DOWN MEM­ORY LANE

Rappahannock News - - COMMENT -

Dec. 30, 1998

A pro­posal seek­ing fed­eral and state fund­ing to fi­nance im­prove­ments on Sper­ryville’s Main Street, a foot­bridge and a hik­ing-bik­ing trail will be pre­sented to the Board of Su­per­vi­sors at 7 p.m. on Mon­day night. The board’s sup­port is crit­i­cal.

“I am pleased with the pro­posal,” com­mit­tee mem­ber Ba­yard Ca­tron said. “It is al­most as if the pro­gram were meant for us be­cause it fit the cri­te­ria so well.”

The project is in two phases, Ca­tron said, with the Main Street and vil­lage com­pos­ing the first part and the hik­ing-bik­ing trail con­sti­tut­ing the sec­ond part. The trail, he said is planned to con­nect the west end of Sper­ryville to the his­toric dis­trict.

Plans for phase one in­clude re­mov­ing the as­phalt from Main Street, low­er­ing the street level and im­prov­ing drainage; con­struct­ing pedes­trian path­ways with light­ing; land­scap­ing; de­sign­ing and in­stalling a foot­bridge over the Thorn­ton river; and des­ig­nat­ing public park­ing ar­eas do­nated by the res­i­dents.

Plan­ning for the hik­ing bik­ing path along the Thorn­ton River from the vil­lage to Shenan­doah Na­tional Park would be in­cluded in phase one, as well as his­tor­i­cal and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal plan­ning, re­search and pub­li­ca­tions fo­cus­ing on the trans­porta­tion his­tory of the area.

Jan. 3, 1980

Weather was the big story for 1979 in Rappahannock. An an­gry Mother Na­ture used all the weapons in her ar­se­nal, first dump­ing snow with high winds, then rain, rain and more rain and fi­nally another un­ex­pected blan­ket of wet snow on the county.

The “Bl­iz­zard of ‘79” struck on Sun­day and Mon­day, Feb. 18 and 19, leav­ing over a foot of new snow on top of the layer of ice de­posited by ear­lier storms.

Gusty winds piled up drifts that kept roads blocked for over 24 hours in some lo­ca­tions as high­way crews bat­tled around the clock to keep main thor­ough­fares pass­able. Tem­per­a­tures that hung ten de­grees be­low the freez­ing point for day­time highs com­pli­cated the high­way de­part­ment's re­cov­ery from the worst storm to hit the Wash­ing­ton D.C. area in more than half a cen­tury.

Po­tomac Edi­son and North­ern Pied­mont Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive both de­scribed the freak, early-fall snow storm as the worst disas­ter to ever hit their com­pa­nies. Homes in some parts of the county were with­out elec­tric­ity from early Wed­nes­day morn­ing un­til the fol­low­ing Mon­day as util­ity crews shov­eled across fields to reach downed lines.

If moth­er­hood is mea­sured by the be­stow­ing of love, honor and grat­i­tude, then Mary Botts Quain­tance is mother to hun­dreds and hun­dreds of Rappahannock chil­dren.

Cho­sen 1979 Wo­man of the Year by the Rappahannock News, Mrs. Quain­tance has led un­count­able num­bers of young­sters to­wards ed­u­ca­tional goals and re­spect for other dur­ing her 48 years in the county’s public school sys­tem.

At first teacher, then prin­ci­pal of the neigh­bor­hood school in Sper­ryville and fi­nally as prin­ci­pal of the county’s con­sol­i­dated ele­men­tary school, Quain­tance set an ex­am­ple of de­port­ment for her charges. She could say “Do as I do,” not “Do as I say” to the stu­dents who looked up to her as a model.

As de­voted as she was to ed­u­ca­tion, Mrs. Quain­tance was equally un­tir­ing in her ef­forts to pro­mote bet­ter health among the county’s young­sters. She sent stu­dents to den­tist of­fices in Culpeper, Front Royal and Lu­ray, of­ten car­ry­ing them at her own ex­pense in her car if school trans­porta­tion wasn’t avail­able.

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