Down Memory Lane for Jan. 31

January 19, 1984

A tree root left Washington residents without water over part of the weekend. Bruce Critzer spotted water gushing out of the ground Saturday afternoon on Blue Ridge Avenue just past the Washington Cash Store and notified Ray Pullen, overseer of the town’s water system. “It was too late then to dig up the line and repair whatever was the trouble,” Mayor Newbill Miller reported, so Pullen monitored the reservoir and when the water level dropped to four feet at around 11 p.m. that night, he shut down the system.

Water was turned on again Sunday morning from 7 to 9:30 when repair work began. The problem lay with a large tree root that had grown between the 4-inch cast iron line and the ground and cracked the line, according to Miller. “There was nothing wrong with the pipe — no rust, no deterioration,” he said, adding that the crack occurred in the cast iron pipe, not the galvanized pipe that gives the town most if its problem with water system leaks. Workers were able to repair the crack with a sleeve by 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The Rappahannock School Board has accepted the low bid from E. M. Martin Company of Charlottesville for partial re-roofing at the elementary school. The board received bids at a special January 3 meeting. E. M. Martin bid $19,257 while the other bidder, Texas Roofing Corporation of Clearbrook bid $20,257, according to assistant superintendent Tom Campbell.

Campbell says no starting date has been set, but that work is expected to begin over the gym and cafeteria portion of the building. The scope of the project may be expanded later, Campbell added. The completion date will be set when the contract is signed, he said. Board members Beverly Massie, Nancy Reeve and Paul Nichols were present. Randall Updike was absent and no replacement had been appointed to fill the vacancy created by Nelson Lane’s election to the board of supervisors.

Dec. 31, 1981

By late spring, sedentary secretaries, lawyers, clerks and other office workers in the town of Washington will be able to chin-up, push-up, squat, jump and jog their way through lunch hour on the new one kilometer fitness trail that will be part of the county’s first park.

This past fall, the Rappahannock Recreation Authority was awarded a $63,837 matching grant from the Virginia Commission on Outdoor Recreation to transform the recreation center across the highway from Washington into Rappahannock County Park.

The six acre recreation center site was donated to the county as the local share of that matching grant.

Project engineer Fanning Baumgardner suggested the addition of the fitness trail after seeing a similar trail at Shenandoah National Park headquarters.

The idea of fitness trails spread to this country from Europe, inspired by the popular Swiss exercise trails, the Vita Parcours. Baumgardner is using specifications developed by the U. S. Forestry Service which has pioneered installation here.

Although the $63,837 matching grant has been awarded formally to the county, plans for the new park facilities still must be approved by the Rappahannock-Rapidan Planning District Commission and the Commission of Outdoor Recreation in Richmond.