The Village of Waterford, Virginia
   A National Historic Landmark

photos of Waterford VA Our annual fair is over 50 years old Waterford gardening activities and natural resources What we do on July 4th Waterford's history About our town
about the village
Visiting historic Waterford
How to get to Waterford
History of Waterford
About the fair including photos
Village and historical maps
articles and news
Information for residents
site index
about the Foundation
about the WCA
1PLs - Personal loan from 1000 to 35000 dollars

Go to the Foundation web site Foundation events About the citizens' association About the citizens' association Join the WCA web pages for members only
General articles
home page

joe keatingArticles by Joe Keating

Orcs invade and feet get fuzzy
December 31, 2003

The last day of the year here in the shire and mice are invading our houses like a herd of miniature orcs while on the streets our feet have been sprouting Uggs as if blown in by spores from Australia. Only in Waterford does fantasy become reality and vice versa.

Predictions for 2004;
1. A breakthrough will occur in bury the wires tame the traffic.
2. Waterford's status in the witness protection program will become less obvious
3. Weddings will make a strong comeback in Waterford.
4. Waterford will be discovered as a fashion trendsetter.
5. A classroom crises will occur at the Waterford Elementary School next fall.
6. The Fair will break all records.
7. The Simms house will be saved at the last minute.
8. Waterford will become a political bellwether precinct in November. As goes Waterford, so goes the nation.
9. The end of the year will find us a little sadder but a whole lot happier and wiser.
10. This column will not have the last sentence wishing all the happiest of the holidays cut off.

Be wary on Clarke's Gap Road
December 24, 2003

With the death of Susan Phillips on Clarks Gap Road last Friday, Waterford has lost a dear friend and neighbor. Her sensitive restoration of the Peacock Farm buildings remains a joy to all who pass by on their way to the village. Her efforts to preserve the idyllic farmstead in spite of it being stripped of its pastoral setting was like the polishing of a precious gem as it changed from a working farm to a dream like vision of its historic past. Her charm and hospitality will be remembered by all of us fortunate enough to have known her.

The conditions of Clarke's Gap Road have become more and more treacherous as VDOT has become more and more constrained in dealing with the effects of Loudoun's burgeoning development. This week we have had six accidents in six days, sadly with one death. To live in the village for any length of time seems to carry the price of having something bad happen to you or your family on this road. Curiously few accidents occur on the Wheatland Road that is far more primitive. It seems that the more that is spent on a road the more dangerous it becomes. The roadway on Clarke's Gap Road became higher and higher and the ditches became deeper and deeper. No longer able to provide the manpower to keep the ditches cleared and the culverts unclogged because of heavier use, they have resorted to just filling the ditches with coarse gravel in the forlorn hope that the water will seep away before freezing on the road. When that fails, sand is applied that eventually further obstructs the drainage. And the road, especially Clarke's Gap Road, become the site of such tragedy.

Through it all Waterford still remained a living Christmas card to all of us who live and visit here. The fields are still around us, though the mice have been coming in enough to make cats a necessity. The white Christmas is not just dreamt of but is here in truth with spectacular sunsets and sunups thrown in for good measure. It's Christmas Eve. Rejoice and hug and kiss all of those around you just as the Catoctin Valley hugs and kisses our wonderful little village.

Quake struck like a dump truck
December 17, 2003

Waterford's centuries old buildings survived the magnitude 4.5 earthquake on Tuesday with no apparent damage as residents at home felt the quake but most said, "Who could tell amongst all the passing dump trucks?" The quake was felt dramatically by Jeff Bean who was on a tall ladder installing speakers on a building in D.C. The quake was about 3 miles deep, near Short Pump, 100 miles south of Waterford.

Speaking of trucks, all of us who received parking tickets for facing oncoming traffic have noticed that dump trucks similarly parked do so with impunity.

