History

Mountain family trees

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April 16
By Cathie Shiff

Down Memory Lane for April 9

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April 16

July 31, 1975 In early 1973, the National Zoo bought 2,800 acres of the former U.S. Army Remount Station, which had been established in 1909 as a place to breed horses and mules for the cavalry and was then later converted, in 1948, into a beef cattle research center, operated by the Department of...
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150 Years Ago This Week: The end of the road in Virginia

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April 16

Events of momentous importance occurred almost daily in the first two weeks of April 1865.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Richmond evacuated, Petersburg lines broken

With the Confederate disaster at Five Forks on Saturday, April 1, Gen. Lee sent a wire to President Davis in Richmond on Sunday morning, April 2. “I think it is absolutely necessary that we abandon our position tonight. . . .”
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Down Memory Lane for April 9

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April 9

July 3, 1975 Rear admiral John L. Marocchi, United States Navy, retired June 30 and will make his home in Rappahannock near Sperryville. He is a native of Bologna, Italy, and a 1938 appointee to the U.S.  Naval Academy from Tennessee. A member of the class of 1942, he graduated and was commissioned in December 1941,...
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150 Years Ago This Week: The road to Appomattox

At the end of March, 1865, beyond the lines at Petersburg and in North Carolina, fighting between Union and Confederate troops continued unabated in from Florida to New Mexico Territory.
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Down Memory Lane for April 2

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April 2

June 26, 1975 “Now , I don’t know if I ought to say it for the paper or not, but they tell me that if a man chews ginseng he can take care of his wife, his mistress and another woman, too!” Rappahannock ginseng hunter, Burnam Atkins, looked a bit sheepish. He’d just disclosed...
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Discover Rappahannock’s ‘Mountain Heritage’ on April 11

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March 26
The Savilla Harrell home, as it appeared while it was still standing near the Hull School Road.

Less than a century ago, the mountains of Shenandoah National Park were home to hundreds of families. Meet some of them and learn their stories April 11 in Sperryville, courtesy of the Rappahannock Historical Society and Piedmont Environmental Council.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Battle of Bentonville

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March 26

March 1865 Union Maj. Gen. William Sherman did not expect an attack near Bentonville, N.C. on Sunday, March 19. Gen. Sherman ordered Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum to take his command from the left flank of the army and move to the right, to support Maj. Gen. Oliver Howard’s command. Unexpectedly, Gen. Slocum’s troops ran...
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Down Memory Lane for March 26

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March 26

June 19, 1975 Charles Moore has been assigned to Rappahannock County as a trooper with the Virginia Department of State Police. His assignment followed the retirement June 1 of W. A. Buntin. Moore is a native of Winchester, Frederick County but came here from Prince William, where he has been an officer for a year....
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Out of the Attic

Courtesy of Lucia Kilby

150 Years Ago This Week: The Confederacy enlists slaves to fight

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March 19

March 1865 The fighting in North Carolina intensified between the Confederates under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and the Union troops under Maj. Gen. William Sherman. Gen. Braxton Bragg, commanding the Confederates on the coast, fought a two-day battle with Federal forces under Gen. Sherman at Kinston; Gen. Bragg was forced to withdraw as Union troops...
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SNP Trust seeks help for historic camp renovation

The Pinnacles Research Station at milepost 37 in Shenandoah National Park is the only remaining barracks-style CCC-era building surviving in the park.

