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FROM THE EDITOR
Past And Present In One Tense STAFF
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There are languages with no past or future tenses. In those tongues, it is correct to say, “I meet you at the coffee shop yesterday,” and, “I meet you at the coffee shop today,” and, “I meet you at the coffee shop tomorrow.” Some sociologists say that those languages inﬂuence not only the way people speak, but the way they think. For example, when retirement is spoken of in the present tense, rather than something that is years away, people tend to save more. Those cultures often have a greater respect for their elders and their heritage, because what happened long ago is spoken of in the same terms as what is happening today. Sometimes thinking of life in Clarke County feels the same. The past and present are woven together in our landscape, arts, and small towns. Farming is part of our county’s heritage, for example. But it is more than something that is celebrated at annual historical events. Farming and market gardening thrive in Clarke County, as we have become a hub of the local food movement. Even now, some of the techniques ﬁrst used by Native Americans are ﬁnding their way into the small farm models of today. As recently as the 1940s, most young soldiers returned to the farm after the war. Now Clarke County has become the home of a training center for a nationwide trend of young veterans training to be farmers — most of whom have not grown up in a farm family.
Traditionally, American craft dealt in useful objects for household use. Contemporary craft like leatherwork and frame making are anchors of Berryville re-emerging Main Street economy. And Main Street itself is re-emerging as something new and exciting in the old buildings lining our streets. A band of talented painters in Clarke County have a contemporary take on pastoral art; whereas horses were once a means of transportation and work animals, they are part of our leisure pursuits and recreational passions now. This edition of the Observer shares several stories of how the past and present become one Clarke County. Not everything about our past is something to be treasured. Segregated schools come to mind. Here, too, there appears to be a willingness to bring the past into today’s conversation. It is in measure a willingness to acknowledge those days among people who still remember them — to recognize and understand how Clarke County was a reﬂection of the nation as a whole. It is an honest reckoning. None of us can predict the future. Still, we have a chance to create a place that is less an illustration of America at large, and more a place that informs the aspirations of our country.
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Aging in Place
Back to School 1930’s style An interview with a Clarke County native and alumnus of Clarke’s African American schools By Karen Cifala It’s fall. It’s already October and families are all back in full swing around the busy school schedules of activities and sports, as well as clubs and fundraisers. I recently had the privilege of meeting a wonderful and beautiful lady named Lucille Grigsby Scott who is currently a resident of Winchester. Ms. Scott grew up in Clarke County and attended Clarke County schools all her life. During the 1930s and 40s, Ms. Scott attended community black schools in White Post, Millwood and Berryville, Va. Her education began in a oneroom schoolhouse in White Post for grades 1 through 3. She sweetly recalls, “My grandfather used to drive me to school every day,” from the farm where her family lived outside of White Post. There were 12 or so children in her class, where they were taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and history. She said she always brought her lunch (there was no cafeteria), and her grandfather always picked her up between 3:30 and 4pm. She really enjoyed school. They lived on a farm, so the social life of school was one of her favorite times of the day. She remembers that at times during fall children were dismissed
from school early to pick apples. Her education continued at the Millwood Community School for blacks for her grades 4–6. This school was an old 2-room building, and Scott recalls they used hand-me-down books from the white county schools. Scott recalls some very long days, being shuttled between home and school on the one and only one school bus that was driven by Reverend Thomas Jackson. Rev. Jackson would make his way through the southern part of the county picking up black children, dropping them at school, and then heading north to pick up the rest of the black children and drive them to their schools. In the afternoon, he would return all the children back home, making for a long day, dawn to dusk, for both Jackson and the children. It never occurred to Scott till then that the schools were segregated. One day she and other children were riding the bus, passing many other schools to get to their Millwood School, and wondering “why it was that they couldn’t just go to the school nearest them.” In those days, she recalls, if black students wanted to further their education past the
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sixth grade, they could make their way to the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth, which was a private boarding school for AfricanAmerican students. Or, if they had relatives in Washington, DC, or Baltimore, they could possibly move there to live and further their education. There weren’t very many options at this time, until the Clarke County Training School was built in 1930 in Berryville on Josephine Street for grades 1 through 12 — it was later renamed the W.T.B. Williams Training School in 1944 to honor a Clarke County native who served as Dean of Tuskegee Institute. Ms. Scott attended the training school, and recalls that many young men stopped their education either to help their families on the farms or to join the military. As a result, there was only one young man that graduated with her; the rest were young ladies. Classes at the training school included home economics for the girls and shop and agriculture for the boys, as well as other academic classes. All the girls would make their graduation dresses in the home economics class, which was held in what had been the original 1882 Josephine City School building (now the Museum). One of Ms. Scott’s vivid memories is of standing in the Josephine City School classroom during a home economics class, on a stool, getting her graduation dress hemline pinned. She says, “I remember I had to pull those sleeves out many times to get them sewed in right.” Fondly, she remembers that for a month out of the school
year, the boys and girls would switch classrooms and the boys would invite the girls over for lunch at the end of the month to show off what they had learned to cook. Blouses, skirts, and dresses (below the knees) were the normal school attire for the young ladies. Every school day started with devotions that included songs, prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance. The training school offered basketball for both girls and boys, and there was a football team and a glee club (choir) that was once featured on a local DC television and radio station. Teachers were allowed to spank the students with a switch that students were responsible for ﬁnding themselves, further explaining to me that, “There were not very many disciplinary problems,” that Ms. Scott could recall. From my interview with Mrs. Scott, and the tour of the Josephine Museum, I learned quite a bit more about the Josephine City School, built in 1882. It is a rare example of a late-nineteenth-century black schoolhouse constructed as part of a self-contained community. The building remained in use until
1971. It was later restored, and in 2003 opened as the Josephine School Community Museum and Clarke County AfricanAmerican Cultural Center. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. To experience and learn more about African American history, culture, and community, visit the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History that recently opened in DC. For a more local perspective, visit the Josephine School Community Museum (www.jschoolmuseum.org, 540-955-5512), located at 303 Josephine Street in Berryville. It is part of the Top of Virginia Artisan Trail, (www.artisantrailnetwork.org), which is designed to create a self-guided trip of enriching moments in Clarke and Frederick counties and the City of Winchester. The museum is open Sundays from 1 to 3 pm. Karen Cifala is a realtor in Berryville and works for Remax Roots. Her interest in seniors, their lives, and their stories are her passion. She can be reached on her cell 303817-9374, ofﬁce 540-955-0911 or by email email@example.com.
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As the Crow Flies
A Fall Chimney Swift Roost Story and illustration by Doug Pifer Our house is a landmark for migrating chimney swifts. Starting about mid-August, swifts gather to roost in one of our chimneys. By September their numbers have increased until there are several hundred each night. Then one day there are no swifts. They’ve continued their annual migration to South America, where they will spend the winter months until they reappear next year near the end of April. Our historic brick farmhouse has four chimneys. We like to sit outside and watch the sky on September evenings. Starting at about seven o’clock, we see small groups of chimney swifts, ﬁve or ten here and three or four there. They ﬂy past and then return, joined by others. At this point there’s not much pattern to their ﬂight. Gradually they gather and begin circling the house at a height of about a hundred feet, gliding, chattering and catching ﬂying insects. Their ranks increase gradually to about 50 or so. They now appear about 60 or 75 feet above us. In the fading daylight, the birds’ sooty gray color darkens. They’re now black silhouettes with distinctive cigar-butt bodies, stiff wings and short, bristly tail feathers. The air cools, skies color the gathering dusk, and there seem to be more than 150 birds. The chattering grows louder as they circle lower. Still more swifts come. Darkness approaches. The sky around the house is full of birds, well over two hundred. Tension builds as they start ﬂying with a purpose, circling ever lower and closer to our house. Their ﬁght path takes them directly over the chimney adjoining the master bedroom. As they pass over the opening, some swifts brake as if to drop down, but then pull up at the last minute to rejoin their ﬂock-mates. Excitement ﬁlls the air as the circle tightens and then suddenly begins to look like a funnel. Birds stream and swirl downward, as if being sucked down the chimney. Against the dim sky, we can just make out three, two, then a single holdout circling the house, ﬂitting bat-like through the darkness. Then it too disappears. All is quiet except for the drone of night singing insects. Across the continent such spectacular fall
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gatherings of swifts have now become less impressive. Chimney swifts, according to scientists, decrease in numbers every year. Newer houses are closing up their chimneys in the summer months. Older chimneys and smoke stacks of abandoned factories, traditional fall roosting places for migratory swift ﬂocks, are being torn down. But there is hope. The Chimney Swift Conservation Organization is dedicated to bringing the mosquito-eating chimney swift back. Volunteer groups and private citizens can ﬁll out and submit online forms after monitoring roosting sites such as ours. The organization is also involved in building towers to house migrating ﬂocks of chimney swifts. Check out their efforts at www. chimneyswifts.org. Illustration of chimney swift by Doug Pifer, Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
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Around Clarke County Promote your event in TO Send notices by the 1st of the preceding month to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep event descriptions to 125 words, following the format of these pages. One or two CMYK photos, saved as tiff or jpg at 200 dpi, are always welcome.
