Down Memory Lane for Jan. 24

Feb. 15, 1973

The old apple packing house in the Town of Washington, which has been purchased by Peter Kramer of Amissville, will undergo some renovation and be used as a business office and shop for his building company. His company specializes in renovation and restoration, refinishing furniture and intricate repair work. Peter appeared at the meeting Tuesday night of the town council to apply for a special-use permit to establish his business office and woodworking shop. The application was approved by the council members, who were assured that the building will be improved and sound-proofed so there should be nothing objectionable to the operation.

In front of the Sperryville Corner Store on Feb. 4, two vehicles were involved in a collision in which five persons were injured. W. A. Buntin, who investigated the accident, said a 1971 Ford station wagon driven by Alexander May of Youngstown, Ohio, and a 1963 Chevrolet operated by Lewis William Dodson of Sperryville collided at the intersection. The officer said May had stopped at the intersection and was struck by the other vehicle as he pulled away. May was cited for reckless driving.

“The ’73 Rappahannock hurdle course will be as well brushed at the best and biggest in the Virginia Point-to-Point Circuit,” says Oliver Durant, popular chairman of the Rappahannock Races. “Dear O,” as Durant is called by his committee, knows his stuff and his brush when it comes to racing. “The reason I’m so happy to get so many — yes, 2,500 — cedars is historically interesting. Years ago when 95 percent of Rappahannock County’s economy was tied to apples, it was discovered that the ubiquitous cedar caused rust in apples. So everybody in the county waged total and successful war on the lowly weed tree. There’s hardly a cedar sprouting in any Rappahannock pasture, so we’ve had to turn to Culpeper County for our supply to brush the hurdles.”

Dec. 31, 1981

A large weather balloon was found Tuesday by Edward Marcey of Flint Hill while he was hunting. The object came floating down and distracted him from the deer that ambled past about the same time. A white box attached disclosed that the balloon was released by the National Weather Service’s National Record Center in Kansas City, Mo., and notifying the finder that it should be taken to the post office and given the postmaster. Information revealed the object, a radiosonde, ascended at least 17 miles. Mr. Marcey gave the balloon and box to Flint Hill Postmaster Mary Curtis for proper disposition.

William Carrigan, the Rappahannock News’ Man of the Year for 1981, may be a part-time resident of the county but he gives his second home full-time interest, full-time energy, full-time dedication and full-time generosity. Carrigan played an instrumental part in the creation of the Rappahannock County Library and the Rappahannock County Historical Society; without his generosity and cooperation there wouldn’t be a Catholic chapel in Washington. He was the wheel that started the renovation in the town of Washington rolling. And every Fourth of July for the past 21 years, he’s given Rappahannock County an Independence Day gift — an afternoon of games and entertainment on the lawn at Avon Hall and an evening of breathtaking fireworks that equal the annual display set off at the other Washington. It was just the beginning. Mr. Carrigan next purchased the old garage that squatted on the corner across from the Episcopal Church. With his work to restore this building at the town’s center, the revitalization of Washington officially began. Others took over after Mr. Carrigan and the garage went on to become first the Country Store and finally The Inn at Little Washington, Rappahannock’s premier restaurant.

Nov. 11, 1992

The flea market at the Sperryville Emporium has closed for the season and its fate next year is undecided. In previous years the vendors have kept their tables up nearly to Thanksgiving, but not this year. The end came earlier than most had planned, following a nudge from John McCarthy, the county’s Zoning Administrator. He wrote to Maurice O’Bannon, owner and operator of the Emporium, in late October, informing O’Bannon that the existing use level on the Emporium’s lot did not meet the county’s zoning requirements.

A 12-year-old boy was found uninjured late Monday morning near the base of Old Rag Mountain, almost two days after he became separated from his hiking companions near the top of the mountain. Donald Wentz, of Partlow, Va., near Fredericksburg, was found walking along the Weakley Hollow fire road with an unidentified hiker by Park Ranger Robert Fleming. The boy was examined by rescue squad personnel and taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, where he was kept overnight Monday for observation.

A new restaurant has opened just west of Sperryville. J.D. and Debbi Hartman of Warrenton have found a new home for their catering business in the building formerly occupied by the Horseshoe Hills restaurant. The Hartmans have been operating a catering service for five years in the area, bringing their barbeque pit on a trailer to the party and cooking the food on the spot.