County Compass - May 2020

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Your Complete Community Resource Guide and Lifestyle Magazine Pointing You in the Direction of All the Best of the Upper Northern Neck and Beyond





Anniversary King George! F E AT U R E S

James Johnson on the Potomac River

The Dahlgren Way County Outlook & Covid-19 The Future of the Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge SPRING/SUMMER 2020


Connecting with Our Community A

ll of the individuals that exist together at a given place and time make up a population, and a community is made up of all the populations in an area. This area is the upper Northern Neck region of Virginia, the northernmost of three peninsulas on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The Northern Neck region is rich in history, river shorelines, and natural beauty. The citizens here are culturally diverse and are what some might consider a rare breed; we have a welcoming smile and a hospitable charm, and as congenial people, we don’t live in isolation. We’ve grown accustom to a lifestyle that lends itself to the great outdoors. We’re constantly learning whether it be from our historically rich past or our everchanging addition of friends. Our community is growing and in doing so creating a more beautiful amalgamation of citizens, citizens who are neighbors we want to connect with. This year has surely posed some challenges in our ability to connect in person, but our friendly spirit isn’t going to let those obstacles stop us from reaching out in every other way we can. We hope you’ll find County Compass Magazine to be your complete community resource guide and lifestyle magazine because it’s all about living, learning, growing, AND connecting!

Individuals who feel a sense of belonging, trust, and connection to their community can have better health than those who feel isolated. Let’s promote well-being for all together! We’d love to hear from you! Letters to the editor may be published in future issues of County Compass Magazine. Email: Subject Line: Letter to the Editor -ORMail: Sassafras Creations, LLC Attn: Letter to the Editor P.O. Box 578 King George, VA 22485

Christina Burroughs County Compass | 5


Turn of the Tides Classifieds

Publisher and Editor Christina Burroughs, MA Art Director SJ Graphx, LLC Advertising Representative Krystle Miller Cover & Contents Photo Credit Sally Johnson

Sassafras Creations, LLC P.O. Box 578, King George, VA 22485 Office: 540-775-3159

Š Copyright 2020 Sassafras Creations, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction of material, both editorial and advertising, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. As of 2020, County Compass Magazine is published biannually by Sassafras Creations, LLC and distributed by direct mail free of charge, as well as distribution sites located throughout the upper Northern Neck region and beyond. Articles, editorials, letters, and advertisements do not reflect the opinions of the editor, publisher, or residents. The publisher reserves the right to edit and reject any and all editorial and advertising submitted for publication in County Compass Magazine. Every effort has been made to prevent typographical errors, however, Sassafras Creations, LLC cannot be held responsible for any typographical or grammatical errors as all printed editorials are submitted to Sassafras Creations, LLC and not written by Sassafras Creations, LLC or any employee of Sassafras Creations, LLC.



Local Cuisine



Celebrating 300 Years of King George


LIVING: It’s All About Fishing with Local James Johnson


LANDING: A Resource Guide


LEARNING: The Dahlgren Way


GROWING: County Outlook & Covid-19



CONNECTING: The Future of the Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge

How King George Sheriff’s Office is Taking the Community Into the Next Century


Business Directory County Compass | 7


Photo by Luke Miller

300 ofYears

Founder’s Day Proclamation (the inaugural event) was held on November 15, 2019, at UMW Dahlgren. This catered event featured many guest speakers, including Congressman Rob Wittman and Captain Michael O’Leary, Dahlgren Commanding Officer.

By: The 300th Anniversary Planning Committee

On December 8, 2019, the Holiday Magic and Christmas Tree Lighting was held (postponed from December 1st due to weather). Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Bueche flipped the switch to light the huge pine tree and what a beautiful sight it was!

Photo by Luke Miller

King George County

It is indeed an exciting time to be a King George County resident! Known affectionately as the “Gateway to the Historic Northern Neck,” King George is celebrating 300 years since its founding with a myriad of exciting community events in 2019 and 2020. Founded in November 1720, King George County’s tricentennial is being planned by the 300th Anniversary Planning Committee, County staff, private citizens, and Gravatt Entertainment, an event planning company. As of this writing, several events have already taken place. All have been very well attended and are free to the public. 8 | SPRING/SUMMER 2020

Photo by Luke Miller

On February 10th, the Commitment to Education event was held at King George High School. Special guest speakers included former NFL standout and King George High School Graduate Jermon Bushrod.

Photo by Wil Gravatt

Photo by Michele Washington

King George County is not alone in celebrating its birthday. On February 29th, the L.E. SMOOT Library celebrated 50 years with a wonderful catered reception, silent auction, and live jazz band.

Because of the Virginia Governor’s temporary ban on public gatherings, several events had to be canceled/postponed. Below is a list of the events and their status as of this writing. (Note: all rescheduled dates, cancellations, and event updates can be found on the King George 300 Facebook page: George300) Sat., Apr. 4, 2020 Honoring the History and Legacy of the Ralph Bunch School Location: Ralph Bunche School and King George Citizens Center STATUS: POSTPONED, DATE TBA Sun., Apr. 12, 2020 Easter Sunrise Service Location: Mt. Bethel Christian Center STATUS: CANCELED Tues., Apr. 21, 2020 The Garden Club of Virginia Historic Garden Week Location: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church STATUS: CANCELED Sat., May 23, 2020 Honoring Those Who Served, Commemoration and Dedications Location: King George Highs School; 11a-2p STATUS: CANCELED Sat., June 13, 2020 Festival of the Rivers Location: Caledon State Park; 11a-5p A festival celebrating King George

King George’s favorite son James Madison also celebrated a birthday on March 14th. What better place to throw a party than his birthplace, Belle Grove Plantation at Port Conway. President James Madison and First Lady Dolley both made an appearance for the guests. A special birthday cake by Mary’s Cakery was a big hit as well!

County’s two amazing rivers (Potomac and Rappahannock).This fun, family friendly festival, will feature: Live music, food trucks, vendors, Kids games/activities, kayak tours, climbing wall, craft breweries, and wineries.

Location: Caledon State Park; 10a-3p A morning and early afternoon of guided hikes, trail running, eagle and wildlife watching, and history lessons on the trails and parks in King George County.

Sat., July 4, 2020 July 4th Celebration Location: Dahlgren Naval Base, Dahlgren Parade Field; 4a-9:30p A grand celebration of all things American! There will be something for every family member: live music by Third Stream Giants, food trucks, games, inflatables, fireworks, and vendors! Please note the following items are NOT ALLOWED at NSF Dahlgren: weapons, coolers, glass containers, alcohol, controlled substances, including medical and recreational marijuana, umbrellas, and pets. Attendees may bring chairs. Shuttle bus riders should bring bagged folding chairs only due to space limitations. All bags, purses, backpacks, diaper bags, and strollers are subject to search.