FISH Supports Local Clarke County
Stop by FISH of Clarke County to shop in the clothing store. You will ﬁnd seasonal clothing and accessories for the entire family. Whether your kids are going back to school, or you’re starting a new job or if you just want to perk up your wardrobe, your purchases go to help FISH support the needs of the Clarke County community. FISH is a volunteer-run, nonproﬁt organization that depends on the good will of people, local churches, community organizations, businesses and Clarke County Social Services. The Food Pantry and Clothing Store, 36 East Main St. Berryville, are open Wednesday and Saturday, 9–12. The Old Chapel Clothing Bank, located off the route 340 south of Bishop Meade Road, is open Saturdays, 9–12. New volunteers are welcome, as well as donations of food, clothing and ﬁnancial contributions. Stop by or contact us 540-955-1823.
Pumpkin Patch on a Windy Day. Clarke County Parks and Rec. 255 Al Smith Circle. Berryville. 6–8pm. Ages
18 and up. Artist Cheryl Suitor. Children 10+ can register if they are painting alongside a parent registered for the program. Come out to socialize and follow step by step directions to paint a speciﬁc topic. Paintings will be created using acrylic paints. At the end of the night everyone takes home their original work of art! $38. For information call 540-955-5140.
/16 Fall Farm Days
Nature Weekend. Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. 10am– 5pm. Come discover how plants and animals prepare for winter. Our fall mascot is the Woolly Bear caterpillar. See if you can pick a winning worm in a woolly bear race! Find out why leaves are falling, birds are ﬂying, and bears are fattening. Plus, Pick Your Own Pumpkins. Live Music. BBQ and more from the Apple House in Linden. Kids Play Area. Hearth Cooking. Corn Maze. Historic House Tours. Call 540- 592-3556. Visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.
Blue Ridge Vol. Fire & Rescue Co. 131 Retreat Road. Bluemont. 11am–2 pm. Grilled chicken, Italian sausage & hot dogs. Wide variety of salads, sides & desserts. Adults: $12.
Children 5-12 $6. 4 & under: Free! Wheelchair-accessible hall. Carryout dinners available. www.blueridgeﬁre.org.
Where to Invade Next
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Barns of Rose Hill and Magic Lantern present Where to Invade Next. Academy Award winning director Michael Moore’s latest ﬁlm takes him to various nations in Europe and Africa as a oneman “invader,” gathering ideas and practices that the US might adopt. From Italy (generous vacations) to Iceland (strong female presence in government and business), Moore alternately informs and amuses in his usual style. Doors open at 3:30. Film starts at 4. Rated R. 120 minutes. $8 for nonmembers. $5 for Barns of Rose Hill & Magic Lantern Theater Members. For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Grab your thinking cap and a few friends and join us for the Clarke County Historical Association’s Trivia Night at Barns of Rose Hill! Categories will include history, literature, Virginia, science, and television. Prizes will go to the top three teams and there will be rafﬂes
between rounds. Funny team names are encouraged! Doors open at 6:30. Game starts at 7. $5 for Barns of Rose Hill and CCHA members. $8 for nonmembers. For more information visit barnsofrosehill.org.
Magic Carpet Ride
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Join Miramar on a Magic Carpet Ride to the mysterious and colorful Orient with nationallyknown belly dancing artists including Annette Federico, Troupe Asherah, Angela Petry and her Bellysima Bellas, Troupe Tribelle, and the Palace Pearls. Doors open at 6. Show starts at 7. $20 in advance. $25 at the door. 12 and under free. For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.
/23 Fall Farm Days
Rest and Rejuvenation Weekend. Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln, Delaplane. 10am–5pm. Get refreshed in the great outdoors. Bring your dogs to the annual Bark in the Park beneﬁt and pet adoption event. On Saturday, energize yourself with a charitable 5K Trail Run. Explore mountain biking. Take a pony ride. And go on a scavenger hunt! Plus, Pick Your Own Pumpkins. Live Music. Delicious food from the Mac
Shack Express of Winchester. Kids Play Area. Hearth Cooking. Corn Maze, Historic House Tours. Call 540- 592-3556. Visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.
New Community Meal. Duncan Memorial Methodist Church. 210 E Main St, Berryville. 5:30–6:30pm. Local churches in Clarke County have come together in a cooperative effort to provide an evening supper once a month (the 4th Thursday of the month) to all in our community. We are calling the event the SOUL-Full Community Meal. Each local church will take a month in preparing and serving the meals.
Walking Ghost Tours
Enchanted Pumpkin Patch
Meet at 23 East Main Street. 7:45pm. Join us for a family friendly ghost tour of downtown Berryville 8:00-9:30pm. Tickets are $12 per person. All ages. Advanced reservations are recommended as space is limited. For information vis www.berryvillemainstreet.org.
Clarke County Parks and Rec. 225 Al Smith Circle. Berryville. 6–8pm. This delightful play area and party will get youngsters excited about Halloween!
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There will be plenty of Halloween themed activities, games, prizes, music, candy, and decorations for everyone to enjoy. Youngsters are encouraged to wear a costume. Ages 3–10. $5. For information call 540-955-5140.
Footin’ for Animals
8th Annual Footin’ for Animals 5K & 10K Walk/ Run. Blandy Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce.11am. Walk or run by yourself or bring along your canine companion to join the fun! And don’t forget to wear your Halloween costume or dress up your dog! All proceeds beneﬁt the Briggs Animal Adoption Center. To learn more and to register, visit www.nhes.org/footin.
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. A night of Latin jazz and acoustic grooves with Ver Azul and for the release of their new CD – Until the Light! Ver Azul’s original compositions infuse jazz melodies, acoustic grooves, and Latin rhythms that create a unique uplifting sound and make you want to get up and move your feet! The band members are three long-time friends Matt Szechenyi (guitar/vocals), Cornelius Conway (bass), and Richie Vazquez (congas/cajon/ percussion). Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $15 in advance. $20 at the door.| 12 and under free. For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.
“Looking Up” by Tia Maggio. Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. 6–7pm. Join us for an artist’s reception on the ﬁnal day of Tia Maggio’s exhibit LOOKING UP. The exhibit features Tia’s multimedia art including oils, pas-
tels, and color pencil sketches in our upper gallery. Free event! For information visit barnsofrosehill.org
/30 Fall Farm Days
History Weekend. Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln, Delaplane. 10am– 5pm. Travel a living timeline from Colonial times to the 1950s. Meet colonial land surveyors, talk to Colonial and Civil War reenactors, get the new edition of a Civil War diary signed by the editor, touch quilts that span generations, get crafty in a victory garden. Plus, Pick Your Own Pumpkins. Live Music. Delicious food from the Mac Shack Express of Winchester. Kids Play Area. Hearth Cooking. Corn Maze, Historic House Tours. Call 540- 592-3556. For info visit virginiastateparks.gov.
