May 15, 1986

The documents contained in the clerk’s office at the courthouse are being preserved on microfilm by the Archives Division of the Virginia State Library.

The project, under way in Rappahannock County since February, is part of a statewide effort to commit to microfilm “all records which the state feels are of long-term, historic value,” according to Lisa Shenk, who is doing the microfilming at the courthouse.

The project was mandated by the Virginia State Assembly in 1972, which directed the State Library to “execute a program to microfilm official records of counties and cities (to provide) safe storage for microfilm copies of such records (and) to assist local officials in a program of creating, preserving, filing and making available copies of public records in their custody.”

Rappahannock was not a high-priority county, Ms. Shenk explained, because the county had some records which had already been microfilmed by a private company. She added that the records in the clerk’s office, which date back to the establishment of Rappahannock County in 1833, are well-preserved.

In addition to the records contained in the courthouse, the state project also will preserve on-film records kept by local churches, at no charge to the churches. Ms. Shenk said that church records, “especially back in time, provide better records than those found anywhere else — not so much the legal records, but those of children born, marriages, family histories, ministers’ diaries, recorded anywhere else. The clerk’s records only go back to 1833.”

Sperryville native James E. Swindler was appointed Captain and Commanding Officer of Company M, Third Battalion, Virginia Defense Force, based in Warrenton, in a ceremony at the Winchester National Guard Armory last Sunday.

Captain Swindler joined the VDF last August. He retired from military service as a master sergeant 16 years ago after more than 20 years in both the Army Airborne and the U.S. Air Force.

The Virginia Defense Force was created last year to assist local authorities in dealing with any emergency or civil disturbance which might occur while the Virginia National Guard is on duty outside the state.

Capt. Swindler is a member of the Board of Zoning, Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Washington Masonic Lodge and Sperryville United Methodist. He is the owner of the Country Manor Gift Shop in Sperryville.

Dec. 20, 1995

Progress has been made in providing a new house for Virginia Fletcher.

She and her family became homeless when the June 27 flood destroyed most of her house in Harris Hollow. Mrs. Fletcher did not want to rebuild in the same location where she risked being flooded out again. The family has been living in rental housing on Piedmont Ave. Several months passed before she acquired land from the Roy family that is higher up.

In the meantime, several groups have become involved in helping the family. Most recently, the Faith Mountain Company raised money through catalog sales to help with flood relief in Rappahannock County. Sales of a blue suncatcher in the “Tree of Life” design raised over $12,000. Eric Kvarnes, who designed the suncatcher for this project, took only the cost of his supplies from the sale price.

The funds were turned over to the Piedmont United Way. The money will be used to help replace a bridge on the driveway leading to Laura Smoot’s house farther up in Harris Hollow, as well as aiding the Fletcher family.

The Washington Town Council has decided to purchase street light fixtures directly from Pemco.

Charles Eldred has been the town’s contact with Pemco regarding the lights, and he brought the information to last week’s meeting. Each of the 57 light fixtures will cost $199.60 for a total of $11,377.20. The town will own 50 of the fixtures, for a total of $9,980, and the county will own seven of them, for the total of $1,397.20.

Potomac Edison owns the poles, but some new ones are needed, at a cost of $2,217. Taking into account a credit of $2,576.50 from Potomac Edison for standard fixtures which will not be used, the town will end up with a credit from Potomac Edison of $1,359.50.

The power company quoted a price of $8.25 a month per fixture for a maintenance contract, but town attorney Frank Reynolds said that contracts like that are usually negotiated.

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