Sat., Sept. 19, 2020 A Rich Bounty/King George’s Evolution of Farming and Agriculture Location: Backporch Vineyard; 11a-5p A family friendly afternoon of music, history, arts, crafts, food, wine tasting, and more!

Sat., Aug. 1, 2020 Naturally Beautiful, Exploring the Parks & Trails of King George

Sat., Oct. 10, 2020 King George Fall Festival Location: King George High School; 10a-4p This now legendary event kicked off in 1959the Fall Festival has become a yearly county tradition. Sat., Nov. 14, 2020 300th Anniversary Grand Finale Location: King George Family YMCA; 7:30p-11p A gathering and celebration of the 300th Anniversary will look back on the year’s events with special guests, videos, live music, great food, and more! Black Tie optional.

Questions about upcoming events: KG Economic Development & Tourism 540.775.9181 Updates and event information: County Compass | 9


It's All About Fishing with Local James Johnson

by James Johnson

How did you start fishing? I grew up on Bent Mountain located in the Southwest Virginia mountains outside of Roanoke. I was fortunate that my parent’s property had a great native trout stream on it, and I was able to fish conveniently my entire Trout childhood. How old were you when you started fishing? I really became interested in fishing around age 4 after my grandfather who was visiting from California gave me a Popiel Pocket Fisherman F3000 folding rod & reel. I used to walk down our driveway every day and fish off our bridge. The funniest memory relating to that is of the family cat (who looked like Garfield) following me every time in anticipation of eating the fish heads as a reward for his company. What’s your favorite fishing memory? Altogether, my memories of fishing growing up are some of my fondest and most unforgettable. My hope and my goal are that my two daughters, Natalie and Sydney, will have similar experiences that stick with them throughout their lives. Fishing is one of the closest interactions with a wild animal that a person can have. It literally gives you a direct line to feeling survival instincts kick into action with every run and head twitch a fish makes. This gives you respect for the life taken to sustain your own life. What does “fishing” mean to you? Fishing is a great outlet for me and an opportunity to relax out in nature with my friends and family. I also appreciate that it has required that I develop patience and strategic thinking skills. Is fishing a sport to you, recreational activity, or survival (dinner)? While I haven’t participated in fishing competitions, I still enjoy the challenge of exceeding my personal bests and 10 | SPRING/SUMMER 2020


hoping to land the whopper of a lifetime. Just bringing home a few fish that the family can have for dinner is a pretty great reward itself. Do you typically fish alone, with others, or both? If so, with whom do you fish mostly? I enjoy fishing with my family and friends while constantly learning from each other. My father-in-law Al King and his friend the late Roland Murphy managed to land the World Record Spadefish on his boat and the record still stands 11 years later. He has a lot of fishing experience in this area and luckily, I have been able to learn from him on every outing we take. Have you encouraged anyone else to start fishing? If so, who? Was there a reason why? I recently encouraged my friend and neighbor Matt Fischer to get back into fishing after hearing his stories about him and his father catching rockfish in his youth. We managed to get out on the water a couple of times this year and had extremely successful trips using some of his family’s historic hotspots.

Have you taught children to fish? If so, what are your tips for helping children learn? Almost every person on both sides of my family has always encouraged my girls and their cousins to fish since they were old enough to hold the rod and turn the crank. They started out catching small bluegill with a worm on a hook and a bobber, and we typically used the fruits of their labor live lining the bluegill to catch big bass, black crappie, and yellow perch. I’d recommend to anybody trying to introduce children to fishing to first be patient and pick the right location and conditions that will give the highest probability of catching fish. It is all too easy to attempt fishing with children and not have any action resulting in bored kids that don’t want to ever try again. How can novice fishermen get started? For adults who are new to fishing, they should try picking up pointers from others, reading books and magazine articles and even watching some fishing on TV or YouTube. I also recommend stopping by your local tackle shop and asking for their advice on what to try and where. They might not give up the secret honey hole in the area, but they should be able to point you in the right direction to get you started. It is in their best interest to give you good advice which should keep you coming back to buy more supplies from them. Ultimately, nothing beats getting out and trying and learning from the experience. Are there any places where someone could go to find out about how to fish (knot tying, casting, baiting, etc.) or what they might need? Gander Mountain in Fredericksburg as well as Bass Pro Shops and Green Top that are both located in Ashland, Virginia and are great resources for purchasing equipment. There is also a locally owned shop called 8 It Lure Company that makes great looking custom baits. Are there any resources available in King George for fishermen-that you know of? (Associations, stores, groups, clubs, etc.) The ones I’m familiar with are the two Facebook groups: Potomac River Fishing Report and Rappahannock River Fishing. Some people might think it’s expensive to get into fishing with equipment, licenses, boats, etc. What are the essential materials to get started? It is not necessary to have top-end, expensive equipment to catch fish, especially if someone is just starting out. That being said, though, I do believe that using a quality rod and


reel that provide more sensitivity and reliability can greatly improve the experience. In terms of boats, it comes down to reliability and safety for your intended use. If you plan on fishing local ponds or small streams, I highly recommend a kayak, canoe or 12’ jon boat. If you are planning to go out on the Rappahannock or Potomac rivers, I personally feel that a boat should be 18 feet or longer. I have always bought used boats in the offseason to save money. If you go this route, I highly recommend having a local shop check the boat out before buying it. Fairview Beach Marine and Power Sports is a great and honest shop that will be able to give you reassurance that you are getting the boat you think you are paying for. I personally bought my 20’ center console bay-boat out of state and didn’t have it checked out before hand; it had problems right off the bat. Luckily, I still got a good enough price that I came out ahead after getting the kinks worked out. What types of equipment do you have that have helped you be more successful at catching fish? (Depth finder, etc.) Besides having the right boat for the type of fishing you plan to do, you should also consider getting a fish finder chart plotter combo. This added resource not only can help you find the fish easier, but it will also keep you safe by showing your location and potential hazards. Do you have a boat? Is it better to fish off a boat or a pier? Does it make a difference? Although it is nice to have a boat to fish from, it is possible to fish from the shore or a pier and still be successful. Having a boat does allow the angler to reach areas that are typically pressured less by other fishermen and to use techniques that are not possible from the shore. County Compass | 11