Walking Ghost Tours
Children’s Scavenger Ghost Tour. 5–6:30pm. Each child with a ticket will get a map for their scavenger hunt and a treat at the end! Tickets are $12.00 for each child with one parent free. Advanced reservations are recommended as space is limited. Evening Walking Ghost Tour meets at 23 East Main Street. 7:45pm. Join us for a family friendly ghost tour of downtown Berryville 8:00-9:30pm. Tickets are $12 per person. All ages. Advanced reservations are recommended as space is limited. For information visit www.berryvillemainstreet.org.
Annual Holiday Crafts
Blue Ridge Vol. Fire & Rescue Co. 131 Retreat Road. Bluemont. 9am–2pm. Unique
locally made gifts, ornaments and baked goods. Homemade soup, sandwiches and desserts to beneﬁt Fire Co. Crafters interested in renting a table call 540-955-1934 or visit www.blueridgeﬁre.org.
/6 Craft Show
Fall & Holiday Craft Show. Clarke County Parks and Rec. 225 Al Smith Circle. Berryville. Saturday 9am–5pm. Sunday 10am–3pm. We are now taking applications for vendors. For more information call Tanya at 540-955-5147.
Marvin Chapel United Methodist Church. 1955 Shepherds Mill Rd. Berryville. 6:30pm. FISH of Clarke County will hold its annual Hymn Sing. A wide variety of music is planned for the evening at which a freewill offering will be taken to help our neighbors in need. To volunteer at FISH, call 955-1823. To make a contribution, send a check to FISH at PO Box 1154, Berryville.
Breakfast with Santa
Blue Ridge Vol. Fire & Rescue Co. 131 Retreat Road. 8am–11am. Bluemont. Pancakes, Eggs, Sausage, Biscuits, Gravy, Apples. Photos with Santa. Holiday Crafts for Kids. Adults: $8. Children age 5–12 $4. Age 4 & younger free. www. blueridgeﬁre.org. . Veteran’s Day Concert
Clarke County Community Band. Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct, Berryville. Join us for a very special concert by the Clarke County Community Band in honor of our veterans! The Clarke County Community Band was established in 1992 to promote music in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. The band
is comprised of amateur musicians of all ages. Doors open at 6:30. Concert starts at 7. Free event! For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.
Guitar Masters Series
Frank Wallace. Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct, Berryville. Hailed as “one of our age’s truly important composers”, Frank Wallace is a rare artist whose wizardry on the guitar rivals the range and depth of his musical ideas in composition. Frank Wallace will perform Three Spanish Guitars—a vibrant and sensual experience of rare guitars in the hands of a master—with music of Sor, Aguado, Tárrega, de Falla, Turina, Mompou, and
Wallace. Doors open at 7. Concert starts at 8. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. 12 and under free. For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.
Student Art Workshop
“The Art of Seeing” w/ Chester Simpson. Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct, Berryville. In collaboration with local artists, The Barns is offering FREE Art Workshops for middle & high school students! This is a great opportunity to learn from a working artist plus ask questions about embarking on a career in the arts. Workshop runs from 12–3pm. For information visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.
ClArke County Community BAnd veterAns’ dAy ConCert Friday evening, November 11 7pm At the
BArns of rose hill 95 ChAlmers Court, Berryville
free Admission This Ad is Sponsored By:
Loudoun Mutual Insurance Company www.loudounmutual.com
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North Hill: Horse Farm, Cathedral, Historic Treasure By Wendy Gooditis “Can I just peek in here one more time?” I call over my shoulder to the owners of the house as I slip into the huge room for the fourth time in 30 minutes. The sweet people are indulgent with me and generous with their time, and wait patiently in the kitchen. And so I’m back again, standing stock still, hardly breathing, and gazing at the two walls of stained glass. What is it about stained glass? What sort of magic is it? The vast windows seem to enchant the world outside, of which I glimpse only
green — surely a garden entry to a mythical land, where unicorns tread and grifﬁns circle overhead. I am trying to soak up as much of the enchantment as I can to carry with me when I leave — I will have to leave, but not just yet! And that is my overriding impression of the rambling house at North Hill. Its twists and turns charm as only an old house’s ramblings can. Up these beautiful stairs, down those, through the rooms of various ages (pause to admire the antique pine ﬁreplace sur-
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round), along the covered porches (pause, pause, and pause again to admire the acres of antique chinoiserie encased in glass along a passage wall). Goodness, these walls are so very thick! They are the original log cabin walls, plastered over and built around. And when was this part added? Probably during one of the house’s busiest times, in the 1930s. Oh, if only we knew the story behind this carved wooden stag’s head on the back porch. And that iron grapevine railing, and the Victorian mirror built in over the ﬁreplace in one of the bedrooms. The library with its printed linen wall-coverings and lovely ﬁreplace, with windows on three sides, looks like the perfect spot to hibernate during this winter’s storms. The bedrooms contain charming builtins, as do many of the nooks in the house, and there is a spacious dressing room/boudoir off the master bedroom with ceiling-high built-ins: a perfect private retreat. In short, the house is fascinating. And unusually, a fair amount of the art, or history, is actually part of the house, so it stays to gladden the new owners. Which draws me inexorably back to those windows. Yes, there’s a great and knowable story behind them, though there is just enough mystery to beguile. But I wouldn’t care if they had been produced yesterday in a sterile factory. They are stunning, dazzling, possibly even staggering, at least in the context of a private home
in the country. They soar the height of the two-story room, one on either side of a corner. They are gothic in shape (remember the Gothic style?), with fantastic carved frames. The central plane of each of the 3 panels per window is clear glass in diamond patterns, surrounded by incredibly beautiful grape vines in the most gorgeous colors imaginable. Above each panel are smaller insets, some containing rampant lions, I believe, reminiscent of coats of arms. I’ve written a lot of words here, but they fail to convey the stunning beauty of these windows. (I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t live there: I’d never get anything done. Just park my favorite armchair and footstool, lean back, and gaze…) So you get the idea about the windows. The property fascinates in other ways as well — namely, its history. The farm belonged to King Carter’s grandson Charles in the early 1800s, who married somebody
equally well-connected: Betty Lewis, niece of George Washington. Both of them are resting in exquisite peace in the family cemetery on the farm. But before the Carters arrived, the ﬁrst dwelling was a log cabin built in 1774. And over the years, the land has yielded many Native American artifacts from its original residents. There are mixed accounts about the ferry there, but somewhere between the Snickers and the Castlemans, way before the Route 7 bridge over the Shenandoah was thought of, the ferry which became known as Castleman’s Ferry was operated right there. I have heard that, during the decades of the settling of the west, wagons would camp near the ferry site, sometimes for days, waiting to be carried across the river. Later still, the Civil War monster dug its claws into the neighboring land during the Battle of Cool Spring and other skirmishes involving the river crossing. (Remember, the
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(540) 955-2171 river was navigated for commerce, and business was accomplished by boat between Castleman’s Ferry and Harper’s Ferry, making it a prime objective to interrupt supplies for both sides.) Apparently, artillery was placed on the nowpeaceful hills of the farm during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Though sold in the interim, the enterprising Castlemans reacquired the property and created a popular resort from 1917 to 1935, with a separate small hotel building (demolished long ago). The rest of its 20th century history is signiﬁcant in the annals of thoroughbred racing, having been bought by Lily Livingston when she migrated from Canada to play out the last act of her sensational career as a racehorse breeder and owner at North Hill, from 1935 to 1945, capping off a life which was nothing short of astonishing for a woman at the time. Not to mention the fact that she was the mistress of a married man, which brings me back to my favorite topic: the stained glass windows. Lily Livingston’s amour happened to be a wealthy man who was a friend and neighbor of
the renowned glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. And said amour happened to have these immense stained glass windows in his house in New Jersey. Logically, it seems quite probable that the windows are indeed Tiffany creations, though there are no signatures or documentation to prove it. Lily, when she bought North Hill, laboriously shipped the windows to Virginia (apparently by river barge), and had them installed in the huge ballroom she had built to showcase them. There you have the romantic story beﬁtting such romantic objects. In the 1940s the estate was bought by Milton Ritzenberg, who bred and raced many winners from these lush ﬁelds on the banks of the Shenandoah. The 190-acre farm with 1300 feet of Shenandoah River frontage is indeed beautifully suited for breeding, training, or just housing horses for fun or profit. As I was being driven around the lowland along the river, I had a daydream of a herd of happy horses grazing and rolling and galloping in that thick grass. There are two courtyardstyle stables, acres of pasture and hayﬁelds, and two small
houses as well as the main house, perhaps to be useful as a guest house and a tenant or caretaker’s house. Also adding appeal are a gazebo and the views which attend a hill property on the Shenandoah, and the fact that the property is in three parcels, providing ﬂexibility for the next owners’ future plans. The long river frontage alone is a powerful draw for those who love to ﬁsh, kayak, canoe, or just ﬂoat on a hot summer day and watch the river go by. The property serenely awaits its next owner and its new chapter of history. Okay, I’m really leaving this time (but isn’t that a fairy harp I’m hearing through the window…?) North Hill is offered by Gloria Rose Ott, associate broker, Washington Fine Properties, 540-454-4394, www.WineandHuntCountry.com. Wendy Gooditis is a real estate agent on the Chip Schutte Real Estate Team with ReMax Roots at 101 East Main St., Berryville, VA 22611, phone (540)955-0911. Wendy can be reached at gooditis@visuallink. com or at (540)533-0840.
