20 Years Ago
Week of May 2, 2002
Habitat To Dedicate
51st House May 8
On May 8th, Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) will dedicate the 51st house they have built in Pendleton County.
This exciting and successful housebuilding ministry has spent over $2 million dollars in materials to build homes since its affiliation in 1988. Approximately 75 percent of those dollars have been spent locally. Habitat encourages growth in Pendleton County. The affiliate is looking forward to building their next 50 houses in the county.
First Day of May
Is Thought to Hold
Among what was once the Pennsylvania German community, the first day of May had been a time of special magic powers. In a wide geographic area, May the first had unusual activities. Tradition has been traced to England where hundreds of young people dance around the Maypole; Russia holds a mass demonstration in Moscow’s Red Square; a special holiday in Finland is held to celebrate the return of light; and Czechoslovakia used to light fires on the slopes and hillsides to burn out witches on May Day Eve, April 30. The Pennsylvania Germans in this county claimed that freckles could be removed from the face of a person if the proper procedures were carefully followed on May 1.
30 Years Ago
Week of May 7, 1992
Clean 60 Miles
Of Roadside Litter
A crew of inmates from the county jail under the supervision of Sheriff Dona Propst are responsible for the recent clean-up of 60 miles of litter-strewn Pendleton County highways, collecting over six hundred bags of trash.
The crew has cleaned Route 220 north to Ruddle and 220 south to the Highland County line. They have also picked litter to the top of North Mountain and Route 33 east, half-way up Shenandoah Mountain where a crew of six collected 125 bags of mostly bottles and aluminum cans with the cans being recycled.
Also cleaned were Halls Hill, Entry Mountain, Smith Creek, parts of the Thorn and Sandy Ridge.
Propst plans to continue the cleaning up on Allegheny and Route 28 from the Mouth of Seneca to Grant County line. “We want to service the North Fork area and do the side roads as well,” he exclaimed.
He continued, “But I need someone (a retired person, perhaps with a van) who will be willing to take the crew to the litter pick-up point and to return later to bring them back to Franklin.”
Inmates who are serving terms for minor offenses may do community service on a voluntary basis. “I ‘dreamed up’ the idea of having them clean along the highways,” says Propst. “Of course, their helping the board of education on maintenance gets first consideration since we have some good carpenters and electricians. Usually we have two to six volunteers to pick litter, depending on their schedule.”
“They do a good job; they really do. They are willing, dependable workers, and we plan to keep this clean-up project an on-going one. We will go back and re-do all of these roads,” says Propst.
County litter chairman Carolyn Ruddle notes, “The sheriff and his crew deserve a lot of thanks. It’s so pleasant to drive along litter-free highways. Take a look at Shenandoah Mountain. It’s disheartening, however, to see that litter is appearing along these recently cleaned roads. Linda May, president of Franklin Home Demonstration Club, and I cleaned our adopted highway (two miles on 33 east) on April 25—the same highway the crew had cleaned three weeks before. We picked up 10 bags of litter.
She emphasizes that persons who are littering the highway should think about the work and the ugly scene they are creating and stop throwing trash from their vehicles. It is unlawful to litter.
4,550 Pendleton Citizens Eligible to Vote Tuesday
Indications point toward a whopper of an election in Pendleton County next Tuesday. More people are eligible to vote in this election than have been eligible to vote in recent primaries, and the number of candidates seeking office offers an ample array from which voters can select.
There are 2,934 Democrats registered at this time, up 51 from two years ago, and 1,455 Republicans, a decline of 29 in the past two years.
Contrary to Predictions, Winter Was Not Cold
Remember the hot summer of 1991 when folks said this would be followed by a very cold winter. Well, that did not happen as it was one of the warmest winters for many years.
To ‘Sleep Tight’
Called For Tightening Ropes on Bed
Every day we use colorful phrases to emphasize events or to describe people. It truly is amazing to see how these phrases have remained through the centuries. For example, to “sleep tight” alludes to getting a good night’s sleep. However, it has nothing to do with pulling the blankets up good and tight to stay warm.
In colonial times, mattresses were made from feathers, and were suspended in the bed frames by thick ropes. Once the ropes and mattresses would sag, it would be impossible to sleep comfortably unless the ropes were made tight before going to bed. Thus, “sleep tight” was a reminder to make the bed ropes tight and firm before climbing into bed.
To Feature Ashley
“As I See It…,” photography and art by Joan Ashley will be featured in the Pendleton County Library for the month of May.
Mrs. Ashley has had one-man shows at the Valentine Museum in Richmond, VA; Duke University, Durham, NC; Key West, FL; Groton, CT; and Virginia Beach, VA.
“I spent all my summers and every minute I could here in Pendleton County with my various aunts when I was growing up. Moving here was coming home,” she said.