Do you need a license to fish off a pier? Do you need a separate license to fish off a boat or does your boating license cover that? Where can someone go to get these licenses? Persons not required to have fishing licenses are: • People who are 65 years of age or older do not require a saltwater license • Residents under 16 years of age (also do not need a trout license); • Landowners, their spouse, children and minor grandchildren within the boundaries of their own land; • Tenants on the land they rent and occupy if they have written permission of the landowner; • Guest fishing in individually owned private ponds; • Non-resident children under 12 (except in designated stocked trout waters) when accompanied by a properly licensed adult; and • Legally blind persons. The easiest way to purchase a fishing license is online through They can also be purchased at Walmart and other tackle shops and are good for one year. Virginia has reciprocal license agreements for the Potomac River which include the Middle Potomac and its Tidal Freshwater Tributaries (between Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Rt. 301): Valid Virginia freshwater and saltwater, Potomac River Fisheries Commission, and Maryland Bay sport licenses are all honored on the mainstem Potomac and Maryland tributaries up to the demarcation lines; all of these same licenses, except the Virginia saltwater licenses, are honored on the Virginia tributaries up to demarcation lines. Saltwater licenses are required downstream of the Potomac River Rt. 301 Bridge and the Rappahannock River: Rt. 360 Bridge. It is important to know the regulations that govern the area you are fishing. A good example is that striped bass (rockfish), season and limits are different for the Chesapeake Bay and for different sections of the Potomac River; and, they follow separate regulations covered under the Potomac River Fisheries Commission. Are there any activities you routinely do on the rivers in addition to fishing? If so what? Why? While my family and I are out on the river fishing, we sometimes also take the kids tubing, look for shark teeth along the shoreline, and hangout at Rick’s on the River, 12 | SPRING/SUMMER 2020

Tim’s Rivershore II, or Randolph’s on the River to get a bite to eat and hang out with friends. Something to keep in mind for any watersport activity in the river is to check for floating debris. Especially after a storm, the river can have large amounts of driftwood and other debris floating in it, which could be hazardous if hit. How do you feel about how local rivers are kept? Is there anything the public can do differently in regard to the care of the rivers? Have you seen any changes over the course of time? The river water quality has improved from a rating of “D” in 2011 to a “B” in 2019. Pollution levels continue to decline but can still fluctuate greatly. Luckily, there is a website and app called Swim Guide which tracks the weather and water quality of approximately 7,000 beaches around the world, including Fairview Beach. The amount of plastic debris in the water and along its banks can be reduced significantly by people being more conscious about littering while on and off the water. My family occasionally walk along the river shore with trash bags for an hour or two and are able to pack out a significant amount of debris that otherwise would be washed back out into the river and the Chesapeake Bay. My wife Sally and I feel that being good stewards to our surrounding natural resources is an important lesson to teach our children from an early age.

e Sally, Daughter Sydney and my wif mins. 45 in h tras ch picked up this mu 9. 201 ing spr ch Bea w rvie at Fai

Do you have any safety tips for fishing? The most important safety tip I can give is to check the weather report before going and continuously get updates throughout the day. The weather can change very quickly in this area, and river conditions can become treacherous very easily. If you plan to use a smaller boat on the Potomac this becomes even more important. I have been out on the Potomac River on a 14’ old bomber style bass boat when I’ve been caught by a quick weather change and had to question if I was actually going to make it back to the boat ramp. Both times that happened, the forecast didn’t seem that bad, but a slight increase in wind speed in a direction that has a




Large Mouth Bass

long fetch can really create some large waves. When you add the movement of a peak tide change, the waves can double in size very quickly. One of those scary times was additionally complicated by my bilge pump not functioning. I learned a very important lesson that day to always check and maintain your equipment before every trip. I don’t want to scare people away from getting out on the river, but the water conditions should be taken very seriously. If you don’t have experience with this area and its conditions, I recommend playing it safe if there is any doubt in your mind.

What kind of fish are in local rivers? Yellow perch, black crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass, rockfish, puppy drum, speckled trout, spot, Spanish mackerel, croaker, white perch, catfish.

What do you do with the fish you catch? Eat/Catch and release? Why? I typically catch and release unless I’m fishing for rockfish or snakeheads. Occasionally I’ll keep a few perch or black crappie for dinner, too.

Are there size limitations on what fish you can keep? If so, what are they? See below

What’s the best time of day for fishing in your opinion? I like fishing the hour or two after sunrise or before sunset with the tide moving and not slack.

Daughter Natalie’s Citation BlueGill

What kind of fish do you catch most often? Snakehead, yellow perch, black crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, bluegill, trout, catfish, rockfish, puppy drum, speckled trout, spot, spadefish, cobia, bluefish, croaker, flounder, and white perch.

What are the seasons for fishing in local rivers? (Ex: rockfish season) Be sure to check the state and Potomac River Fisheries Commission regulations before fishing. The regulations often change each year. What things have you caught that are not fish? I did catch an osprey once by accident. It swooped down and grabbed my Texas rigged worm and flew off with it for about 100 feet before realizing its mistake. The bird got lucky that I didn’t set the hook on that catch! Also, while fishing in Potomac Creek, my friend Heath Mullins and I had a 14-point buck swim by us as it escaped an intense chase from a coyote. We managed to get some of the encounter on video which can be found on YouTube. In 20 years, will we still find you fishing? Why? I can’t picture a scenario as I get older where I don’t continue fishing. As long as I’m physically able-and probably a bit longer than that too-I’ll be fishing! Photos credited to Sally & James Johnson County Compass | 13

LEARNING By Ed Jones, President of the Dahlgren Heritage Foundation

The Dahlgren Way


earing the end of a long career at the Navy base at Dahlgren, Jim Payne wrote about his memories as a young boy in 1918 when the Marines first marched through the isolated farmlands and marshes of King George County. They were on their way to begin testing guns at the brand-new Navy base. It must have been an exciting spectacle for a boy whose family roots in rural King George went back generations, but it was much more than that. The arrival of the military at what came to be called Dahlgren would change Payne’s life, as well as the character of the community around him, for decades to come. And it all began with a loud boom! The Dahlgren base was started 102 years ago when King George was nearing its 200th anniversary as a county, thanks to one important feature of geography -- the Potomac River. The marshy shores, full of muskrats and crabs, provided an unimpeded, over-water range of more than 50 miles toward John Dahlgren circa 1860s

Aerial shot of Dahlgren 1918

the Chesapeake Bay. On October 16, 1918, a detachment of Marines fired the first shot. A 153-pound projectile was blasted 24,000 yards down the river from a 7-inch, 45-caliber tractor gun. Thousands of more shots would follow over the next century, as Dahlgren became the premiere test range for the Navy. The booms are still being heard today, but now with a mix of new technology that includes the electromagnetic railgun (which uses no gunpowder) and new laser-beam weapons. But there’s a lot more to Dahlgren than the boom of guns. The Navy base has displayed a century-old ability to reinvent itself in ways that meet the needs of defending America. In doing so, Dahlgren became what then-Secretary of the Navy John Warner described as a “crown jewel” of the nation’s defense. Multiple commands on the base now deal with everything

