Harvest Festival . . . and community Thanksgiving Service

On a gorgeous sunny and warm autumn Sunday, Nov. 8, Tom and Cole Johnson welcomed sixty Trinity parishioners to their beautiful mountain top on Red Oak mountain. 

Masked and socially distanced, folks gathered to give thanks for the harvest in a traditional Anglican Harvest Festival Service. 

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On a gorgeous sunny and warm autumn Sunday, Nov. 8, Tom and Cole Johnson welcomed sixty Trinity parishioners to their beautiful mountain top on Red Oak mountain for the Trinity's Harvest Festival Service.

In the spectacular setting overlooking Rappahannock County, framed by Old Rag, Mary’s Rock, and the Blue Ridge of Shenandoah Park, the group enjoyed glorious music provided by trumpeter Sam White of Shenandoah Conservatory, and mezzo soprano Melissa Jean Chavez, alumna of the Castleton Festivals. 

Reagan Ellis, Katie and Sarah Johnson, took up baskets of harvest for blessings and offerings to the altar. Jimmie DeBergh, representing Rappahannock farmers, read the Lessons.

The occasion also honored the Rev. Miller Hunter and his wife Carol. Miller is retiring at the end of this year. Trinity is grateful to Miller for his devoted service to us and to our community, said Kay Maclellan Wilson.

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Community Thanksgiving Service

For as long as anyone can remember, there has always been a community Thanksgiving Service on Thanksgiving Day in Rappahannock County. 

Determined to continue a tradition that goes back at least fifty years, the Rappahannock Clergy Association has decided to go virtual this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Committed to keeping everyone safe, the RCA hopes this year’s virtual service will provide a way of uniting the community on the one day of the year when it has historically gathered together to give thanks and praise for its abundant blessings.

The service will premiere at noon, Wednesday, Nov. 25, on YouTube, and will continue to be available on-line for people to watch whenever convenient for the next several days. The link for Rappahannock County’s first ever virtual Community Thanksgiving Service is: http://rappumc.org/rappahannock-county-virtual-thanksgiving-service-2020/

Banking history 

The town of Washington had three banks in the early 1900s. 

In 1900, a two-story frame building on Gay Street across from the courhtouse, that had been a saloon, was purchased by C.J. Rixey, who converted the building into a branch of the Farmers and Merchants Bank. This bank was short-lived, as Rixey sold the property in 1903 to the Rappahannock National Bank. 

The president of the new bank was H. M. Dudley, and the bank had received authorization to commence business the prior property was the site of the bank for several years, until the building was moved to the northeast corner of Jett and Main streets on lot 27; there it continued to serve as the bank until a new bank building made of brick was constructed in 1914-1915 on the original parcel of land on Gay Street.

The third bank was in Stuart’s Store constructed in 1908 on the southwest corner of Main and Calvert streets. William M. Stuart operated a merchandise store in the building; he also loaned money from an enormous safe in the rear of the building. Stuart was forced by the federal government to close the bank in the 1920s because the government no longer recognized private banks. It is believed to have been the last private bank in the United States.

A few days after President Roosevelt took office in 1933, he ordered all banks in the U.S. to close. Those that were in sound financial shape, such as the Rappahannock National Bank, were closed for only four days but many banks did not reopen for 30 days or more. The Rappahannock National Bank remained in the town through the 1900s but moved out of town to a location on Route 211 in 2003, leaving the town with no financial institution.

(Editor’s note: This information was culled from Maureen I. Harris’ book, “Washington Virginia, a History 1733-2018.”) 

Until next week stay safe everyone.