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OCTOBE R 201 6
Lincoln Avenue Race That Crowned New Speed King A high-school track coach, a star athlete, and speedster nobody knew By Jesse Russell As was typical of the late afternoon days of May, storm clouds were beginning to form off to the West. No matter. Track practice was nearly over and the team’s star runner had little else to prove. After all, he had recently set the state record for the 100-yard dash, as well as having set an impressive list of rushing records for his high school football team. Dickie Longerbeam’s time on the small stage of rural athletics was less than 30 days from ending, and his days of playing on a national stage were about to begin. Letters had poured in from colleges all over the country during his junior year of high school, each with the promise of personal glory and national attention. None of his suitors could promise either, but to a young man who stood 6’ 1”, weighed 180 lbs., who set state records on both the football ﬁeld and the track team, he was supremely conﬁdent … but self-doubt would also worm its way into his subconscious. Doubt is the most sinister of all demons in an athlete’s mind, and its alwaysdreaded arrival could never be predicted. It arrives when least expected, like some ominous and faceless stranger that does the bidding of our own weaknesses. Today that uninvited stranger would return, no longer faceless. No longer a wraith of one’s own creation. Gene Wilson (aka Lightning Wilson), a star athlete at Johnson-Williams High School, had taken the short cut from Lincoln Avenue, over to Swan Avenue and then on to Josephine Street where his high school was located. Although he was in street clothes and wore an old pair of combat boots, these articles of clothing could not hide the natural grace and conﬁdence betrayed in his agile movement as he drew near the school’s parking lot and practice ﬁeld. He, too, was a track star and football player, but unlike Dickie, his accomplishments were too often not recognized by the community as a whole. He was black, and a black athlete in a segregated South was seldom seen, seldom heard and almost never recognized. Few outside of the black community knew of his athletic prowess, but not all in the white community were unaware of his God-given
speed. One of those people who were keenly aware of his athleticism and astounding speed happened to be coaching the track team that day at Clarke County High. The coach had noticed Gene from the time he came into view on Lincoln Avenue and followed him out of the corner of the his eye. He continued to monitor Gene’s approach as the young man from Johnson-Williams High entered that part of the school parking lot that would skirt closely by the track. The parking lot narrowed along the side of the school where the track was a mere 40 feet away. As Gene neared the track, a voice called out to him. Coach Reid and Gene knew each other, if not so much personally as by one another’s reputation. All eyes were suddenly on their coach and this young black man in combat boots. The track team’s curiosity was now beginning a slow burn. Those who recognized Gene quickly passed the word around that he was known to be fast. Very fast. Though pretending to continue with practice, their true attention had shifted to their coach, who now shook Gene’s hand in a way that said something other than a typical departing gesture. When the coach turned and walked back toward the track, Gene remained ﬁrmly in place. Something was deﬁnitely up, and the team began moving as one toward their coach. Reid called out Dickie’s name — and when Reid called your name, you came. No questions asked. The excitement was now as electric as the transformers providing power to the lights on the football ﬁeld. Now it was up to Dickie to accept the challenge along with anyone else that might want to test their own meddle in this historic clash of athletes, if indeed Dickie accepted. The gauntlet was thrown down and Dickie did not hesitate to accept the challenge along with six others. After all, Dickie was the state record holder in the 100-yard dash and had both his crown and his reputation to uphold. But there was so much more at stake here today. Although Dickie held the state record, a loss to a local boy and to one that happened to be black, added an entirely new pressure. But he held the
record, so that was enough to tell him that he was the fastest high school student in all of Virginia. It had never dawned on any of us, including Dickie, that prior to desegregation black students could not hold state records. All of their accomplishments had been dutifully ignored by the state of Virginia, just as if an entire race of people never existed. Gene had never raced on a track of this quality, and today would be no exception. Policy and prejudicial laws prohibited him from competing formally or otherwise on a white school’s grounds. Reid was fully aware of this archaic law, but he had a plan. He would lay out 100 yards along Lincoln Avenue. The sky was darkening; the race had to be run now or never. Six white athletes and one black athlete began positioning along the starting line that was crudely etched with a rock from one side of the road to the other side. Reid briefly went over the rules with the typical “ready, set and go,” but instead of words or a starting gun, Reid would blow his whistle. Leaning forward with hands on their knees, the runners waited for the high pitch of the coach’s whistle that would signal the start of the race and a nearly forgotten 10 seconds of history. In the ﬁrst 40 yards, half the ﬁeld had
fallen behind the leaders. At 80 yards it was now apparent that only two were in position to win. At 100 yards a small, stunned group of high-school students watched as Gene crossed the ﬁnish line. No photo ﬁnish. No arguments. The separation between ﬁrst and second was too great to argue. Although Dickie’s record was not jeopardized in any way by this loss, he, and all who were there that day, acknowledged that Dickie was no longer the fastest high-school student in all Virginia. At least, not on this nearly forgotten day, 52 years ago. On that singular day in 1964 there was a new king, but a king that never received his coronation. A king who never received his crown. Let this story be his belated coronation. Let it be his crown. In the fall of 1964, Clarke County High School took their ﬁrst steps toward desegregation and became fully integrated by the following year. Photos courtesy of Clarke County Historical Association. The author interviewed persons who were there that day; although each of their accounts that day had different minor details, all conﬁrmed the race and the result. Those who were students between 1963 and 1966 are encouraged to contact the author with their own stories of that era at email@example.com.
OCTOBE R 2 01 6
Have A Cup Of Cordial Coffee by Claire Stuart People get together over a cup of coffee to bond, plan, laugh, complain, sympathize, exchange ideas, or just relax. A cup of coffee has been the start of countless romances, friendships, and business deals. Coffee and community go together, afﬁrms Brandon Belland. He and his wife, Kaitlyn, opened Cordial Coffee, a coffee shop and roastery, in September. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to create a gathering place for people to celebrate community over a cup of coffee,” said Brandon. They carry about a dozen coffees from around the coffee belt, which includes Central and South America, India, Indonesia and Africa. “We roast it all right here onsite,” said Brandon. “We roast three times a week so that our bagged coffees are no more than a few days from roasting.” The Bellands are particular about the coffees they carry. Says Brandon, “Number one consideration is the quality of the curation at the source in the country of origin. Does the farmer use organic practices? Do they practice high quality soil maintenance without putting chemicals into the environment? What is the quality of harvesting? Our coffees are all hand-picked.” He explained that coffee cherries do not all ripen at once, so pickers have to harvest them over a period of days. Once picked, they have to be handsorted as to quality and size. Farmers are paid top dollars for their crop because brokers have people physically at the farms to observe the quality and are willing to pay more. At Cordial Coffee, you can enjoy your favorite coffee drinks or pick up a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans. If you’d like to drink coffee from a particular place, they will grind the coffee and make your drink to order.