Commandants house under construction

First Shot Oct. 16th 1918


in 1920s

a 1920s

First temporary buildings circ

Main Battery 1925

Houses for employe

es circa 1930s

from cyber defense to space surveillance to shipboard defense systems. Along the way, Dahlgren created a community of military members and civilians that has fundamentally impacted King George County and its neighbors, adding billions of dollars to the local economy with a labor force of 12,000 federal employees and contractors. All that surely was beyond the wildest imagination of a 5-year-old boy watching the Marines arrive in 1918. “Most people and equipment came by water,” remembered Payne, “but some of the Marines came by road in their huge trucks.” It made a “big impression” on him. After all, life on the farmlands and marshes of King George was pretty basic. There was no plumbing, no electricity, no telephone. Yet Payne harbored sweet memories of early20th-century King George. He recalled that the farmers “raised everything we ate except sugar, flour, pepper and the like.” There was plenty of seafood from the river and creeks. And as Payne remembered with pride, “There was no BIG BROTHER in Washington to look after us and no one to tell us how to run our lives.” The arrival of the Navy in King George would change all that. It did so for Payne, who during his long career on the base became a key leader in the HERO program, which deals with hazards to shipborne personnel from electromagnetic shocks. Over the decades, something called “the Dahlgren way” was born, as the base survived early threats of closure. Its seeds were planted in the 1920s, when Chief Scientist L.T. Thompson called for a “vigorous experimental program.” As noted in “The Sound of

Freedom,” a history of the base from 1918 to 2006, “the Dahlgren way emerged in the 1930s, when the base’s early directors envisioned the base as a selfsufficient center where concepts were quickly researched, developed, analyzed, designed, built, tested and evaluated without bureaucratic meddling from afar -- much to the occasional consternation of a few folks higher up the chain of command.” And though the Dahlgren way may now mean different things, there is no question that the spirit of creativity and the sparks of genius have always been part of Dahlgren’s DNA. Consider these highlights: We may live in an age of drones, but the men and women of Dahlgren were testing unmanned aircraft back in the 1920s. They were developing bombsights and testing guns from the 1920s through the 1940s that were instrumental to the victory of the United States and its allies in World War II. They were making Dahlgren a post-war center of the Navy’s use of computer technology. Nor did Dahlgren lack for colorful leaders over the years.

Shell entry in Potomac circa 1940s

Arriving at Dahlgren in 1939 as the new experimental officer, Lieutenant Commander William Sterling “Deak” Parsons would go on to a storied career in the Navy. In the 1940s, he was one of many key players with Dahlgren ties who worked on the Manhattan Project. According to “The Sound of Freedom,” “he subsequently served as the ‘weaponeer’ aboard the Enola Gay during the Hiroshima mission, arming Little Boy [atomic device] just after takeoff.” Capt. David I. Hedrick, who assumed command of the base in 1941, annoyed some other officers on the base by running a side business of raising and County Compass | 15

LT Thompson Chief Scientist visited April 1967

Karl Norden inventor of Norden Bomb Site circa 1930s

selling chickens on the top floor of his elegant 1920s mansion that still stands on the base. As one civilian leader later put it, Hedrick was “slightly unbalanced.” Legend has it that Dahlgren aviators used to enjoy buzzing the Captain’s house, when he was entertaining guests, flustering the chickens. In the late 1940s, Dahlgren entered the atomic weapons business by hosting a top-secret project called ELSIE that involved firing devices into concrete targets as a simulation for dropping them from 50,000 feet. According to “The Sound of Freedom,” when the base’s fire chief said he wanted to inspect the facility, he was told that “if it caught on fire to watch it burn and not let the fire spread.” In the 1950s, Ira and Gladys West arrived on the base to begin their careers as African American trailblazers. At a time when segregation persisted in the rural South, Ira became one of the first African American administrators on the base, while Gladys drew on her mathematics background to become one of the team members who developed the technologies that led to the GPS systems we use today. Among many recent honors, Gladys received an ovation on the floor of the Virginia General Assembly for her contributions to national defense. Her Dahlgren colleagues lauded her as King George’s own “hidden figure” -- a reference to the title of a book and movie about the African American women who labored behind the scenes in the development of the NASA space program in the 1960s. The legacy of the Navy at Dahlgren extends beyond the technology and engineering that have empowered our military. What I experienced as a civilian dependent living on the base for the first 18 years of my life was a community, both inside and outside the base, that exemplifies the very best of our country. Life on the base for me in the 1950s 16 | SPRING/SUMMER 2020

HERO Display circa 1960s

was what I might describe as an “enlightened Mayberry.” The doors to our homes were unlocked, the movies cost 15 cents, the water-skiing on the creek was superb and the friendships were built to last a lifetime. At a time of intensive racial segregation, the Navy made sure that at least some of those barriers were removed. Indeed, a number of the residents of an African American community, which was literally moved when the Navy expanded the base in the late 1930s, rose above that disruption in their lives to reap the economic benefits of working on the base. Life wasn’t perfect. But what still lives on at the base and in the community is the culture of Dahlgren as a place where people can build careers of personal challenge and national service. It’s a culture that encourages us to think of bigger causes than our own. That’s what Dahlgren is all about -building on its foundations in ways that reflect new and vital needs. The booms from guns on the base can still be heard 102 years after that first shot. They are more than leftover memories. They are the sounds of freedom. n Parts of this article are adapted from an October 2018 column by Ed Jones in The Free Lance-Star newspaper. Photo credits to: US Navy

ca 1930

Aerial View of Dahlgren Cir

County Compass | 17

: 9 C I T 1 N M E ID O V N PM CO O d C n O E EL ok a V utlo E D ty O


n u o


By Nick Minor, King George Director of Economic Development & Tourism

While the COVID-19 pandemic is on top of everyone’s mind, I would like to shed some light on the initiatives the economic development and tourism department is still working towards.


