are the present proprietors of this store, which has been in existence since anyone can remember. And each of them have been there a good many years.

Wilson began his merchandising career as a clerk in the Corner Store in 1952 and Randolph got his start in 1958 while still a high school student.

The Sperryville Corner Store is well known for the excellent quality of the meats they sell, and one lady declared, “This is the only place I buy my beef. Peggy Wayland, Randolph’s sister, clerks in the store fulltime and two part time clerks are Gary Lee Bright and Jerry Jenkins.

Henry O’Bannon established the Corner Store and years later it was sold to Ernest SchwartzJames and Myrtle Falls rented from the Schwartz heirs, who in October 1965 sold the property to Clater and Burke.

Jan. 4, 1979

At its December 19 meeting, the Virginia Historical Landmark Commission placed the Mount Salem Baptist Meeting House on the Virginia Landmarks Register.

The step culminates two years of work by the Mount Salem Restoration Association, which will continue efforts to have the old church recognized as a national landmark, according to Association president Gale Titchenell.

“It’s an honor to be included on the state register,” said Rev. Titchenell. He reported that the Virginia Historical Landmark Commission had sent an investigator to the county to examine the building’s architecture and general structure. The investigator also authenticated historical records to verify data on Mount Salem collected by the Restoration Association, he added.

“It is an historical monument,” said Titchenell. Built in 1824 on the site of two earlier houses of worship, Mount Salem is considered the oldest church building in Rappahannock County.

Acknowledging that he didn’t see any current threat to Mount Salem, Titchenell noted that status as an historical monument would protect the church into the future.

Eva L. Smith, retiring deputy clerk of Rappahannock County, has been selected as Citizen of the Year for 1978 by the staff of the Rappahannock News.

For 18 years, Mrs. Smith has been a fixture at the courthouse. She’s the introduction to Rappahannock folk for the hundreds of newcomers who’ve fled the cities, looking for that little piece of paradise away from it all. They’ve trooped into the clerk’s office to record a deed on their new home and have walked away smiling, convinced that life in the country will be the antithesis of city living if everyone is as pleasant and cooperative as Eva Smith.

Newlyweds start off together with a marriage license and packet of little gifts from Eva. She recorded births for proud parents, helped geologists find great-great-great grandmother’s maiden names and searched through piles of dusty records with history buffs, digging for some obscure fact from Rappahannock’s past.

And no matter what the job, she approaches it with good humor and a smile.

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