Brandon & Kaitlyn Belland of Cordial Coffee, Hilary Hyland Photography. Kaitlin reports that currently their most popular drink is cold brew coffee on draft, something they were happy to introduce to Berryville. “When someone comes in and wants cold coffee, we ask, ‘Have you tried coffee on tap?’ If they’ve seen it other places, they are glad we have it. If not, they are usually willing to try it. It’s kegged with nitrogen, like beer,” she explained. “It isn’t served with ice, so it is not diluted. It’s very thick and creamy.” “Cold brew is steeped for 18 hours at room temperature,” added Brandon. “This removes about 70% of the acidity. It has higher caffeine—about twice the caffeine as regular coffee.” For kids and folks who don’t
drink coffee, there are plenty of choices. They serve hot chocolate, whole fruit smoothies, steamed cider and vanilla steamers. In addition, Cordial Coffee is proud to offer a made-to-order wafﬂe menu, with your choice of toppings. “We make our batter daily with high-quality organic ﬂour and ingredients,” said Brandon. “We’re making seasonal wafﬂe batters—we have pumpkin now, for fall. And we make our own syrups, vanillas and other toppings. We like to make everything that we serve.” Cordial Coffee is located at 8 South Church Street in Berryville; open Sunday through Thursday, 8am–6pm; Fridays and Saturdays 8am–8pm.
Tom Parker Realtor
Re/Max Roots 101 East Main Street #103 Berryville, Va
OCTOBE R 201 6
Farmer’s Daughter: Vintage Furniture with Good Bones by Claire Stuart
Betty Trump’s shabby chic Farmer’s Daughter, from vintage furniture to contemporary craft. Do you love vintage furniture and see the possibilities of decorating with an ironing board or a well-worn suitcase? Can you see an aged dresser as a wine rack? Would you like to have a hutch like grandma’s and accessorize it with kitchen tools from bygone days? If so, Farmer’s Daughter is the shop for you. Proprietor Betty Trump greets customers from behind a
Hip and Humble Antiques and Interiors
Farm Fresh Furnishings & Current Vintage Decor Aylor’s Mill 401 East Main Street Berryville, VA
counter made from unﬁnished wood and corrugated rooﬁng material from an old barn that was being torn down. “This was when wood was thick and strong,” she pointed out. She describes her specialty as vintage furniture, popularly known as “shabby chic” or classic country farmhouse. It’s from about the 1940s through the 70s, and she scours auctions, estate sales and yard sales for
furniture with possibilities and anything that might be used in decorating. “We collect the weirdest things,” she laughed. The beauty of vintage furniture, she explains, is that “regardless of the need for some TLC, this furniture had good bones. They still have life in them. My goal is to give them new life, make them bright and happy again. It’s my way of recycling, repurposing.”
The little shop is full of dressers, cupboards, desks, tables, chairs and headboards. Most items are wood, although you might ﬁnd a few metal pieces. She noted that she has many more pieces than the shop can hold and invites you to ask if you don’t see what you are looking for. Betty does all the furniture restoration herself, although her husband Jeff’s touch is ap-
parent in the original lamps that she describes as “industrial chic.” Jeff, an electrical contractor, enjoys making lamps, putting them together out of things like old household items and plumbing pipes. If you have a piece of vintage furniture and a vision for how you would like it to look, Betty will do custom jobs. She has even come up with a recipe for her own chalk paint, which she now sells by the quart. It doesn’t require any prep work or priming and it adheres to any surface. She makes it in a rainbow of colors, ranging from black and neutrals to colors like Autumn Spice, Classic Denim and more, ideal for giving furniture the shabby chic look. She is happy to report that she’s been getting good feedback from customers who have used her paints. In addition to furniture, there are lots of interesting odds and ends, from china and kitchen utensils to bottles and jugs, old radios, bins and baskets, wall decorations, vases and knick-knacks. You will also ﬁnd new artisan consignment items, including whimsical hand-painted wine glasses by Gray Wine Design—who also takes custom orders. There are scented candles, country style aprons and linens, and all-natural organic soaps. Farmer’s Daughter opened in July, and Betty expressed that she is very appreciative of the other Berryville merchants who have made it easy for her to ﬁt into the downtown shopping area. “The merchants’ network here is good,” she said. “I love Berryville. I like the tightknit community and the quaint feel of it. And I have grandchildren here!” Farmer’s Daughter: 5 South Church Street in Berryville; open Wednesday–Friday, 11am–5pm and Saturday 10am–5pm. Watch for holiday hours.
OCTOBE R 2 01 6
Berryville Main Street: Cherish the Past, Shape the Future •
The Town of Berryville is one of 55 sites in Virginia in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street program. Through participation in the program, Berryville was provided free consulting services from Barman Development Strategies of Stoughton, Wisconsin. A team of two — Todd Barman and Kyle Meyer of the Virginia Department of Housing and Urban Development — came with trained eyes and a fresh perspective on Berryville. For two days they walked through the historic district and cruised the county to see both accomplishments and possibilities. They met with Berryville Main Street (BMS), community leaders, and merchants to listen and to inform locals about how Main Street programs and strategies can transform historic districts. The team noted the sites in town and in the surrounding countryside where past history and the rural way of life are plainly in view, where traditional products and methods of production are available for the public to experience ﬁrst hand. Gathering places for education and for fun — for example, Watermelon Park, the Fairgrounds, the Barns of Rose Hill, and the Josephine School Museum — offer widely varied, worthwhile places for home folks or tourists to spend some valuable time. The team used the term “oasis” for the serene, relaxing atmosphere of Clarke
County, as the gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, to be discovered and enjoyed. Having explored some of the local charms, the team settled down to forming suggestions for ways to open up this treasure trove to the world in ways by which both the residents and the guests could proﬁt. They assessed the types of services available now and were especially impressed by the range of healthy living options offered here as well as the governmental and professional services of the county seat. They noted the automotive resources available and the several varied restaurants where customers could dine while their cars are being ﬁxed. They saw the recreational and health care opportunities as especially appealing for senior citizens. The agricultural produce and handmade crafts of Clarke County could attract visitors from near and far, once they discover the sources here. These are some of Clarke County’s strengths today. It was clearly evident to Barman, who was visiting Berryville for the ﬁrst time, that Clarke County has a rich heritage and culture that many long-time residents cherish. He listed 32 of Berryville’s unique historic landmarks and cultural history as assets that may be featured. Some are well-known, like the Historic District spanning the Old Clarke County Courthouse Complex, North Church Street and Main Street. Others are lesser known, such as the story
of Josephine City and the home of the late Harry F. Byrd, Sr., former governor and senator of Virginia. Equal importance is placed on our entrepreneurs, leaders, civic partners, and volunteers – people that have a strong role in transforming our community. The team from Barman Development Strategies turned over a report of information, evaluations, and suggestions, certainly enough to keep Berryville Main Street busy for several years. The team called Clarke County, “Virginia’s best kept secret!” Barman’s report is being used to assist BMS with identifying next steps for BMS’s focus on historic preservation and economic development. BMS is analyzing the results of the report, identifying the Berryville customer base, and developing a working market position statement. Then comes synthesizing geographic data and applying a knowledge of the market place to increase investor conﬁdence. Information from this research will be used to identify ways to positively inﬂuence the customer experience in Berryville’s retail and service industries. Barman made it evident that there are three distinct Berryville customer populations: • people who live close by and purchase in Berryville because it’s convenient; •
a growing population of youthful retirees and empty-nesters, and
visitors and tourists seeking a more relaxed and personal experience in the country.