The Waterford Lyceum, hosted by Bob and Judy Jackson, met at the Jacob Mendenhall House Wednesday night to hear a presentation on the Waterford Foundation's Second Street School program given by Kathy Ratcliffe. The school, built shortly after the war, was part of the states "separate but equal" school system for about a century and was purchased in 1977.  With help from the Mellon Foundation it became the location of a one-room schoolhouse program that has had over 25,000 participants, mostly from 5th grade students, in Loudoun and Fairfax. Kathy says that the available dates in the fall and spring of each school year are reserved within two hours of the teachers returning to work after summer vacation. Winter months are precluded, as the school does not have heat, part of the legacy of the past where heat was not provided to the separate side of the equal school system. The schools curriculum was developed under the auspices of a grant from the Mellon Foundation and The Mellon Foundation was also instrumental in providing some of the funds toward the purchase of the Phillips Farm.

Tomorrow evening the contributors and supporters of the effort led by Cate Magennis Wyatt will gather at the Old School to celebrate the purchase of the Phillips Farm by the Waterford Foundation necessary for the historic village to survive the earthquake of Loudoun's runaway growth.

We will be celebrating a successful effort of the few doing so much for so many, rather than the other way around. Enthusiastic attendance is expected even though a time conflicting social event is being held tomorrow at a grander facility down the country and today the battle for Middle-earth begins at a theater near you.

Mob moans McMansion mentality
December 10, 2003

Over 50 Waterfordians gathered at the Board of Supervisors meeting room Tuesday night to defend the historic village of Waterford against what they perceived as a McMansion mentality attempt by the owners of the Simms House to convert the elegant to the elephantine. The Loudoun County Historic District Review Committee had denied approval of a plan to renovate the former home of second Street School teacher Virginia Simms. The Committee had sited the principle of subordinate mass as the reason for denial of the proposal that would have more than doubled the size of this classic early 20th century dwelling and made it one of the largest houses in the village. Curiously this request to overturn the denial of plans to renovate follows an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals two weeks ago to reinstate a permit to raze the Simms House that was also opposed by over 50 Waterfordians at that hearing.

In refusing to overturn the HDRC the Board of Supervisors left open the possibility the house could be renovated along the lines of an earlier set of plans that had been approved for the previous owners. These plans followed the historic district guidelines and had no opposition and considerable support from the community, all of whom feel the less is best and the house should be appropriately renovated and occupied.

Thursday afternoon the Waterford Gardeners Club gathered at the Old School to prepare the wreaths and other holiday season decorations. However the civic enthusiasm of the community must have exhausted itself on Tuesday night as only Mary Kenneson and Janet Jewel showed up. These stalwarts persevered and produced a total of four wreaths that Ed Lehmann will place prominently near the village center. This leaves plenty of opportunities for you to keep making wreaths to fill the other signposts throughout the village.

The winner of the free reed seat for a Waterford chair is Paul Rose. Paul phoned in the correct answer within five minutes after the paper was delivered, 11:48 pm, on Wednesday. From the number of calls received one could assume that much employment can be had by weaving seats for Waterford chairs.

Loudoun furniture comes forth
December 3, 2003

Sunday afternoon Margaret and Ed Good were hosts to a gathering for the who's who of Loudoun furniture collecting to celebrate Fred Johnson's' first, hopefully of many, book "Nineteenth Century Loudoun County, Virginia Chair Manufacturing." Waterford is developing a large concentration of so called "Waterford Chairs" thanks to the encouragement of John Devine, the Chamberlin family and Norman Weatherholtz. For years these aficionados would emphasize the origin of their acorn topped chairs and rockers but it was left to Fred Johnson to systematically codify all of the nuances that identified the different makers and to place the manufacture of our chairs in many other surrounding towns in addition to Waterford.

The interest that has been generated over the years coupled with the fact that these chairs fit so well in Waterford houses bring about the situation where we probably have more Waterford chairs in Waterford than ever before. In the broader aspect of Loudoun furniture in general, since Loudoun's population remained the same for about two hundred years, we know that Loudoun was a great exporter of people into the Ohio Valley and it stands to reason that a large amount of locally made furniture went with them. There is an increasing interest and body of knowledge being developed about Loudoun case furniture and it is only a matter of time before much of this early Loudoun furniture returns "home".

