Down Memory Lane for April 25

Jan. 21, 1960

Sunny skies Sunday lured 14 hikers out to tackle the Devil’s Stairs, a rocky gorge in Harris Hollow, which defies description.

The steep climb was a test of endurance as hikers scrambled over the hugs boulders. Many times the winding trail crossed a stream that was completely underground in several places and came gushing to the surface in others.

The Devil’s House was a large cave in the face of a cliff and a few members of the party added their autographs to those already inscribed on the stone.

The stark walls of the gorge were 300 feet high in spots and were draped with icicles in the higher altitudes. On the jutting rocks above, spindling trees clung, grasping for survival.

Raymond Johnson was heard to comment, “Whatever they were building up here, they certainly had a lot of rocks left over.”

Those hiking were Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Gore, Starfish Riley, Mrs. Paul Miller, David and Stuart Palmer, Arthur Cheatham, Nancy Latham, Jacqueline Marlowe, Mary Miller Wood, Barbara Gentry and Sarah Latham.

Business is flourishing on the corner of Main and Culpeper “Streets” in Amissville.

Nelson Burner has recently opened the barbershop and has hours all day Saturday. Beside the creamery, which for some time has been in operation in the building owned by Mrs. A. C. Latham, a furniture store run by Wesley Woodward and Douglas Settle, an electrician and plumber, occupy the upper floor of the building.

Nov. 15, 1995

Frances W. Eldred, the Chief Magistrate for the 20th Judicial Circuit for the past 10 years, has resigned her position effective Nov. 30.

Mrs. Eldred was appointed Chief Magistrate, which is a full-time job, by Chief Circuit Court Judge Carleton Penn. Prior to that she served as a magistrate in Rappahannock County starting in 1976.

She is responsible for the initial training of all magistrates, some scheduling (though individual offices do most of their own scheduling), preparing the budgets, seeing that the offices run smoothly, and a whole lot of paperwork.

In Rappahannock County, magistrates are on an on-call basis, usually for 48 hours. They often arrange to meet with law enforcement officers at specific times rather than being in the magistrate’s office all the time. But they may easily be called in to deal with a situation in the wee hours of the morning, so one of the two magistrates is always available to be in the office at a moment’s notice.

Louise van Dort has taken a stronghold of the reins as treasurer of the Town of Washington.

Looking over the accounts of the town, she found that most of the town’s money was tied up in a savings account earning only 3 percent interest, or in a checking account earning no interest. With approval from the council, she will be transferring nearly all of that money, plus three of the five $10,000 5-year CDs, to an LGIP account that will earn interest at a much higher rate. She said that if the money had been in the account for the last year it would have already earned about $2,500, which could have paid for some of the office equipment needed in the town office.

Two operating accounts will be maintained, one for the water system and one for the town, and funds will not be transferred into those accounts until needed, said Ms. van Dort.

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