Out of the Past

Posted: July 29, 2013

Barbara Letterman Hutton provided these photos of herself when she was a Blossomette in the 1960s. The photos were taken at Round Hill Community Center on U.S. 50 west. The Blossomette Baton and Drum Corps was a private organization under the direction of Mary Stotler. Above, Hutton is standing on the far right on the back row. She was 15 years old and lived in Frederick County. She now lives in Purcellville.

100 years ago

Mr. H.R. Bryarly has sold a building lot on South Washington Street to Mr. Louis H. Grim, who will in the near future erect a modern two-story pressed brick dwelling house thereon.

The deal was made through Mr. W.L. Fultz, the local real estate dealer, and the consideration was $1,500.

July 17, 1913

The recent showers interfered with the stonemasons at work on the foundation of the new Empire Theater, but the men have since returned to work, which is now being rushed as speedily as possible. The foundation walls are laid in cement mortar, and they are about two feet thick.

July 17, 1913

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Victor Amirosa, an actor, whose home is in Philadelphia, caused a panic among the passengers of an Ohio River railroad train just before it reached the station in this city. He had been playing the vaudeville circuits and was on his way east when he evidently became insane.

Just before the train reached this city, he pulled off his silk hat and threw it out of the car window. In rapid order his clothing followed, and before anyone could prevent it, he had swung himself, naked, up on the gas chandelier and was doing a trapeze stunt.

Several women in the crowded car grew hysterical. The crew of the train attempted to place Amirosa under arrest, and he fought with them until the train pulled into the local station. He was then taken to jail where his sanity will be looked into.

July 17, 1913

Miss Gertrude Barton, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R.T. Barton, was the hostess late yesterday afternoon at a bathing and swimming party, given at the Fairfax pool in honor of Miss Katharine Ames and Mr. George L. Washington, whose marriage is to take place this evening. Many out-of-town people who are here for the wedding were also in attendance.

July 17, 1913

75 years ago

At Marlboro, opposite the post office and store of Mr. and Mrs. George P. Sedwick, stands a marker which, appropriately, is built of the limestone in which the region abounds.

On the marker is a tablet which indicates that here was the site of the Cedar Creek Baptist Church, organized in 1833 and disbanded in 1907.

The marker was erected a number of months ago, largely through the efforts of the Rev. E.T. Clark, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Winchester.

The Cedar Creek Baptist Church was for many years a flourishing congregation. Gradually, however, many of the members moved away; others died and finally none remained. The church fell in ruins.

Research revealed that provisions had been made that the land on which the church stood shall never be sold save for religious purposes.

July 13, 1938

The Opequon may not have as many mills along its banks as other and larger streams but it may aptly be called “The Old Mill Stream” of this immediate vicinity.

For at Bartonville, still producing flour and grist of high quality, stands one of the oldest mills in this region and probably one of the oldest in the entire United States to be continuously in operation.

The mill was built in 1788 by the Hites, the site being a portion of the grant to Col. Joist Hite, intrepid pioneer who built the beautiful Springdale mansion that stands nearby.

Modern builders may learn with astonishment that the huge beams and uprights which support the second floor of the old mill are of solid walnut.

Despite the 150 years of service, the timbers are still sturdy and in good condition. The wooden gear wheels and other early equipment has, of course, been discarded as has the original mill wheel, which was built of wood. A large iron wheel is now performing yeoman service. It is four feet wide and 20 feet in diameter.

Because of the dry weather, the water power is not sufficient to operate the mill and a gasoline engine has been pressed into service.

J.I. Stover is the present owner of the mill. To most of the public the plant is known as the Bartonville Mill, but Mr. Stover retained the old name “Springdale Mill” for business purposes.

The mill was one of the few in the Shenandoah Valley fortunate enough to be spared by General Sheridan when the valley was devastated.

July 13, 1938

The City Welfare office here has issued a call for old bathing suits which may be worn by children using the pools at the Winchester Park playgrounds. A number of children in the city would like to take advantage of the opportunity to cool off, but many of them have no swimsuits.

July 15, 1938

50 years ago

Four Negro children went swimming without incident in the city-owned Rouss Park pool yesterday afternoon at about 2:30. It was the first time in memory that Negroes had entered the pool, one of the officials said.

The children — all under 12 years of age — were brought to the pool by an unidentified adult, who then left. There were no incidents and nothing occurred which could be termed a demonstration.

James Barnett, the city’s director of recreation, said that about half of the white children at play in the pool left when the Negroes entered, but the remainder stayed to continue their summer afternoon pleasure.

City police were informed and asked to remain close to the area in case there should be any incidents but at no time were they called to the pool itself.

Mr. Barnett said he had previously given his staff instructions that public facilities cannot be barred to anyone who conducts himself properly.

July 26, 1963

25 years ago

Tuesday afternoon’s electrical storm, which a Potomac Edison official described as devastating and violent, caused power outages for almost 3,000 area customers, and caused roof damage to several buildings.

Some Berryville residents reported that a small twister went through the town, damaging trees and knocking one of the chimneys off the roof of the Hawthorne House on Buckmarsh Street.

Dr. James R. York, whose office is in the Hawthorne House, said he was on the back porch of his house on Church Street when he saw a small twister move down the street.

Lightning struck one of the chimneys at the Westminster-Canterbury retirement home off U.S. 522 north, causing the upper five feet to split in half, said Mike Peasley, president of the facility.

July 27, 1988

— Compiled by Priscilla Lehman (plehman@winchesterstar.com)