The sun has set spectacularly on Monday and Tuesday this week before Thanksgiving. Waterfordians and Loudoners still have plenty to be thankful for, living in a place not only of such outstanding scenery but, as thus inspired, where craftsmen and artisans have and continue to produce things of usefulness and, with form following function, beauty.

The deer along the Catoctin are moving out of the creek bed as the sun sets. They are outlined against the water that flows like molten silver in the darkening fields of Phillips farm.

As a reward to the astute reader and lover of Waterford chairs, the first one who identifies on 540-882-3217 the reviewer in this paper of Dr. Fred D. Johnson's book "Nineteenth Century Loudoun County, Virginia Chair Manufacturing" will get a free reed seat wove in their Waterford chair.

Simms' House on Jainey spared
November 26, 2003

Thursday night the Loudoun County Board of Zoning Appeals turned a blind ear to the plea by Paul Madison of Waterford Heights to reinstate a permit to raze the historic Simms' House across Janney (Sic) Street from the Loudoun Mutual Fire Insurance lot. Paul Madison, the current owner of the home of a former Second Street School schoolteacher, described the house as a vacant shack open to the elements and a threat to the community as an unoccupied fire hazard that he could not insure because it was an attractive nuisance that he had not protected with a fence. Over 50 residents of the village left their shacks vacant for the evening and braved the elements to support the numerous speakers, all of whom requested that the revocation of the razing permit for the shack in question be upheld.

In the all Waterford's' children are exceptional department, led by Jack Devine and Mathew Custer, The Bucs, the Upper Loudoun Youth Football A League team, are the 2003 champions for Upper Loudoun. Last Saturday they played in the Loudoun Championships against The Spartans from Lower Loudoun to be de defeated 40 to 22 after recovering from a 32 to 0 fumble plagued first half. Jack Devine, as quarterback, threw a touchdown pass in his final game for the Bucs where he has played both quarterback and middle line backer for two years. Mathew will continue a Waterford presence next year after playing defensive end and offensive tackle this season. John Sheehan and Tim Duggan were field coaches for this team that has been the Upper Loudoun Champs for the last six years. A countywide championship has eluded the Bucs all six years when this small town team plays against teams from the hugely populous down county. The sports metaphor is not lost on the appreciative Waterfordians. Tim has continued to coach even though his two sons, veterans of many years on the Bucs, are now playing in older leagues and both he and John now live further from Waterford than before. As dedicated coaches they still remain proof that all Waterford men are caring and nurturing.

Destroy it in order to save it
November 19, 2003

A hearing is being held tomorrow evening by the Historic District Review Committee of Loudoun County to determine the suitability of issuing a raze permit to destroy the Simms House on Janney Street. The Simms house is the last house in Waterford that has not been renovated to contemporary standards at some time. It has been the subject of some controversy as most attempts at arriving at a plan for renovation have been viewed as a tail wagging the dog approach to preservation that has been the fate of many of Waterford's small 18th and early 19th century houses. More's the pity since some of these houses are the most durable dwellings in North America.

Take for example the Smallwood house currently for sale on Main Street. When this house was last vacated around 1985 before being renovated by Ed Davis it had been in continuous use since about 1805. The only apparent changes had been the destruction of the fireplace on the uphill side by a fire that destroyed the adjacent house in the 1960's and the replacement of the shingle roof with tin and the overlayment of parts of the first floor that had worn through. A stove chimney had been added to the north side of the house in the 20th century. It had been occupied until about 1985 with no plumbing and no electricity though the residents had a few lights a TV and a refrigerator by running an extension cord next door. No house being built or renovated today could still be used for so long with so little ever being done.

