Down Memory Lane for Jan. 3

Jan. 17, 1985

Commonwealth’s Attorney Peter Luke has requested payment for services that he performs as “County Attorney.” Specifically, Luke wants a retroactive payment of $8,000 for work done in 1984 and starting with 1985 he “would like to bill the county on an hourly basis of $50 per hour.” The Board of Supervisors, at its Jan. 7 meeting, discussed a three-page letter from Luke that detailed the reasons for this request. Luke begins his letter by noting that “because of the size of Rappahannock County [less than 15,000 population] the State law provides that the Commonwealth’s Attorney shall also serve as County Attorney unless the County elects to hire its own County Attorney.”

Then Luke writes, “My salary to perform duties as Commonwealth’s Attorney, that is the prosecution of criminal offenses, is paid by the State. I am currently paid nothing by the State, or County, for the work I perform as County Attorney.”

Washington’s Town Council recently completed work on a new town charter, and since Washington has not had a charter drawn up since 1894, the historical significance of the new charter is evident. The town’s boundaries are also being slightly modified in conjunction with the charter, and to put the changes in perspective requires a look back to Washington’s beginnings. If some people question whether or not George Washington did survey the town, there is no such room for doubt on the matter of which town of Washington in the United States was the first to claim the name. Washington was established as a township by the General Assembly in November of 1796, and is recognised as the first of about 28 other towns in the United States named Washington.

Rappahannock has many traditions of beauty, but one of the most beautiful is being carried on by Lillie Pullen in Old Hollow. She continues a craft she began 30 years ago that is the answer for people who long for the days when products were handmade and lasted for a lifetime or longer. Pullen makes braided rugs of swirling colors that she guarantees will never come apart. She began making rugs when she and her husband Clyde were raising their six children, and she also worked at Aileen Inc. Pullen had to quit her job at the Aileen plant 10 years ago when Clyde had a stroke, and she now remains at home with him and makes her rugs and quilts

Over the years, Pullen’s rugs have helped the family when extra cash was needed. “I made enough out of the rugs to buy the plyboard for the rooms of this house,” said Pullen.

Aug. 17, 1994

“We are just like family, and it really hurts.”

That was just one employee’s reaction to the announcement at the Aileen sewing plant in Flint Hill last Thursday. Bob Fadely, vice president of manufacturing for Aileen, broke the bad news to employees that the plant would definitely be closing on Oct. 12. Many left work early on Friday to begin searching for a new job. Some have applied for similar work in Winchester or Culpeper, and others have applied to be grocery clerks.

According to plant manager Ellen Jordan, the reason for the closure is that the manufacturing costs are too high. Aileen already has two plants operating in the Dominican Republic, where, according to Flint Hill employees, workers are paid from 80 to 90 cents per hour. The Flint Hill plant would have celebrated its 32nd anniversary in October.

Joyce and Albert Wharton of Sperryville have opened two new businesses on U.S. 211 in Sperryville.

Mrs. Wharton is running the Christmas Cabin, located near the Country Elegance Store near the western end of Sperryville. She opened the shop on July 4, and has filled it with all kinds of Christmas goodies. Further up the road, toward downtown Sperryville, Mrs. Wharton’s husband Albert runs Wharton’s Gift and Produce. It is located in the one-story aqua building with pink trim, not far from Estes Mill on U.S. 211. Mr. Wharton purchases most of the items locally, especially the produce, and hopes to have the store open year round. Outside, the stands are filled with peaches, apples, cider, preserves and more. Inside, many crafts are for sale, along with children’s books, porcelain dolls, furniture, cotton afghans, pillow, and stuffed animals.