e want to inform our county residents about how the economic development and tourism department is serving our small businesses during this tough time. Furthermore, highlight how our business community is continuing to give back even during this outbreak. Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak in March, we were seeing strong economic activity. There were ten projects we were working, most of which were concentrated in the manufacturing sector. Our project breakdown was six manufacturing projects, three information technology projects and one energy project. With the majority all coming in January and February of 2020. For a county with a population of less than 30,000 that is good by most standards. These projects are generated


by our state and regional partners whose job it is to recruit and attract businesses to the region. Projects have certain parameters that localities must have in order to compete. Once King George County qualifies for a project, then it becomes an elimination game. King George can be eliminated for multiple reasons, but it primarily comes down to location, site readiness and workforce availability. Site readiness may vary from state to state, but in Virginia we evaluate sites on a 5-tier system. Tier 1 is raw land with an interested seller, tier 2 is a site controlled and marketed for development. Tier 3 is a site zoned commercial or industrial with due diligence completed. Tier 4 is a site verified and certified infrastructure ready, infrastructure includes water and sewer, access to power, broadband, and natural gas if needed. Tier 5 is what we call “shovel ready� with everything previously listed, but with permits in place. Workforce availability is about diversity of population, diversity in education, skillset and demographics. The workforce component is also based in the type of industry the project is, for example, an aircraft manufacturer would not expand to our region of the state without a cluster of similar existing businesses. Naval Support Facility Dahlgren is a massive contributor to our local economy and has tremendous potential with the intellectual property they control. Along with the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance and Technology Department of Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWC), we are working hard to stand up programs to capitalize on their patents. This initiative is called Technology Transfer, essentially this is the process of marketing intellectual property owned by the Navy to private businesses for commercialization. The most recent example of this was with a patented soap held by NSWC called Dahlgren Decon. Dahlgren Decon ended up being licensed by First-Line Technology, which in turn commercialized the product and is now being used by first responders to sanitize equipment against the opioid and fentanyl problem in America. First-Line

I urge our residents to order online, get carry-out, and support these businesses the best they can.

Technology has since expanded and is now an active partner in our business community. What we hope to do is create several more projects like First-Line by streamlining the process by which we expose businesses and entrepreneurs to the types of exciting technology that NSWC is creating. Capital does not attract workforce, but workforce attracts capital, which is why my department is working hard to get Rappahannock and Germanna Community Colleges to open a workforce center or standalone campus in King George County. King George has several job openings for Department of Defense related positions and its contracting supporters, most in information technology and cybersecurity. Many of these positions do not require four-year degrees but do require a two-year certification. This can be an easy fix, but demand has to be proven and the investment has to be worth it. Naval Support Facility Dahlgren puts hundreds of millions back into our local and regional economy and it is concerning that our residents must drive 45 minutes to an hour east or west to get trained for jobs in King George. Online training can be a solution, but job seekers have to know these occupations exists and that there are available jobs. We are still in the early stages of these conversations, but we feel confident that the Community Colleges want to expand in King George, it is all a matter of capital, cooperation and time. Our local economy is getting hit hard by the Coronavirus outbreak. This is primarily due to the social distancing and closures of nonessential businesses mandated by the Governor’s executive orders. While these practices are critical to the public well-being, it’s hard not to feel empathy for the small business owners throughout King George. My department sent out a COVID-19 Business Impact survey and the responses were scary to say the least. 82% of respondents reported a loss of 10% or greater, the other 18% reported no change. 57% of respondents reported a change in operating capacity. 21%

have reported either a reduction in hours or layoffs. 56% of respondents reported an interest in Small Business Administration (SBA) loan assistance. There are more data points we measured in this survey, but these are the most telling. It is important to state that no DoD contractors responded to this survey which is a significant amount of our small business community in King George. Small business defense contractors are relatively safe from an economic standpoint, due to the fact that most of their workforce can telework. However, teleworking causes a ripple effect to our local restaurants, retail, and hotel businesses that depend on the bases weekly draw. They are being severely hit and I urge our residents to order online, get carry-out, and support these businesses the best they can. My department will begin a marketing campaign in attempt to drive traffic to these businesses in the coming weeks. This survey allowed my department to get the business owners that are being hit the hardest the kind of information and resources they need to stay afloat for the time being. We have been communicating frequently through the various channels we control. Whether it’s email, social media or the COVID-19 Community Resources page that is updated weekly on the economic development page on the County’s website. Thankfully, our partners at the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, University of Mary Washington’s Small Business Development Center and various economic development departments throughout the region are constantly sharing information and resources that we can get out to our respected businesses. Virginia’s Small Business Development Center has been my trusted resource for all information pertaining to state and federal programs. They host free webinars on a weekly basis that include a breakdown of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) process and what businesses will need to apply. Tips on how to manage your workforce while teleworking, financial planning during a crisis and many more. For a small department like ours these websites have been crucial. Federal government support during this crisis is absolutely needed. The EIDL and the newly signed CARES Act

County Compass | 21

For business owners suffering from this sudden economic crisis we urge them to contact the economic development and tourism office.

m a r g

ro P L D I E fits A SB ene T ee B C A loy ? For business owners suffering from this sudden economic S crisis we urge them to contact the economic development p E m and tourism office. We are a bridge to the policy makers AR E


could not come soon enough. There has been some confusion between the EIDL and Paycheck Protection Program (P3), but the primary difference is that the P3 is administered by an SBA approved lender and can be forgiven. The EIDL must be applied to through the SBA directly. They both require that borrowers use the capital for fixed debts like a mortgage, lease, taxes, and payroll, but there are significant differences in the amounts that can be borrowed and how it’s ultimately applied. This is where our local and state Small Business Development Centers are at their best; they have expertise to walk our businesses through the process and explain the various differences between the two. I think it is important to highlight some of the great things King George County businesses and organizations are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. NSWC Dahlgren reached out to my department as well as other regional organizations to assist the community in response to the outbreak. We happily connected their team with our regional healthcare organizations, and they are collaborating on ways to help. Simventions, a local small business defense contractor with an office in Dahlgren has extended their software development skills to assist the community. Bloomia Flowers, located in King George County, did operation tulip drop where they delivered thousands of tulips to downtown Fredericksburg after delivery cancellations were made at grocery stores. These are just a couple of examples of King George County making an impact even in the toughest of times.


and a facilitator of information and resources. We can help answer questions about the newly signed CARES Act, the SBA EIDL program and employee benefits. If we do not have the answers to your questions, we can connect you to the people who do. In closing, my department would like to thank our community partners for all their assistance these past weeks. We want to thank our Board of Supervisors, County Administrator, Sheriff and Fire and Rescue departments for their guidance and leadership. Stay safe and remember to shop local when you can. We have much to be proud of and more to look forward to in King George.