Waterford's small durable houses have often made Waterford a port of refuge in a stormy world. They could be occupied long after the great mansions fell from neglect and modern high-rises became empty caverns. This is because of these small houses draw inward enabling the inhabitants to stay self-sufficient just as some tropical fish become smaller by absorbing their outer skin in time of famine.

In the past forty years Waterford has lost its socio-economic and racial diversity completely with no public hearing being held. Now a hearing is being held about one small house. Preservation is not just about houses and all of Waterford needs to be restored.

Waterford voters lead the County
November 12, 2003

Greater Waterford went to the polls on Tuesday and as usual did just a little bit better than the rest of the county. The turnout was predictably light but with about 48% voting at the Waterford elementary school, Waterford's influence seems to have spread throughout the Catoctin Magisterial District, which now completely surrounds but does not include Leesburg.

Thursday evening the Waterford Citizen's Association met at the Old School and had a discussion about the functioning Of the Loudoun County Historic District Architectural Review Committee led by its Chairman Kevin Reudiseuli. After the presentation the Citizen's had a lengthy discussion about the Simm's House and voted unanimously to have WCA President Ed Lehmann express the concerns of the community about the Simm's House at a hearing on 20 Nov.

Bruce Cleveland, the newly elected President of the Waterford Foundation, spoke about the Foundation and requested input from the citizen of the village about the mission of the Foundation especially those beyond the Preservation of the National Historic Landmark.

Cate Magennis Wyatt spoke about the progress being made toward the funding of the purchase of the Philips Farm and thanked The Citizen's and those who have contributed to the effort so far.

Lost dump trucks were wandering up and down the village streets last week as they were trying to find Waterford Ridge. The drivers had to be told that you couldn't see Waterford Ridge from Waterford just as you can't view Waterford from Waterford View. Waterford Ridge is on the Stumptown Road and at least one Stumptowner has said that it would be much more convenient for the truck drivers if it were called Stumptown Ridge.

Just to set the record straight you also cannot see Waterford from Waterford View that is near Lovettsville. You can see Lovettsville and Hivettsville or Lovettsville Lofts have been suggested so that those trucks don't get lost in Waterford. Incidentally, when you tell the truck drivers about the no through trucks signs they say they are lost. Never before have so many trucks been lost in a village so small.

While we were on the subject of names of local places we have to correct a geographical error of long standing. It has been assumed that the locus of fallen power lines was Godfrey's Woods named after the famous radio-TV personality who lived at and named Beacon Hill. It turns out that is not the right place responsible for our power failures like the one Thursday when the storm that punished Leesburg knocked out our power by mistake. The location was misnamed when a Waterfordian called Virginia Power years ago to report the usual outage in Waterford and the VEPCO employee answering the phone said, " Oh God, 'The Woods'."

Just before the Morris mother
October 29, 2003

Halloween decides how we vote

This Halloween is the one before we go to the polls in two weeks and elect who will represent us next in the four-year cycle of County government. The reason it comes just before elections is to provide all of the voters an opportunity to judge the economic efficiency of the County government. To do this all you have to do is understand the Halloween index. The use of the Halloween index is fairly simple. You take all the candy or some similar commodity you can get and divide it into equal portions and count the number of portions you have. These are called treats. If you were living in the same place the year before you should have some idea of the optimum number. If not you ask your neighbors. In Waterford it was around 200.

At 6: o'clock Halloween you will find a crowd of disguised urchins at your door. You deposit one treat into each outstretched hand, paw, sack or in some cases open mouth. Look out for the kid with a "sick sister" who may be a hired "pollster" trying to spin results. You keep this up until you run out of treats. When this happens you record the time, turn out all the lights and crouch in the dark until the commotion at you door ceases and then you go to bed.

The next morning you take the number of treats given out and divide it by the number of minutes that it took to give them out. For example if you gave out 200 treats in one hour and a quarter, 75 minutes, you get 2.67, called a yearly treat rate. You then divide this by your yearly treat rate four years before, in the case of supervisors, governors and presidents, six for senators and two for delegates and congressman. The result is called the treat ratio.