Pinnacles, the only CCC-era barracks-style building left in Shenandoah National Park, is in dire need of repair to continue its service as housing and workspace for researchers and volunteers.
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Down Memory Lane for March 19

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March 19

April 10, 1975 The projection screen at Hillsdale Drive-In Theatre on Route 211 east of Washington was downed by last week’s heavy winds. TV antennas, trees and roofs sustained heavy damage and one farmer said it would take him a week to get his farm straight again. Highway crews were kept busy clearing debris...
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Down Memory Lane for March 12

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March 12

April 3, 1975 Mrs. Mabel P. Lillard has been appointed postmaster of the Flint Hill Post Office, it has been announced by Francis X. Biglin, Regional Postmaster General for the Eastern Region of the U.S. Postal Service. Mrs. Lillard was one of 21 postmasters appointed in the Eastern Region States of Maryland, New Jersey,...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Lincoln’s second inauguration

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March 12
Union Maj. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick

At the Capitol in Washington, Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address, outlining his second term and speaking directly to the Confederate people.
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Supervisors simplify motor vehicle tax  

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March 5

At a relatively brief end-of-winter, pre-budget-season meeting, the supervisors agreed to the county administrator’s request that the new motor vehicle tax be applied consistently to all types of vehicles.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battle of Waynesboro

In the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan sent a force of 10,000 Union cavalry south from Winchester with orders to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad and the James River Canal, take Lynchburg east of the Blue Ridge and then either join forces with Maj. Gen. William Sherman in North Carolina or...
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Down Memory Lane for March 5

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March 5

Feb. 20, 1975 L.V. Merrill and Mrs. Bertha Armel are honorary life members of the Washington Fire Company and Rescue Squad. Both have been active members for many years and have served the county and community diligently. Washington was the first fire company organized in Rappahannock and the only one for a long, long...
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150 Years Ago This Week: A tragic time in the Southland

February 1865 When Columbia, S.C., was being destroyed in mid-February, the City of Charleston was evacuated by Lt. Gen. William Hardee and his Confederate troops. Charleston had been the birthplace of secession and a spiritual capital of the entire South. Its defenders were in danger of being penned in, and Gen. Hardee reluctantly and belatedly pulled...
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Down Memory Lane for Feb. 26

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Feb. 26

Feb. 6, 1975 Delegate D. French Slaughter Jr. has announced the appointment of Douglas K. Baumgardner of Washington as his administrative assistant for the current session of the General Assembly. Baumgardner, a 1973 graduate of Virginia Military Institute and a second year law student at the University of Virginia, will be employed by Slaughter on a...
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Presidential summit

By Raymond Boc

Down Memory Lane for Feb. 19

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Feb. 19

Jan. 16, 1975 When trustees of the Rappahannock Library assume charge of the Helen Fuller estate in March, they will receive less than half of what they had originally expected. Receipts from a public auction of Miss Fuller’s personal belongings amounted to $28,000 in October of 1972, when the sale was held. But that was...
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150 Years Ago This Week: The destruction of Columbia

On Friday, Feb. 17, the Federals captured Columbia; Mayor Thomas Goodwyn and a delegation of officials rode out in carriages to meet the Federal invader and to surrender the city.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Political issues

After months of siege operations at Petersburg, Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant with Maj. Gen. George Meade and the Army of the Potomac became active again on Sunday, Feb. 5.
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Down Memory Lane for Feb. 12

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Feb. 12

Jan. 9, 1975 The Rappahannock Medical Clinic opened Monday under the direction of Dr. Jerry Martin of Flint Hill and Dr. Werner Krebser of Huntly. The clinic is located in Washington, in a new brick building, which was designed for the specific needs of a clinic. The doctors have issued an invitation to the public...
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Washington column for Feb. 12

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Feb. 12
From left, Louise Eastham, Rev. Jennings Hobson, Betty Buntin, Ruth Baumgardner and Lois Snead gathered Sunday afternoon to reminisce about life at Trinity Episcopal Church during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

Trinity’s Forum What gorgeous weather we had on Sunday, I hoped that everyone got out and about and took advantage of it. People were out walking their dogs, jogging enjoying the beautiful weather. Just maybe spring is just around the corner for us. Members of Trinity church came out on Sunday afternoon for a...
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The Rapp for Feb. 5

With vocalist Tracy Walton and conductor Peter Jaffe, Paul Reisler and school kids perform last month with the Stockton Symphony in California.