The report also suggests ways to better serve those who travel a relatively short distance for professional, personal care, and automotive services, or to visit restaurants and retail stores. Theese include repositioning hours of operation and having short-term parking near establishments. Main Street’s current retail mix appears to attract women between the ages of 35 to 55 years, accompanied by a partner, friend, or family member. And there is increasing market demand for locally grown, hand made, or crafted goods
and product niches, as well as for ‘wellness’ opportunities. Barman’s report advised continuing to host special events that foster community, to support the work of our entrepreneurs, and to promote Berryville as a destination regionally so more tourists enter the doors of our businesses. Another suggestion is to design the downtown area for walkability and to invest in an easy-to-navigate wayﬁnding program. — This BMS update was compiled through contributions from Edith Welliver and from Patty Maples and Mary Jo Pellerito of Berryville Main Street’s Economic Vitality Committee.
OCTOBE R 201 6
Wildlife Center Visits Film Fest Annual American Conservation Film Festival features 33 films The Blue Ridge Wildlife Center will travel to Shepherdstown, W.Va., October 22 for a special presentation of non-releasable raptors at the American Conservation Film Festival. The presentation is part of the family and youth track of the annual festival that draws visitors from throughout the region and Baltimore and Washington, DC. The 14th American Conservation Film Festival opens Friday, October 21 with a festive reception and two blocks of three ﬁlms each and culminates with its Encore Award Winners weekend October 28– 30. “The festival brings together the ﬁnest conservation ﬁlms and ﬁlmmakers from around
the world,” says Jennifer Lee, ACFF’s development and communications director. “The program features discussions with scientists and educators, professional workshops, family programming, and social events.” In all, ACFF will screen 35 ﬁlms selected from the more than 250 submissions. Beneath Paradise features the island of Culebra, located off the coast of Puerto Rico — one of the richest ecosystems in the Caribbean. Abundant mangroves, coral reefs and world-renowned beaches, like Flamenco Beach, attract tourists from all over. Today, active munitions from WW2 pose a threat to people, wildlife,
and the environment. Activists, ﬁshermen, professors, and military personnel aim to prevent further irreparable damage to Culebra’s coral reefs. Bluebird Man is the story of 91-year-old Al Larson, a self-taught conservation hero who has committed the last 35 years of his life to saving North America’s bluebirds. Breathtaking scenery, intimate conversations, and stunning footage of all three species of bluebird create a powerful ﬁlm with the goal of inspiring our next generation of citizen scientists. EO Wilson: Of Ants and Men follows the extraordinary scientiﬁc odyssey of one of America’s greatest living thinkers, E.O Wilson. Often dubbed
EO Wilson. “a Darwin for the modern day,” his lectures at Harvard
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were picketed and he was even physically attacked on stage at a scientiﬁc conference, all because he suggested that human nature could be studied scientiﬁcally. Time has borne Wilson out, and sociobiology has become a well-established and accepted part of the humanities. The ﬁlm culminates in a rapturous ﬁnale about his work in the great national park of Mozambique, Gorongosa, once torn apart by civil war, now being restored to its former glory. Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, Catching the Sun captures the global race to lead the clean energy future. With countries like China investing in innovative technologies and capitalizing on this trillion-dollar opportunity, the ﬁlm tells the story of the global energy transition from the perspective of workers and entrepreneurs building solutions to income inequality and climate change with their own hands. Their successes and failures speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will the U.S. actually be able to build a clean energy economy? You can see the full schedule at ConservationFilm.org.
OCTOBE R 2 01 6
Another Gourdeous Year Gourd festival expands heritage arts and educational offerings
Reagan Bitler, Flaming Foliage Leaf Bowl.
Troy Tatum, Chinese Wealth Coin Vase.
Val Kimball ,American Pride.jpg
The Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society moves into its 15th year of celebrating gourds with the Harvest Festival of Gourds & Heritage Arts to be held October 29–30 at the Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville. This year the celebration of harvest and gourd art expands to include other traditional skills that so often align with gourd art. Along with gourd art will be leather work, papercutting, pottery, quilting, and pumpkin carving. Quite often, heritage techniques are used in gourd projects, so celebrating the harvest by combining several interests at this family-friendly event will be fun and educational. The entry “fee” is one nonperishable food item per person per day to beneﬁt the FISH of Clarke County organization. Vendors like Pat Hochmuth Farms and Front Porch Gourds offer visitors a wide variety of raw, craft-ready gourds in all sizes to purchase for use during classes or to stock up for projects later. The holidays are coming so buying now avoids shipping costs when ordering from out-of-state gourd farms. Many gourd artisans will answer questions and encourage you to explore the gourd possibilities yourself. All vendors must produce their own product and
Knitters may be interested in gourd yarn bowls; youngsters can enjoy one of the many make-and-take projects; gourd kaleidoscopes are fun for any age. Take time to look through the Classes at www.vlgs.org or visit the Clarke County Parks & Recreation to see the Harvest Festival of Gourds & Heritage Arts class booklets. Instructors are contacted individually for registrations; contact information is given with the description of the class.
For the first time, there will be gourd competitions at the festival with youth and adult categories. Whether presenting a garden treasure or a finished piece of gourd art, the Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society encourages enthusiasts of all ages to enter the competition. Entries are dropped off Friday and can be picked up Sunday. The details are on the registration form or contact Carol Jackson at competition@vlgs. org with questions. We look forward to seeing your entry!
demonstrate their hands-on skills during the Festival. Two of the chapter’s gourd patches (the Gourdacious Dappled Apples and the Warrenton Warties) will have booths to display patch member gourd projects for sale. Even newbies can produce attractive, sellable pieces of gourd art! All the gourd artisans will be working on projects to show a process in action and encourage questions. Supplies for crafting, decorating, and embellishing gourd projects are available from Blue Whale Arts, Giraffes Laff Arts & Crafts, Naturally Yours and Tandy Leather. There will be demonstrations of products and opportunities to test new ideas. Many hard-to-ﬁnd tools, inks, leathers and beads will be available to make the shopping day, from start to ﬁnish, a successful crafting excursion. Each year the society offers a unique collection of classes. This year’s classes include gourd luminaries, gourd ornaments that actually light up, and wool feather trees. Want to learn how to make a leather mask? Or bars of soap with a luffa gourd embedded in it to use as an exfoliating scrubbie? What about carving a pumpkin to make the neighbors sit up and take notice? What about carving soap?
Saturday’s entertainment starts at 10am with the Blue Ridge Thunder Cloggers. That afternoon is The Singing Historian, Roy Justice at 1pm and again at 3pm. Justice is a storyteller who combines historical information about the Shenandoah Valley and agriculture and gourds with music and songs. Sunday at noon is the Live Auction of Arts. Go to vlgs.org to see what’s going to be auctioned. The Hatcher Boys follow the auction with their fun father-sons bluegrass pickin’ versions of popular songs. Bring your nonperishable food items and join us for some family fun, some education, and a lot of laughs! If you would like to be a gourd or heritage skill vendor, contact Angela Mohr at firstname.lastname@example.org. For class information: The catalog and registration form is online or can be obtained by going to the Clarke County Parks & Recreation ofﬁces. Hours for the festival are Saturday 9am–5pm and Sunday 9am–4pm.
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The Russell Road Campaign of 1865 A love triangle, two officers, and a belle from Clarke County By Allan Tischler
Out of all of the 85 Medal of Honor actions here in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War, none came close to the spirited Blue and Gray shoot-out Tuesday afternoon, March 28, 1865, on Russell Road, northwest of Berryville. It was chock-full of drama, whose actors were a Clarke county girl fancied by both a Union staff ofﬁcer and a Mosby Ranger, with a supporting cast of the ofﬁcer’s orderly and four other Rangers. Fittingly, it was the Valley’s very last such event before General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia would lay down its arms to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, a mere thirteen days later.