You then do the same thing with your yearly taxes spent by the supervisors this year, or a state senator, a state delegate and a congressman, with the taxes that were spent before they were elected. For example for supervisors the property taxes for 2003 would be divided by the 1999. This is called the trick ratio. If the trick ratio is smaller than the treat ratio for the same time period then the efficiency of government is increasing and if it is larger it is decreasing.

Hence the expression "Trick or treat?" refers to which is smaller. This explains why people who live in large houses at the end of lonely dirt roads usually vote differently than people who live in the village as well as explaining how our democracy works.

Just before the Morris mother
October 22, 2003

Saturday afternoon the village center was once more graced with the leaping and cavorting of Morris Dancers in a gathering that was sponsored by the Bluemont Morris Dancers for visiting Morris teams of Bufflehead from the California Bay Area, one of the first northwest Morris teams in the U.S., Forest city Morris and Sword from London Ontario and Rock Creek Morris from D.C. This is the first appearance of Morris dancers since that ill-fated day of the great confrontation between the Morris and the Civil War reenactors during the fair about ten years ago. Just as the original ceremonial aspects of the Morris Dance are shrouded in the mists of time so are the reasons for the banishing of this social gathering from our midst during the fair.

A gathering of Morris Teams is called an "Ale" after the British Isles post-restoration fairs. Their presence at the Waterford during the Fair always showed continuity with the ancient grand occasions that were part of rural life until the day that the reeanctors came down Second Street on their way from the campsite at the Schooley mill to a scheduled demonstration at the Bond Street Barn. The steady tramp of marching feet could barely be heard above the gaily chirping pipes of the dancers that day and the sudden halt was not noticed as the bayonet bearing ranks bumped against the backs of the spectators watching the mighty Bluemont Morris. An officer went ducking through the packed audience searching for someone in control of the Morris teams, something the dance genre does not make readily apparent. He returned with word that the Bluemont Morris would not yield to allow the soldiers to pass. As the troops waited in the hot sun, sweating in their wool and grinding their ironclad heels in the grit of the street they could barley hear the flute and only glimpse the occasional white clad arm shaking a beribboned tambourine skyward. One of the grizzled veterans of a score or more of reenactments was heard to mutter that most damning of all condemnations, "Farbs."

The absence of the Morris from the Fair since then sadly shows that the Waterford Foundation had opted for the low ground and yielded to a force of arms in the Quaker village of Waterford.

Tannery Branch mud-hole cured
October 15, 2003

A good reason to have a fair is that it causes so much to get done in such a short time so in this week after the fair we can reflect on things that have been accomplished in the twinkling of an eye, such as the curing of the mud-hole next to the Tannery Branch. Mud Holes have always held an important place in the lives of Waterfordians even being the subject of comment in " The Waterford News" during the War of North Loudoun in the early 1860's. One was mentioned on Second Street that endured well into the 20th Century. The mud-hole that was cured by Chamblin Builders just before the fair this year was not so enduring.

The conditions were established for its creation by VDOT raising Main Street so high that the residents on the upper side would fill in the ditch to have a level place to park. This caused the water to seep down Main rather than run off. Then the archaeological dig was dug where the street flattened out and when it was filled in the dirt was less compact than before. The Lovettsville Lions and the Waterford PTO then began to fill what was left of the ditch so that fairgoers would not have to jump the ditch to get to their food stands. Large amounts of mulch were then added to soak up any water. In about four years a major mire was created at the foot of Main just before the bridge. When parking became scarce because of construction the site was further churned into what showed promise of becoming our version of the Le Brea Tar Pit. Last week Chamblin Builders smoothed the muck with a Bob-Cat and put a load of crusher run gravel over the mire. The Lions added their usual mulch and for now the area around the bridge across Tannery Branch is high and dry.

Tourists are using the parking to view the vibrant display of our poison ivy that is better than ever before.