The Inn’s looking for your snapshots from their first year (yes, 1978); Kid Pan Alley performs with a California symphony; the founders explain themselves on Presidents Day in Little Washington; Bel Canto auditions and more in this week’s The Rapp.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The peace conference

The three Confederate peace commissioners appointed on Jan. 28 by President Jefferson Davis: Vice President Alexander Stephens, Robert Hunter and John A. Campbell, received a pass issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 29 to allow them through U.S. military lines to Fortress Monroe, Va.
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Down Memory Lane for Feb. 5

Nov. 28, 1974 A wing on the end of the house of Mr. and Mrs. I. L. Parrish near Viewtown burned Friday. Four rooms were gutted and smoke and water damage took their toll. A faulty electrical wire was believed to be the cause of the fire. Fortunately the family was home, discovered it soon...
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Is it Washington — or Little Washington?

Part of  Maj. Jedediah Hotchkiss’ 1862 map of the region.

There has been an enthusiastic online disagreement lately regarding the name of Little Washington, but it turns out the town officially known as Washington, Virginia, has been referred to as Little Washington on and off over the past 150 years or so.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘The alarming frequency of desertion’

Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest

To help mollify criticism in the Confederate States Congress of President Jefferson Davis’s handling of military affairs, the president signed into law on Monday, Jan. 23, an act providing for a General-in-Chief of the Confederate Armies.
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Down Memory Lane for Jan. 29

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Jan. 29

Nov. 21, 1974 Skipper Giles rings up a sale, by hand crank, on his 1912 vintage cash register, at his Washington Cash Store. Giles has operated the Cash Store in Rappahannock county since 1936, but the big, ornate cash register has been in continuous operation at the store since the year it was made...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Major developments

The flamboyant career of a gallant, hard-fighting but often unsuccessful combat officer came to an inglorious end when Gen. John B. Hood, the commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, resigned the same day the Union assault on Ft. Fisher near Wilmington, N.C., began.
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Down Memory Lane for Jan. 22

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Jan. 22

Sept. 26, 1974 “We’ve got a co-op that co-ops,”grinned Lucio Kilby, waving a hand that encompassed a beehive of activities at the apple packing shed at Sperryville. “All the other co-ops in Rappahannock didn’t co-ops, and now we’re the only big operation left.” A large packing shed at Flint Hill, and another one on...
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Abd el-Kader’s jihad of compassion and courage

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Jan. 15
an-Baptist Huysmans’ painting of Abd el-Kader saving Christians during the Druze/Christian strife of 1860.

With radical Islam once again dominating the news, this time in France, it is important more than ever to know about the Islam of Emir Abd el-Kader al Jazairy, a great human being who was a Muslim and an Arab.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Gen. Butler is sacked

As the second week of January 1865 began, the general-in-chief of the U. S. Armies, Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant, wired President Lincoln from his headquarters at Petersburg and asked the commander-in-chief to relieve Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler.
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Down Memory Lane for Jan. 15 

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Jan. 15

Aug. 22, 1974 A 450-pound bear was killed last week by Cliff Fincham at his home near Peola Mills, just over the line in Madison County. The bear killed eight shoats and three dogs before being downed with a shotgun. The bear attempted to climb a tree in the back yard and the dogs attacked...
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150 Years Ago This Week: Debate on abolition of slavery

On Sunday, the first day of the new year of 1865, on the James River in Virginia southeast of Richmond, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler, fresh from the debacle at Ft. Fisher, N.C., ordered a canal cut to bypass a large bend in the river at Dutch Gap.
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Down Memory Lane for Jan. 8

Aug. 15, 1974 Peter Kramer, recently elected to the town council of Washington, was elected by his fellow members to the seat of vice mayor at the Tuesday evening meeting of the council. A proposal was made for the purchase of new street signs for the town and Mr. Kramer agreed to check on these....
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