The story begins in Springﬁeld, Vermont, where Eugene W. Ferris was born in 1842. During his childhood, his family moved to Lowell, Massachusetts where he ﬁnished school and took a job as a book keeper. In late 1861, several months after the war had begun that April, the 30th regiment of Massachusetts infantry volunteers began forming, impelling young Ferris to enroll and be mustered into Company D on January 1, 1862 at the rank of sergeant. His term, as that of his comrades, was for three years, and from then onward, he rose to 2nd Lieutenant and then to 1st Lieutenant, when he was appointed to be the adjutant of the regiment in 1865, handling all of the voluminous matters of paper work. By this stage of the war, Lieutenant Ferris had been on campaigns on the Mississippi River at Port Hudson, near Vicksburg, then in the Gulf region of the Deep South at New Orleans,
Bartlett Bolling, chronicler of a Clarke County Civil War love triangle. Photo courtesy Don Hakenson.
Baton Rouge, and along the Red River. His Bay State regiment, part of the parent organization of several thousand Union soldiers called the 19th Corps, was transferred via steam ship to Virginia in mid-June of 1864 to reinforce the large army directed by General Grant against Lee, outside Richmond. Needing to clear the Shenandoah Valley once and for all of the troublesome Confederate grip, in the ﬁrst week of August the Federal general-in-chief placed Major General Philip Sheridan in charge of a newly created army, with orders to vanquish the Rebel army led by Lieutenant General Jubal Early.
The 19th Corps was one of Sheridan’s contingents, drawing Eugene Ferris and his fellow New Englanders through the autumn battles at Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, and Cedar Creek, with a wound to show for it. That winter, recorded as one of the worst in years, was when the victorious Union army went into permanent log cabin quarters, essentially guarding this end of the Valley on garrison duty. With the onset of spring, in 1865, the 30th Massachusetts infantry was posted at the dual ford crossing on Opequon Creek, where the Berryville Pike crossed over, in their tented
OCTOBE R 2 01 6 camp. By now, everyone was pretty well inclined to believe the main part of the war was winding to an end; Early’s army was long gone, Lee was besieged down at Petersburg, and Sherman was coming up through the Carolinas.
It is probably good that history is discreetly vague as to how 20-year-old Emma Bonham, one of Colonel Daniel Bonham’s daughters was known at the same time to a Northerner — Ferris — and to Southerner Sergeant Charles Wiltshire, one of Colonel John S. Mosby’s famous Partisan Rangers. The Bonham farm was closer to the Opequon than to Berryville, and surely Ferris had visited her before he got permission from his regimental commander, to venture out past the Federal picket line with his orderly, Private James McLaughlin, that Tuesday morning. A different sort of “campaigning” was obviously on his mind for the three-mile ride. Unbeknownst to anyone in the Bonham family or to their soon-to-be Massachusetts guests, Colonel Mosby had sent Sergeant Wiltshire, along with Privates George Gill, John Orrick, and Bartlett Bolling, out on a scouting foray from Loudoun County toward Stephenson Depot, an enemy camping area. At their crossing of the Shenandoah River Private Robert Eastham joined them. From the account Ferris wrote, we draw the curtain aside after he got to Emma’s: “I halted and had the horses put in the stable in the rear of the yard, a short distance from the house. After being seated a short time in the house, a little girl came running in and excitedly exclaimed, ‘Oh Adjutant, there is a whole squad of Rebs coming down the road. What will you do?’” At this point Miss Bonham recalled what can either be called his bravado or stupidity. “Lt. Ferris went out the front door … right in full view of the enemy then approaching up
the lane, but did not have time to get his horse before they were in the yard.” Actually, it was Ferris’s orderly McLaughlin who had seen the mounted party and sent the girl inside to warn his ofﬁcer. One of Wiltshire’s Rangers, Bolling, had spotted McLaughlin. “We saw a Yankee standing in the yard. He, upon our approach, ran into the house and returned with an ofﬁcer. Wiltshire, as soon as he saw this, put spurs to his horse … and shouted, ‘Come on boys’” wrote Bolling. “By the time we reached the yard, these two had gotten to a log stable, the door of which was about opposite the gate through which we had to enter,” said Bolling, “Wiltshire passed through this gate ﬁrst, followed by Orrick, Gill, and myself.” While Emma and her family peeked out at the escalating contest from the dining room window, Ranger Eastham, left on the other side of the paddock gate, also was in full view of what took place next: “Charley Wiltshire was leaning over his horse’s head, looking in the door as we supposed ordering the inmates to surrender, when he was shot and fell from his horse.” Gill had also been shot. It was his romantic nemesis who had retorted, “Never with my life,” accented with three rapid booms of his .45 revolver. Dust swirled as Ranger Eastham watched his sergeant fall off of his horse, “got up, reeled, and fell again.” Fellow Confederate George Gill’s horse bolted out and down the lane to the road as he barely hung on, gravely wounded. Then, “Orrick’s horse was shot, and he slightly also,” wrote Bolling. “His horse was unruly, and he became dismounted and his horse hard to manage. I was in the yard, and a few feet from the door ﬁring, until I too received a wound … Eastham did not enter the yard, considering perhaps that, discretion was the better part of valor.” Dame Fortune then gave wind to the Unionist’s heels, both dashing out of the barn.
Grabbing up Wiltshire’s still loaded pistols, Ferris vaulted onto the Rebel’s horse while McLaughlin mounted Ferris’s, both of them galloping pell-mell past Eastham for the road. After he helped both of his wounded comrades on their horses (we infer), the chase was on. Mosby’s men discharged their revolvers at the blue-clad pair until the orderly’s horse threw him off. Told to stay until the Confederates returned, he slipped away into the woods, arriving safely back in camp that night. As for the adjutant, another ofﬁcer drilling his men watched him “coming across the ﬁelds on his horse at the top of his speed, jumping fences and any other obstructions that were in his way.” He had been grazed with holes in his pants and coat.
Of the ﬁve Mosby Rangers caught up in this gun-ﬁght, Seargent Wiltshire and Private Gill both died within days; the others survived until the end of the war. Promoted to captain, Ferris ﬁnally mustered out in 1866 from duty in South Carolina. He quietly resumed civilian life, got married, had children, and thought no more of it. Thirty years later, when a former Union veteran, working at the War Department, read a book written by one of Mosby’s men, he rounded up the testimonials from Mrs. Emma Perry, Bartlett Bolling, and Robert Eastham. This led to Captain Eugene Ferris receiving his Medal Of Honor through the mail, issued on October 16, 1897. Three years later, he moved his family to Rockville, Indiana, where he owned and operated the Parke Motel. Only seven years later, on February 26, 1907, he passed onto the ﬁnal bivouac, his funeral attended by “a large concourse,” honor guard, and the hymn “Tenting On The Old Camp Ground.” He now reposes in Parke County’s Rockville Cemetery.
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Laying Down Swords For Ploughshares Historic Clarke County farm is home for veterans’ farm training By David Lillard
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There are two things that nearly every Clarke County resident knows about the place they call home. It has become a thriving local food hub; there are market gardeners, a lively farmers market that’s the envy of many rural communities, and an illustration of how rural counties outside large metro areas can contribute to the fresh food supply downtown. It’s also home to many military veterans —and a community that takes pride in the special draw it has for vets and their families. Not well known is that Clarke County is emerging as a training hub for a force that’s shaping farm entrepreneurism: veterans who become farmers. It’s happening at Patriot Farmers for America, a few miles down Parshall Road outside Berryville at Hill and Dale Farm. Richard Henry Lee, the ﬁrst owner of the property, was living in the house at the time he proposed the Declaration of Independence to the Second Continental Congress. The 300-acre model small farm demonstrates techniques and offers programs to veteran farmers on production, marketing, and small business management. And it all begins with a farm that comes out of a
Kory Apton, founder of Patriot Farmers of America, with Outpost farmer and veteran Ned King. Photo by David Lillard. box — a shipping container that contains everything to start and operate a market farm. Meet the Helical Outpost, a revolutionary hydroponic greenhouse with water ﬁltration, solar power, and communication capabilities. It’s based on the containers dropped into war zones, a self-contained base start-up to provide ﬁltered water, food, power, and communications. The Helix is a solar-powered greenhouse and food production system that uses technology to regulate water usage, temperature, and lighting that is designed to run completely off-grid.