A Fair gone with Joan Williams
October 8, 2003

Memorial services were being held Saturday for Joan Stafford-Allen Williams as the Waterford Fair sailed on without her at the helm of a house on tour, a stage she had graced for many years in many of Waterford's houses in the past. Everyone's home is his castle and Joan Williams had the ability to convince others that this was true, no matter what. Our house, Hollingsworth-Lee House, was on tour this Fair with out Joan holding forth in the front room about the absolute magnificence of a Sheridan desk we had not the heart to tell her had been recovered from a curbside on trash pickup day. She had been the tour guide here at our house several times and each time was the only time fair goers left the house awed. Her grand manner and refined presentation was able to persuade many that our humble digs were on a par with the much more elegant surroundings that she was usually a docent to. She was masterful describing the surroundings in detail and at the same time leaving out just enough to make anything truly interesting.

The last time she was a tour guide at our house she asked us what we did for a living because, she said, visitors often wanted to know about the people who lived here. Not wishing to confess so little, we only told her that we were the Waterford correspondent for the Loudoun-Times Mirror. That afternoon we met a friend who had just toured our house coming up the Big Hill on Main Street. He said, " I did not know you were a war correspondent for the Times". We said, "Where on earth did you get that idea?" He said," That's what the lady in your front room is telling everybody." Rest assured Joan, if war ever breaks out again in the Quaker village of Waterford, we are ready.

Crowds will blow a storm away
October 1, 2003

Before the post storm
crowds block the Corner Store window Friday at the 60th Waterford Homes Tour and Crafts Festival you should sneak a peek at the desk made by demonstrator Jim Beachley of Thurmont MD that is being raffled by the Foundation. Tickets will be for sale at his fair location on the second floor of the Old School during the Fair. Hopefully the roof above him will be waterproof again by then after sustaining a hit during Isabel. Other new demonstrators who have exhibits in the window are William Kautz of Vermont who has produced the decoys, Logan Welch of Berryville, a canoe maker, and parger Judith McKellar of Warrenton. Also new to the Fair are Ed and Jill Barkey from Navarre Ohio who will assemble a timber frame building at the Schooley Mill lot.

Last Tuesday, early in the morning, Catoctin Creek flooded over the bridge down by the Old Mill trapping three cars attempting to cross. The Hamilton Fire And Rescue, deploying an inflatable boat, rescued the occupants of one car. The occupants of the other two were able to wade to safety. The rains from Isabel had saturated the ground and duringTuesday night an additional three inches fell in the space of two hours. This caused the Catoctin Creek to flood higher, though only briefly, than any time since Agnes in 1972.

At the same time the small footbridge that crossed the Tannery Branch at the Bond Street Barn lot was washed down stream. It now lies in a jumbled heap just above the Main Street Bridge. Across Main Street a spout shot out of the culvert coming down Main and pushed the branch water over against the wall of the Richard Newman House. Fortunately it held back the water, this time.

Ed Lehman and the Waterford Citizen's Association are still short of help to Man the Barbeque Stand at the Old School during the Fair. Please call Ed at 882-3801 to volunteer yourself or Fair your visitors. This is the principal source of funds for all of the village activities we enjoy so much.

Only the lull before the storm
September 24, 2003

It is only the lull before the storm and the mice are moving to high ground on a running lawn mower. We knew that this was going to be a bumper year for mice with the rains bringing the grasses and now with the flooding of the mighty Catoctin eminent the mice are clearing out of the flood plane. A mother and two baby mice had been on the running mower about five minutes until they were seen. When the mower was stopped the mother jumped down and scurried off in the grass abandoning her two small charges. The gray furry babies were taken off and placed where the mother was last seen. Standing above them you could hear the feint squeaking that the mother mouse could home in on.

Next to the Tannery Branch the Brocks were clearing out the back yard of any objects that could float or become airborne and the workman at the Ratcliffe House addition had protected the piles of stone with hay bails just in case.

