Out of the Past

Posted: November 18, 2013

Members of the American Institute of Banking, Stonewall Jackson Chapter, pose at their annual banquet at the George Washington Hotel on May 22, 1948. Mary K. Hall of Winchester provided this photo. Hall’s friend — the late Bette Crisman and her husband Hugh — are pictured in the front left corner. Mr. Crisman is wearing a polka dot tie. He owned a heavy equipment company. Mrs. Crisman had owned several businesses, including the House of Cards on the Loudoun Street Mall.

100 years ago

James Travis and James C. Carter, two young men who are on a walking trip over the United States from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Coast, were in town a day or two ago.

They expect to make 10,000 miles and appear at the gates of the Panama exposition in San Francisco by May 1, 1915, with $2,000 and the awarded $5,000.

They started from Chicago on Aug. 2 and did not have a cent of capital. Their only source of income is from the sale of postcards.

A peculiar feature is that both have lost arms, Carter nearly all of his left and Travis the greater part of his right arm. Carter is an expert piano player despite the handicap.

Nov. 13, 1913

Hereafter during December, Santa Claus will be recognized as a real entity by the Post Office Department and letters for him will be received and delivered.

Postmaster-General Burleson has issued an order making permanent the custom hitherto employed of turning over to charitable persons or organizations all letters received through the mails from children anxious to confide their desires to the paunchy, bewhiskered little dispenser of toys.

Nov. 14, 1913

Recently The Star related the fact that Mr. H. Grant Strauss, a nephew of Isidor Strauss, the noted philanthropist who lost his life on the Titantic, had leased “The Tuleyries,” the handsome estate of Mr. Graham F. Blandy in Clarke County and that he and his young bride are spending their honeymoon in this sylvan retreat, far from the madding crowd. This news is more or less interesting, but there is something yet to come.

Several times of late Mr. and Mrs. Strauss have motored to Winchester in a big black Packard “Six” and both the car and the pretty little bride have been much admired here. (And while on the subject of Mrs. Strauss, it might be just as well to say that she is a very pretty and a very chic young lady, very pretty, indeed.)

Fame has cast a glamour about this big Packard car that young Mr. and Mrs. Strauss own, for it is said to be the same car that Harry Thaw jumped into at the gates of Mateawan Asylum, when he made his spectacular escape from the gloomy walls of that institution a quiet Sunday morning some weeks ago. The press dispatches which chronicled that interesting event said at the time that the automobile that rushed by the gates of Mateawan and then on its wild flight into Canada, was a big, powerful, black car and that it was last seen in a cloud of dust with the throttle wide open.

Nov. 15, 1913

A dispatch from Washington states that for the purpose of expediting business in post offices, patrons will not be required to lick their own stamps and affix them unless they choose to do so. The postal clerk will do that for them. The innovation is put in force in the interest of better mail service during the holiday rush.

Nov. 17, 1913

75 years ago

The Flower Shop, which opens its new store on East Piccadilly Street tonight, is rounding out 20 years of service and is the oldest florist organization in this part of the Shenandoah Valley. The entire 20 years of business has been conducted at the old location they are just leaving.

As soon as the Armistice was signed and they were released from the A.E.F., Herbert W. Miller and Leonard I. Miller, natives of Shenandoah County, came to Winchester and began in a modest way the floral business which has steadily grown to the extent that larger quarters were necessary.

Most of the flowers sold by the Miller Brothers are grown in their greenhouse on the Martinsburg Pike, where they have 18,000 square feet of glass covering their plant beds. This department is under the care of C.A. Kotowski long identified with greenhouse management in several prominent cities spending three and one-half years in South America in orchid research.

Nov. 15, 1938

As spick and span as if she had stepped from the box on which her name has become a household byword, Aunt Jemima will stand behind her electric grill at Riley’s Market at 1 Valley Avenue all day Thursday serving pancakes and buckwheat cakes in her own inimitable style.

All day Friday, she will be at the Fairplay Store at 11 South Loudoun Street and on Saturday she will bake her cakes in Largents Sanitary Grocery on the corner of Cameron and Piccadilly streets.

This jovial and pleasant colored woman is an expert in the culinary art and her cakes will be served free to all those who call at the store where she is demonstrating. She is coming here directly from Raleigh, N.C., and has appeared in numerous Virginia cities.

Nov. 16, 1938

BERRYVILLE — Dress rehearsal for the three-act comedy, “Cyclone Sallly,” which will be unfolded before the eyes of the public in Berryville High School Thursday night at 8 o’clock, was staged in the high school auditorium last night.

The farce, directed by Mrs. Hunter Burks, is being given by the local school faculty and alumni association members for the benefit of the Parent-Teachers’ Association.

The ludicrous drama should be featured by the performances of Superintendent D.G. Cooley, who portrays an indefitigable lover of 20 years standing; George Pope and Elizabeth Peyton, hero and heroine respectively and Edward Owens, who plays a confused country lad in real “Abner Yokum” fashion.

Nov. 16, 1938

50 years ago

Remodeling of the building and installation of equipment are fast nearing completion for Winchester’s first roller skating rink in many years.

It is located on the second floor of the former Virginia Woolen Co. building and the entrance will be at 115 East Lane, next to the entrance of Harris Intertype’s new operation here.

More than 200 skaters can enjoy the skating area at the same time. The facility is being constructed and will be operated by Lester Elliott.

Nov. 15, 1963

25 years ago

Winchester’s Loudoun Street Mall will soon be the home of a new restaurant.

Stevi and Kosta Skoulis have bought the former Villa Luca Restaurant and plan to open an establishment serving American and continental food.

Their specialty will be Greek cuisine, the traditional dishes such as moussaka, lamb and baklava.

The restaurant, which will be called the Athenian, is expected open in January, Stevi Skoulis said.

Nov. 17, 1988

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