County Compass | 23

By Neiman C. Young, PhD, King George County Administrator



of the Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge

Photo courtesy of King George County Historical Society


ave you driven across the Harry W. Nice Memorial/ Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge which spans the Potomac River and connects King George County, Virginia, to Charles County, Maryland, along route 301 recently? If so, you were one of over 18,600 travelers to do so that day. Over 6.6 million vehicles traverse the bridge annually. With that volume of usage, it only makes sense that a bridge originally built in 1940 would need replacing. The Memorial Bridge, named in 1968 for Maryland Governor Harry W. Nice, was originally built for $5 million over the course of two years. Since that time, it has undergone needed upkeep and seen tremendous growth in the number of commuters traveling that corridor regularly. Recent bridge work and traffic, speculations over funding, challenges of replacing park land, and determining next steps have King George County residents wondering, “What is the future of the Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge?” The 1.9 miles of two-lane bridge are in frequent need of repairs. Paint, superstructure steel, substructure, and decking are the bridge’s major elements which have all been assessed for current conditions, as well as predicted future conditions if a new

Photo courtesy of King George County Historical Society


bridge is not built soon. The results of these assessments verify the bridge is reaching the end of its lifespan and is currently in fair condition at best. The cost of maintaining the current bridge over the coming decades is estimated in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars range. The other component to consider in maintaining the current bridge is traffic. In order to make repairs, the two-lane bridge is often functioning with single-lane closures. Although bridge work is often completed during off-peak hours, the lane closures stop the free flow of traffic and often cause delays. Vehicle collisions and disabled vehicles also cause delays as they block one if not both lanes of travel. In 2015, there were 24 total crashes and 12 rear end collisions. All crashes blocked both lanes for extended periods. Large trucks must climb the bridge at a slow pace with no “climbing lane” which adds to the slow downs. There are approximately 1,200 requests for wide-load truck crossings each year, many of which

Background Bridge Photo credit to

Photo courtesy of King George County Historical Society

Photo courtesy of The Free Lance-Star

are military related; however, some loads are of an agricultural nature. During normal traffic operations, approximately 1,000 vehicles in each direction cross the bridge each hour. During lane closures, only 400-600 vehicles in each direction cross the bridge each hour. During the weekends in August, drivers often experience up to a four-mile backup approaching the bridge due to increased congestion which is only expected to increase over time. The bottleneck created by the existing two-lane bridge has drivers feeling frustrated to say the least. To relieve these frustrations, address safety needs, and address monetary needs of maintaining the current bridge as costs continue to mount, Maryland’s Governor Hogan, law makers, MDTA, as well as engineers and other officials began discussions on financing a bridge replacement several years ago. A bridge type cost evaluation was completed to determine the types of bridges that might work for this project and then a geotechnical evaluation was completed on the existing

Photo courtesy of The Free Lance-Star

Materials from the demolished bridge will be used to create an artificial fish reef.

site. Various alternative designs were evaluated to accommodate the site and minimize the impact of construction on the site, as per NEPA preferences. The Federal Highway Administration, US Navy, NOAA Fisheries, and the US Coast Guard coordinated and gave input as to suggestions for bridge design changes which ultimately led to cost savings in the tens of millions of dollars. On November 21, 2019, the MDTA Board approved a $463 million contract for Skanska-CormanMcLean (SCM) Joint Venture to design and build a bridge to replace the existing structure. Virginia will contribute $13 million to the project. SCM has local ties, had the highest rated proposal, and the lowest bid for the project. A separated bicycle/ pedestrian path was added to the bid as a part of the procurement process, as per the MDTA’s request. However, due to an additional $64 million cost, limited daily use, and analysis of the addition to the project, the board ultimately voted to remove the path from the plans. County Compass | 25

Overall, practical design efforts reduced cost by over $200 million. However, costs were not the only concern when considering how to proceed with replacing the bridge; an expanded bridge would mean a need for more land, and the land in question has specific restrictions. According to MDTA’s plans, King George County will lose 2.86 acres of Wayside Park and approximately 1.071 acres of Barnesfield Park. Both parks were donated to the County through an agreement with NPS and have covenant restrictions that require the land to be used for recreational activities into perpetuity. Since the lost acreage is going to be acquired for public right of way, VDOT, on behalf of MDTA, must replace the lost acreage with like land of equal or greater value. The Board and VDOT agreed to define “like land” as property that would provide the general public the same access to water and water related activities as the public is currently afforded by Wayside Park. In addition to securing like land, the Board established a requirement that VDOT procure market available property, as the Board does not support the use of eminent domain. Therefore, the County selected twelve properties for VDOT to evaluate and consider for procurement and then transfer to King George County. Over the course of eighteen months, VDOT reviewed the properties with comprehensive evaluation criteria to include land value, price points, traffic counts, and the potential number of citizens that would have to be relocated if necessary. In the end, two properties met the Board’s vision to expand the County’s public waterfront access. In addition, this transaction would increase the County’s park land inventory by slightly over 164 acres. Thus, the Point of Barnesfield Park, a 166-acre site that abuts the northern boundary of the current

Barnesfield Park footprint and Roseland Property, a 2-acre residential, waterfront view site currently occupied by a twostory home, were chosen to accommodate the new bridge. The new bridge will boast a four-lane span that will align with the existing roadway approaches in Maryland and Virginia. The four, twelvefoot-wide lanes with two-foot shoulders will double capacity and improve safety while enhancing emergency response accessibility and maintenance/ inspection activities. The height of the new span will accommodate tall vessels. It will also have all-electronic, cashless, tolling. The new bridge has been hailed by the local and regional community, including the adjacent Naval Support Facility Dahlgren. There are several benefits of the new bridge. Materials from the demolished bridge will be used to create an artificial fish reef. MDTA and SCM are partnering with the Potomac River Fisheries Commission and Maryland Department of Natural Resources to fund oyster seeding in the lower Potomac River basin. Construction will benefit fish and man alike, as new bridge construction is said to create more than 500 jobs. Construction will begin in early 2020, and the new bridge is expected to open by 2023. One could say the future of the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge is bright, as the gleaming new bridge will in fact carry drivers into the next century with a predicted 100year service life. n