“Everything can be accessed from a phone from anywhere in the world,” says Ned King, one of two founding veterans at the farm. When King’s ﬁrst solid job prospect fell through a month before separating from the military, he discovered the 2014 Farm Bill, which allocated new resources to veterans to begin a career in agriculture. He dove in. “The container offers familiarity to veterans,” said King. “It’s something every veteran knows.” Through partnerships with Virginia Tech, the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the
OCTOBE R 2 01 6
U.S. Small Business Administration, Patriot Farmers of America offers practical careerbuilding tools to create viable business models for students to take back to their communities as they transition to civilian life or begin a new career in agriculture. The nationwide interest in farming among veterans has been captured in documentary ﬁlms, news programs, and a slew of magazine article and books. Vets have become ﬁxtures at sustainable farming conferences, with many now leading the programs. Some vets discovered farming as part of their therapeutic transition and healing — every gardener knows few things are as peaceful and rewarding as putting hands in soil. Now Patriot Farmers of America has captured the attention of the Small Business Administration, which co-
Annual Fall and Holiday Craft Show
• At Clarke County Parks & Recreation Center • 225 Al Smith Circle, Berryville
There will be a variety of vendors with plenty of gift ideas for your holiday shopping. November 5th: 9am – 5pm and
hosted a series of workshops at the farm in August. For SBA, the veteran-farmer connection makes great sense; their data show that one in 10 U.S. small businesses is owned by a veteran. They see veterans as a rising component of the local food movement. The Patriot workshops was the agency’s ﬁrst such program; more are planned nationwide. Patriot Farmers owes its home and start-up funding to Kory Apton, a television writer
and producer with ESPN, CBS Sports, MTV and USA Network. For Apton, helping veterans start new lives is a way of showing gratitude for their service. Teaching them to grow sustainably raised, fresh food helps address another critical need: the nutritional deﬁcit caused by today’s industrialized food system. “Our health is tied to what we eat,” she says. “We need to change the way we think of food away from something that is manufactured back to something that is raised by people and served fresh.” You don’t have to be a farmer to visit Hill and Dale Farm. There are education programs for home gardeners and events open to the public. You can also host your own event.
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OCTOBE R 201 6
Images of the Clarke County Studio Tour By Jennifer Lee
Thirty Clarke County artists and artisans opened their studios for visitors and conversation October 1–2 for the annual Clarke County Studio Tour. It’s a chance for people to visit their favorite artists in their workspaces, and for artists to chat about their craft. Here are some of the images captured by the Observer’s Jennifer Lee on her circuit ride of the tour.
Christina at My Neighbor & Me.
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Art at the Mill.
Steve Scott at Hip & Humble.
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Community Briefs Tobacco is leading organic product in Virginia
When we think of organic farming, thoughts trend toward kale and tomatoes. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has announced that a recent survey conducted by the U.S.D.A. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows tobacco is the leading organic product in Virginia. Results of the 2015 Certiﬁed Organic Production Report are from a survey conducted earlier this year. The survey queried all known USDA-certiﬁed organic farms across Virginia. In 2015, Virginia’s USDA certiﬁed organic farms sold a total of $49.1 million in or-
ganically produced commodities, including $27.8 million in crops sales and $18.3 million in sales of livestock, poultry and their products. “Consumers are most familiar with organic food products, but in the Commonwealth, tobacco generates the most value,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician with NASS. “Poultry, milk and vegetable products are also very valuable for farmers.” Tobacco sales totaled $18.7 million, or 38 percent of all sales. Broilers and milk followed with $9.5 million and $7.2 million in sales, respectively. Vegetables and other crops round out the top ﬁve. Average sales were $353,209 per farm. There were 139 certiﬁed organic farms in 2015,
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comprising 23,453 acres of land. Sixty-four percent, or 14,984 acres, is cropland, and 8,469 acres are in pasture or rangeland. An additional 2,295 acres are transitioning to organic production on certiﬁed farms. In Virginia, 35 percent of the farms sold at least some products directly to consumers, via farm stands, farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and other arrangements. Fourteen percent sold to retail or food service, and 73 percent of farms used wholesale markets. Thirteen farms sold products through a CSA. Of the 139 operators, 31 percent have been farming fewer than 10 years, and 42 percent have grown or raised certiﬁed organic products fewer than ﬁve years. Seventy-three farms plan to increase production during the next ﬁve years and 51 expect to maintain production. The 2015 Certiﬁed Organic Production Report provides acreage, production and sales data for a variety of certiﬁed organic crops and inventory and sales data for certiﬁed organic livestock commodities. The 2015 Certiﬁed Organic Production Survey included all known farm operators who produced certiﬁed organic crops and/or livestock. To learn more about this and other NASS surveys and corresponding data in Virginia, visit nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_ State/Virginia/. To sign up to be counted in the Census and other surveys, visit agcounts. usda.gov/cgi-bin/counts/.
Handley Welcomes Kiefer
Shenandoah University Professor of Art History, Geraldine Kiefer, came to Handley Library October 1 to share the sources of her artwork, in particular that from her recent residence in Iceland, as well as show maps that inﬂuenced the creation of her ongoing Iceland map series. Titled Iceland/Islandia: Islands, Journeys, Peregrinations. For the last several years, Kiefer has focused on mapmaking as a spiritual journey to ground her work. Researching maps from the very antique to those of the 19th century, Kiefer has made collaged, drawn and mixed-media series of maps that take the viewer on sacred journeys. Professor Kiefer received her B.A. from Kent State University, a M.A. from Oberlin College, and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. She is the author of a book on Alfred Stieglitz and articles on the history of photography, feminist theory, and art. She was also a contributing essayist for a book on the Valley Road of Virginia, and has had multiple juried and solo art exhibitions. Professor Kiefer is a member of the One Book One Community committee for the Winchester area. For more information on programs at Handley, or visit www.youseemore.com/handley.
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Shenandoah University to Host Nonprofit Governance Symposium
Shenandoah University’s Center for Leadership in the Public & Nonproﬁt Sectors will present a symposium titled “Nonproﬁt Governance: Leadership, Visibility & Impact,” from 8am till 2pm Tuesday, October 11, in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium, on the campus of Shenandoah University (1460 University Drive, Winchester). The center has partnered with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Nonproﬁt Alliance for Excellence, the VA Tri-State Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Shenandoah University’s Center for Public Service & Scholarship to bring to the Winchester area a full day of presentations and educational sessions. This summer, the university’s School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) launched a new center that serves as a resource for public and nonproﬁt organizations. It supports the work of area organizations including local school systems, higher education institutions, nonproﬁt entities and public sector agencies. This symposium is the second major event presented by the center. Keynote speakers include founder and president of the Charity Defense Council Dan Pallotta and creative director for TrueSense Marketing Jeff Brooks. At 9am, Pallotta will present, via live feed, “Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonproﬁts Undermine Their Potential,” while Brooks will give his keynote address at 12:15pm in conjunction with the symposium’s lunch program. The symposium also offers concurrent seminars from 10:15am till 11am, and again from 11:15am till noon. For information or to register, visit connect.su.edu/ngs.
Autumn in Clarke County Kenny’s Auto & Trike Shop WE DO IT ALL! Car and Truck Repair All Makes and Models
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ClArke County Community BAnd
PHOTO GR A PHY
veterAns’ dAy ConCert Friday evening, November 11 7pm At the
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Do you have enough money to last your lifetime? How you will pay for long term medical care for you and your spouse? What about your heirs? How can you ensure they will receive the money you intend?
AT THIS WORKSHOP, YOU WILL LEARN:
• How to protect assets from nursing home costs How you can save more than you expect, even if your loved one is already in a nursing home. • One of the most important legal documents you need, and the three things it should contain. • How to ensure your estate provides an inheritance for your heirs and supports a home-bound spouse. • How to qualify for little-known Veterans benefits to help you or your loved one stay at home. • Which Trust is ideal for 2nd marriages and blended families? • What is ELDER LAW, anyway?
The Observer is a monthly covering the people and public life of Clarke County, Va.