60 Years Ago
Week of May 3, 1962
100 YEARS AGO
Yorktown Evacuated; Corinth Siege Begins
By LON K. SAVAGE
Editor’s Note—The following is one of a series of articles on the Civil War. Each weekly installment covers events which occurred exactly 100 years ago.
It was Saturday night, and the federal troops sat in their trenches in front of Yorktown in southeastern Virginia with pleasant thoughts drifting through their heads.
The Civil War would soon be over, they thought. Richmond, the capitol of the Confederacy, lay less than 75 miles to the east. They were part of an army of more than 100,000, under the famous Gen. George B. McClellan. For a month they had besieged Yorktown, and now they were ready to go crashing through the Confederate lines, and Richmond would be doomed.
It was May 3, 100 years ago this week.
But the guards that night heard unusual activity from the Confederate lines, and something mysterious seemed to be going on. Next morning, reconnaissance patrols were sent forward. They returned with the astounding explanation:
The Confederates had abandoned their Yorktown line.
McClellan could hardly believe it. It had taken a month to get into position to smash the Yorktown line, and now, just as his preparations were about to pay off, the line was given him—free of charge. The Confederates under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston were withdrawing, quite intact and in good order, back toward Richmond.
Immediately, McClellan ordered his troops in pursuit. By early afternoon, his advance had caught up with Johnston’s rear guard, and the skirmish drew troops to it from both sides. The result: the battle of Williamsburg.
It was an unexpected battle, but it was bloody nonetheless. By Monday morning, May 5, six federal generals were on hand with their troops, and one of them—Joseph Hooker—attacked the Confederates with full fury. Successful at first, Hooker eventually was driven back under a counter-attack with heavy casualties, and the little battle rattled to an end. Some 2,000 Yanks and 1,200 Rebels had been killed or wounded.
And the Confederates continued withdrawing toward Richmond, little having been accomplished by the bloodshed. McClellan’s Peninsula campaign was now nearing its goal. On May 6, federal troops marched through the quaint and historic town of Williamsburg, and Richmond lay only 60 miles away.
As the siege of Yorktown ended unexpectedly, another siege began in the Civil War’s western theatre.
On April 30, federal Gen. Henry W. Halleck decided that his huge army of 100,000 was ready to move on Corinth in northeastern Mississippi. Since early in the month, the army had been assembling and regrouping on the battlefield of Shiloh before setting out for the important railroad junction 22 miles southwest.
And on that day, Halleck’s giant army began creeping southwestward with a caution that would have made even McClellan seem fast. His target was the army that had gotten away from Grant at Shiloh—the men under Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard.
Halleck’s men went forward slowly, under orders not to do battle. After a short advance, they entrenched; roads were corduroyed to their trenches; artillery was brought up; and the process would start all over again.
Unlike the troops at Yorktown, the men under Halleck began to realize it would be a long, long war.
Next week: Virginia Gives up Norfolk.
70 Years Ago
Week of May 1, 1952
Ex-Sergeant Meets World War II ‘Buddy’
An acquaintanceship which started during World War II between a 12-year-old German lad and a GI sergeant operating a highway checkpoint on a road leading into Nuremberg, Germany, was resumed last week when Richard Dill, now 19, paid a visit to Richard Homan at Sugar Grove.
Sergeant Homan was on duty at the checkpoint, stopping trucks and cars, examining cargoes and papers, and otherwise regulating traffic. Young Dill, who lived nearby, often played around the checkpoint and became Homan’s friend. He was trying to learn English.
Homan never expected to see Dill again, but last week he came to Sugar Grove. Now 19, he is an exchange student at William and Mary college (Norfolk branch) where he is majoring in journalism. He is also interested in photography.
Dill arrived in New York last September, and when his one-year scholarship ends in June, he plans to tour the United States. Sponsored by Rotary International, he speaks before civic clubs at every opportunity.
Dill, who had two brothers in the German army, was amazed at the scenery of our country. In company with Homan, he visited Spruce Knob, Seneca Rocks and other points. He stated Pendleton was prettier than his native Bavaria, a section of Germany near the Alps, which is world famous for the beauty of its mountains.
He was also impressed by the freedom of the American press, stating that in Germany, many newspapers are told what to print and what to withhold.
by Mary Mann Zinn
Eyes Need It . . .
If you think you are saving money with low-watt light bulbs throughout the house, you may be right—at least as far as electricity is concerned.
But when it comes to the family’s eyes, you’ve made a sad mistake. Eyes are so used to working in poor light that they are not the best judge of the amount of light they need.
Walking through the house or yard, you need only enough light to move freely and safely. It takes twice as much light to eat a meal comfortably or to find a tool in the shop.
Many times as much light as for safe walking is demanded for kitchen work, ordinary sewing, reading, studying, or repairing equipment. And the most light of all is needed for fine needlework or reading fine print.
Save your eyes. They are many times more important than the few cents you might save on light bulbs and electricity.