Upper Northern Neck and Beyond Business Name



Website/Social Media/Email

Ad Location

ATTRACTIONS King George County Official 300th Anniversary Celebration....See Specific Events........................................................................................ 3 King George Farmer’s Market.............................................8246 Dahlgren Road, King George, VA 22485.................................................. 33 AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES Sealston Automotive..........................................................11102 Fletchers Chapel Road, King George, VA 22485........540-775-4400...... 2 AUTOMOTIVE SALES Bayside of King George-Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram.............16045 James Madison Parkway, King George, VA 22485.....540-775-CARS...... 36 Bayside of King George-Ford..............................................16057 James Madison Parkway, King George, VA 22485.....540-709-1280...... 36 BEAUTY, HEALTH, & WELLNESS King George Urgent Care...................................................11131 Journal Parkway, Suite A, King George, VA 22485.....540-741-6982...... 32 Melt the Ice, LLC...............................................................17094 Ferry Dock Road, King George, VA 22485................540-413-1403...... 33 Moore Dentistry................................................................9449 Grover Drive, Ste. 100, King George, VA 22485...........540-775-5774...... 34 Richard Cottrell, DDS & Associates......................................367 Northumberland Highway, Callao, VA 22435..................804-529-7339...... 26 Richard Cottrell, DDS & Associates......................................11060 Smile Way, King George, VA 22485..........................540-775-7671...... 26 CHURCHES & CHRISTIAN SERVICES Thrive Christian Fellowship..................................................10381 Ridge Road, King George, VA 22485.................................................... 17 COMMUNITY SERVICES Rappahannock Area Community Services Board...................600 Jackson Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401....................540-373-3223...... 34 FINANCIAL SERVICE BB&T (Now Truist) Colonial Beach.......................................416 Colonial Avenue, Colonial Beach VA 22443...................804-224-6629...... bb& 33 BB&T (Now Truist) King George .........................................9319 Kings Highway, King George, VA 22485......................540-775-5253...... bb& 33 InFirst Federal Credit Union.................................................4483 James Madison Parkway, King George, VA 22485.......540-644-9515...... 18-19 PET CARE On Cloud 9 Pet Care.........................................................13543 Shiloh Loop, King George, VA 22485.......................540-775-5353...... 33 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES A&S Environmental Inc.......................................................451 Central Road, b, Fredericksburg, VA 22401...................540-371-6630...... 23 R.K. Payne HVAC, Inc.........................................................3456 Kings Highway, King George, VA 22485......................540-775-2501...... 4 Sassafras Creations, LLC, A Publishing Company...................P.O. Box 578, King George, VA 22485................................540-775-3159...... 34 Stafford Printing................................................................2707 Jefferson Davis Highway, Stafford, VA 22554..............540-659-4554...... 31 REAL ESTATE EXIT Realty Group.............................................................608 William Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401......................540-479-3226...... 34 Quality Built Homes at Oakwood Estates..............................9359 Alder Drive, King George, VA 22485...........................703-217-2619...... 35

By: Ryan Ragsdale on behalf of the Love Thy Neighbor Team

Speaking from the perspective of Love Thy Neighbor, we’ve seen an increasing need in the community. We held a bonus food pantry (drive-thru style) on March 29th which drew a large crowd, including a lot of first-time patrons. We hope to continue giving away more food than usual as the pandemic continues. We’re also giving away food through our school lunch program, which delivers weekly to county schools for distribution to kids in need. Of course, what we give away must first be given to us. LTN is an expression of the community’s love - of “neighbors helping neighbors” as we say. We have seen that as the need rises, community support also rises, and we want to express our thanks to the many first-time donors who have stepped up in the last few weeks, as well as our more regular donors.

Here are some ways people can help. If they are lucky enough to still have their job, they can donate money. Or they can donate goods - cans of veggies & fruit & soup, boxes of cereal, peanut butter & jelly, pet food, toilet paper, sanitizing wipes & Clorox. They can donate their time: we rely on volunteers to deliver food to schools, sort food and count food and check expiration dates, pick up food from local businesses, accept donated goods from the community, and distribute food at our pantry events. And finally, they can help get the word out - share our Facebook posts or let others know about us. For more information, see our website ( org) or follow our Facebook page (https://www.facebook. com/kglovethyneighbor/). County Compass | 27

How KING GEORGE SHERIFF’S OFFICE is Taking the Community into the Next Century Written by Deputy Kim Simon of the King George Sheriff’s Office. Photo credits: KGSO

to identify criminals, and early versions of fingerprinting systems. The middle of the 20th century era brought with it the polygraph, better fingerprinting methods, handwriting classification systems, and the use of the automobile considerably more. Radar became available during this time, along with two-way radios, and the Federal Government tried to give money to the state and local governments to help with crime control. The emergency 911 number was created in this era.


n King George County, Virginia, primary law enforcement services are handled by the Sheriff’s Office in addition to their constitutional role with the courts and civil matters. So whether you need guidance on where to get a marriage license, or you need 911, the KGSO is your full service agency. And service is the key to this important community relationship. The Sheriff . . . Is in fact, the oldest continuing, non-military, law enforcement entity in history1. Our county, named for King George I of England, was born on November 2, 1720. At that time, the census put our population at 7,366 souls – less than a quarter of today’s growing number of citizens. Nevertheless, let us go back in time to that 18th century beginning here in King George, Virginia. One can envision the dusty, carriage wheel roughened roads with laundry hanging to bake dry in the sun. This was not an easy time to be a rural landowner or resident. The “technology” available to the local sheriff during these early days consisted of nothing more than a horse, a badge, and gun. Arguably, the most sophisticated tool of the Sheriff during this time was his ability to communicate with his community members. While that tool may still be the best one today, there have been many technological improvements, which have reshaped how the Sheriff’s Office in King George has served its citizens. After the turn of the 20th century, a new era began which saw technological inventions including the telephone, the telegraph, police call boxes, the Bertillon system used 1

National Sheriff’s Association


During the latter part of 20th century, policing was turning to computerization. Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) was developed and implemented, and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) was formed. Enhanced 911 systems came into play, and the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) was implemented. As the decades turned Clarence into centuries, King “Moose” George County, and Dobson the Sheriff’s Office, underwent many changes. In fact, the last 40 years have given rise to more technological advances in modern policing than in the previous two centuries combined. In 1976, Sheriff Jay G. Powell, a descendent of General George Washington, retired and a hardworking and down to earth deputy by the name of Clarence “Moose” Dobson was elected Sheriff. During his time in office, Sheriff Dobson was responsible for moving King George into the new century, overseeing many important transitions that resulted in the modern law enforcement agency the KGSO has become. When he first became Sheriff, when someone needed help during evening hours, he actually took their calls at home. Sheriff Dobson was responsible for bringing radios and a 24-hour patrol service to the Sheriff’s Office. He was even responsible for bringing 911 to this small, rural community making it easier for citizens to get assistance when they most needed it.

Giles getting sworn in as Sheriff.

