DOWN MEM­ORY LANE

Rappahannock News - - EVENTS - From Back Is­sues of the Rap­pa­han­nock News • Com­piled by JAN CLATTERBUCK

Oct. 12, 1978

Hans Mul­likin is spend­ing the week tour­ing Rap­pa­han­nock but much of the county’s lovely au­tumn scenery will be wasted on him. Mul­likin spends most his time on his hands and knees, crawl­ing along Rap­pa­han­nock roads as part of his ef­fort to dra­ma­tize what he sees as the need for prayer and greater re­liance on God on the part of this coun­try.

Mul­likin, a log­ger and lay min­is­ter in the South­ern Bap­tist church, be­gan his pil­grim­age two years ago in Mar­shall, Texas. He started crawl­ing in March 1976, head­ing for Wash­ing­ton, D.C. He made it to Rad­ford last Novem­ber be­fore aban­don­ing the trek for the win­ter and didn’t re­sume his crawl over the moun­tains un­til Au­gust.

Dur­ing his crawl across coun­try, Mul­likin said he’d been sub­jected to only a lit­tle ha­rass­ment. He had prob­lems in Rap­pa­han­nock — not with ver­bal taunts or sticks and stones but with sight­see­ing traf­fic on the high­way. “I’m sure glad to get to this two-lane,” he said as he dropped the shafts to his cart and paused for a mo­ment at the be­gin­ning of dou­ble-laned Route 211.

The shafts of the cart are at­tached to a rod with wheels at both ends. Mul­likin slips be­tween the shafts and on his padded knees with his hands on the bar, pushes the cart along. It has a lit­tle Amer­i­can flag fly­ing at the rear and is dec­o­rated with sig­na­tures of well wishes that he’s met on his jour­ney.

Mean­while, de­spite no­tice re­ceived last Novem­ber, the Rap­pa­han­nock Su­per­vi­sors have failed to cor­rect a vi­o­la­tion of the state fire code at the court­house and have ne­glected to fol­low up on sug­ges­tions from the state Fire Mar­shal to im­prove un­safe con­di­tions at the jail and the court­house com­plex.

At last Thurs­day’s Board meet­ing, Chair­man E. P. Luke in­formed the rest of the Su­per­vi­sors that the State Fire Mar­shal wanted a plan for a sec­ond exit from the up­stairs court­room within 60 days. In a Novem­ber 1977 let­ter to the Board, the Fire Mar­shal of­fered sev­eral fire safety im­prove­ment sug­ges­tions but cited only the court­house for an ac­tual fire code vi­o­la­tion.

Luke asked the Board mem­bers if they wanted to “de­face the build­ing” by putting in a door and an out­side fire es­cape or in­stead con­sult an ar­chi­tect to see if it’s fea­si­ble to cut through a front jury room for an in­side front stair­way and exit.

“Tell them we’ve got a bunch of ropes,” in­ter­jected Supervisor H. B. Wood, only partly in jest.

May 10, 1979

Who­ever said that the dog is man’s best friend never checked with the Rap­pa­han­nock Su­per­vi­sors af­ter they’ve been pre­sented with the bill for live­stock killed by strays.

May’s price tag of $540 for ten an­i­mals was up sub­stan­tially over the win­ter months. This an­i­mal jump in the num­ber of live­stock claims brought be­fore the board by dog war­den Jack Bruce has be­come as sure a sign of Spring in Rap­pa­han­nock County as ap­ple blos­soms or the first robin.

At last Tues­day’s board meet­ing, Bruce re­ported that Tom Lee had lost three lambs and a calf. Bruce said he’d seen the re­mains of two lambs — “a hide and a leg or two” — and an­other lamb ly­ing up against a fence, dead but with­out a mark on the an­i­mal. He added that the dead calf “had his ears clipped off right by the head, the tail bit­ten off at the end of the back­bone, the en­tire stom­ach gone and the eyes gone also.”

“I hope no­body here has a weak stom­ach,” in­ter­jected supervisor chair­man E. P. Luke.

Bruce said there was no way he could de­ter­mine pos­i­tively what had killed the live­stock but noted that Lee’s men had seen two dogs chas­ing the lambs be­fore they found the dead an­i­mals.

Lee added that he’d found dogs eat­ing the calf.

“I talked to the man that Mr. Lee fig­ured owned the dogs eat­ing on the calf,” Bruce con­tin­ued. “He said his daugh­ter owned the dogs and that they’d be gone soon.”

Fifty years ago — May 2, 1929 — a tor­nado ripped through Rap­pa­han­nock. Com­ing from the west, it fol­lowed a path around the base of Red Oak Moun­tain from Woodville. The tor­nado passed be­low Wash­ing­ton, near the junc­tion of the Rush and Cov­ing­ton Rivers at the end of Route 674. Still at full force, it de­mol­ished homes and farms build­ings around Rock Mills, Lau­rel Mills and Ben Venue as it passed across Long Moun­tain.

Four per­sons were killed. Many an­i­mals, horses, cat­tle and chick­ens also fell vic­tim to the vi­o­lent storm. Fury still in its winds, the storm left Rap­pa­han­nock. Ar­eas of Fauquier County re­ceived the bru­tal touch of this same tor­nado later that day.

Wal­ter Kilby, gen­eral science teacher at the Sper­ryville School, com­mented to other teach­ers that morn­ing, “The barom­e­ter has re­ally dropped. Some­thing is go­ing to hap­pen.”

Mrs. H. B. Kilby’s com­ment, “The sky be­came re­ally dark and it poured rain,” The de­ci­sion was made to close school early that day.

Miss Mary Starks de­cided to re­lease her first through fourth grade stu­dents early. She knew that many of the chil­dren would be walk­ing home and the wind was now fu­ri­ous.

Five year old Dorothy Kline usu­ally waited on the school porch for her aunt, stu­dent El­iz­abeth Brown­ing, to walk home with her. This day, “Miss Mary” pushed lit­tle Dorothy through the gate, telling her, “Dorothy, run and run for your life.

Oth­ers from Miss Mary’s class were blown and scat­tered by the wind.

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