In 2011, Sheriff Steve Dempsey was elected. At the time he was elected, Sheriff Dempsey had served the Office for nearly 30 years and was the first K-9 handler in the county serving with his K-9 partner, Bandit. When Sheriff Dempsey joined the KGSO in 1980, he served alongside Sheriff Dobson and both men ushered in a time of technological growth that included the use of pagers and bag phones in their patrol vehicles. Back then, if you made an arrest, you would have driven your arrestee to the private residence of one of the 3 magistrates in the county. Now, citizens and deputies alike can visit a magistrate in person at the Sheriff’s Office or by video with 24/7 access. Sheriff Dempsey recalls working in the pre-digital world saying, “Looking back . . . I am amazed at how we operated without all the digital advancements.” Of all these advances, Sheriff Dempsey identified DNA as the biggest game changer for law enforcement. While other forms of evidence could be extremely difficult to obtain, DNA was often left behind by an offender. When DNA sequencing allowed evidence to be tested and matched to a known standard, law enforcement had a serious tool to identify and prosecute dangerous individuals. In 2020, Sheriff Christopher A. Giles became the 14th Sheriff of King George County, Virginia. Sheriff Giles recalled his early days on the Department starting in 1993 when he joined as a Deputy in the Patrol Division. Sheriff Giles remembers the process of collecting photographic evidence from crime scenes. He shared that in those early days of his time with KGSO, deputies would have to use 35mm film, which had to be sent off to a state lab (the Department of Forensic Science) and wait for the developed prints to be sent back. Deputies have always had to do a lot of paperwork. While typing up reports is probably one of the least enjoyable parts of the job, back in the 1990’s in King George, deputies had to handwrite everything from reports, to criminal complaints, to statements. Sheriff Giles identified the introduction of the MDT (Mobile Data Terminal a.k.a. in-car computer) as one of the most significant advances during his time in law enforcement. The MDT allows the deputy in the field nearly instantaneous access to critical information that helps keep both the deputy and the citizens safer during each encounter. It also allows the deputy to work on and submit reports remotely while still providing a visual presence to deter crime.

From K-9 release doors, to pneumatic tubes for secure document sharing, to dedicated, secure facsimile transmissions for sharing information with off-site magistrates, to GPS tracking devices, to body-worn cameras, law enforcement has embraced technology. We use tracking devices to locate missing elderly and children with autism spectrum disorders through the Project Lifesaver Program. We can use crime scene imaging equipment and software to aid in an investigation, and even use helicopters with FLIR (forward looking infrared) and fly drones to find missing or wanted persons. In the future, the use of e-citations will improve service delivery as well as improve safety by limiting the amount of time for a contact during a traffic stop. While King George remains a relatively small, close-knit rural/suburban community, as your community partners, we always look for ways to maximize our service levels to you. KGSO received our initial Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission certification in 2003 and have successfully maintained that certification over the course of the past 17 years. Emerging technology has given us the ability to respond to your needs on par with the service provided in larger communities all while maintaining the small town touch that makes King George special. We have also focused on the positive aspects of recruiting technology in our community policing efforts to include sharing positive and timely information through social media. Moving into the sunrise of a new century, the King George Sheriff’s Office will continue to reach forward, harnessing tomorrow’s technological advances to live up to its promise of our ongoing pursuit of excellent in service to you -our community - today. n County Compass | 29

Farm to Table, Not

a e d I A New

Written by Chef Chaz Kilby and photos of food-credit to Chaz Kilby

Cucumbers are just now coming into season and will start to arrive in your garden and at your farmers market. This plentiful crop is grown all over Virginia. These green vegetables with their waxy skins and silky interiors are not only good, but good for you. Packed with potassium, vitamin C and K. Cucumbers are also wonderful for hydration. The most recognizable use for cucumbers are of course pickles. They can be chopped and turned into sweet relish for your summer hot dog or brined and transformed into dill pickles for that backyard burger.

Photos of Chef Chaz himself- credit to Angela West


arm to table - A phrase that has become part of our lexicon in just the past few years. While it may sound new, farm to table is not a new idea. As Virginians, our history is rich in growing food, preserving meat, and fishing our coastal waters to provide bounty for our tables at home. King George County, Virginia, is notable in this history with its rich land, plentiful waters, and generations of diligent farmers. In today’s busy world of computers and corporations it may not be possible for all of us to grow our own food. But there is something about knowing where your food comes from. Going to the local farmers market and seeing the abundance that your neighbors have cultivated, caught, and raised. An heirloom tomato that has bright colors and smells like a tomato, rich, sweet, and earthy. Bell Peppers of all shapes and colors. Onions with dazzling green tops. Summer squash stacked into a bushel basket that looks as if someone set it out to paint a portrait. This is the true essence of “Farm to Table.” 30 | SPRING/SUMMER 2020

I have a go to recipe for cucumbers: Chaz’s Cucumber and Sweet Onion Salad. I make it all season long as a side for weekday lunch and for Sunday potluck dinners. No mayonnaise, so it is a wonderful salad for picnics on hot days. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. I hope you try this recipe and work it into your summer meals. Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Summer Squash whatever you choose that is fresh and local this season, just remember it came from a garden or farm to your table. Just like it always has.

Chaz Kilby Bio Chef Chaz Kilby, owner of ‘I’m Going To Make It!’ Personal Chef Services, is a graduate of the Culinary Business Academy and a member of the U.S. Personal Chef Association. Chaz’s career spans from hotels to restaurants to catering. Chaz currently provides culinary services to private clients and groups, from weeknight dinners to large celebratory events. Chaz also teaches culinary classes at The Kitchen at Whittingham in Old Town Fredericksburg. Chef Chaz Kilby has worked in the food industry on and off for the past 20 years. He started out working in family kitchens and then with his grandmother in a school cafeteria. Over time, he progressed to fine dining. He has owned and operated a catering company and his own gourmet food and wine store. Chaz has catered for a long list of distinguished individual clients’ events to include wedding receptions, large corporate events, and wine pairing events. Venues have ranged from private homes, large outdoor tents, to the SEQUOIA, the retired presidential yacht. Although his career path has varied, he has always returned to food. With his love of people and passion for food, Chaz has returned to a culinary career with ‘I’m Going To Make It!’ Personal Chef Services. n

Chaz’s Cucumber and Sweet Onion Salad Serves 4 Ingredients -3 cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal* -1 medium sweet onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced -1 large bunch of fresh dill, coarsely chopped -3 tablespoons good quality olive oil -3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice -2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar -Coarse salt and ground black pepper Instruction In a large bowl, toss together cucumbers, onion, dill, oil, lemon juice, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Can be served chilled or at room temperature. *Note: for perfect thin slicing use a kitchen mandolin County Compass | 31

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LANDING The County Compass LANDING is a resource guide to the Upper Northern Neck region and beyond.

Are you looking for a professional mental healthcare provider, a caring place for your pet while you’re away, or some locally grown produce and crafts? Browse the LANDING section to help you find the specific business you’re looking for. Advertise your business in the LANDING. Contact Advertising Representative Krystle Miller by email at or by phone at 540-446-6303.





County Compass | 33