Our student at VCU in Richmond called and said come get me. She was planning to skip classes on Friday to get a head start on her sister Jan Schroeder's wedding to Christian Mercker on Saturday at the Catoctin Presbyterian Church. One of the Omaha cousins called to see if the wedding was still on. That part of the bride's family is landing at IAD the same time Isabel hits the outer banks. Dinner for the Omahaians is scheduled to hit lower Waterford at the same time as Isabel hits Loudoun. Just to be on the safe side we will have dinner for twenty prepared to be finished in the kitchen fireplace. We know the electricity will be off. The question is will it be back on for the wedding on Saturday?

We will miss the Bluemont Fair this year. And then we will get the house ready to be on tour for the Waterford fair, a weekend away. At least it will not take place during Isabel.

By then the mice will be ready to move into the house; but for now, it is only the lull before the storm.

All is not historic after all
September 17, 2003

The Auditorium at the Old school was filled Wednesday evening as Dr. David Clark, who teaches archaeology at Catholic University and NOVA reminded us that not everything in Waterford is historic. The historic landmark village is sitting on top of land that has a prehistoric significance that could be more important then the historic, especially in areas like the secondary stream terrace on the Phillips' Farm. What we have been for years sticking in the Mason jar labeled "Arrowheads" had to be redistributed to jars labeled "Atlatl Points" and "Dart Points" since the pre-Colombian Waterfordians did not start using the new fangled bows and arrows until about 900 BC.

Area residents were able to produce a large variety of items for discussion at this most heavily burdened and attended session of the Waterford Lyceum to date. Items included a Victorian era Germanic hunting sword found buried under a bush, a mid 19th century ink well, a late 19th century swingle tree and the tongue of a farm cart. One of Waterford's houses had yielded a War of North Loudoun era collapsing tin drinking cup in an eagle motif leather case that had been hidden under an eve and a 1740's type clay pipe was found on the rafter in the cellar of another.

Sherry Satin arranged for this highly successful program after a lightning storm drove her and Laura Shaw under the shelter of the Corner Store porch that was occupied by David and one of his archaeology classes on a field trip.

If you missed the program at the Old School fear not for David and some of his colleagues will be available during the Fair to identify and interpret archaeological artifacts that local residents have found in their yards, attics and cellars. They will be at the Insurance lot park on Janney Street all 3 days from 10am to 3pm.

De Leone's quest is in a cooler
September 10, 2003

Ponce de Leon should have been at the Waterford Tennis Doubles Tournament this Labor Day weekend to find the Fountain of Youth is in a cooler at the Waterford Elementary School tennis court. A week of tennis that routinely saw our resident septuagenarians trouncing opponents that were one-third their age closed with a battle between the men's double team of Carpenter and Carpenter, Waterford's Woodies, and Luddy Sells and Mike Healy. As the skies darkened amid increasing raindrops, tournament doyen Ron Carpenter found himself just where any one who plays tennis would want to be. Up one set with son Scott serving 5-4. The only thing that could have saved Luddy and Mike was lightning, and that never came. In the finals of the women's doubles that had been played out in a week seeing higher temperatures and humidity then all summer, Jan Farrell and Wanda Reid overcame Gail Post and Terry Crowley. Earlier in the men's consolation Russ Bolen and Nick Atchison had prevailed over Charlie Beach and Robert Morton with Liz Sadak and Lisa Perkins winning the women's consolation over Trish Ward and Shelia Finney. The mixed consolation was won by Bud Boardman and Martha Hoetzel who played Brewster and Cindy Cornwell. In the mixed doubles Mike and Kathy Healy had won over Luddy Sells and Doris Carpenter, the doyesse of the tournaments dominant family.

The Wellman Chamberlin Award for Good Sportsmanship was awarded this year to Mike Healy and Kathy Healy was honored with the Nancy Felton Award for Spirit.

Thursday night the Preliminary Engineering Study and Concept Plans prepared by Kimley-Horn Associates Inc. for Loudoun County's Department of General Services were presented at the Old School. This plan to "Bury the Wires and Tame the Traffic" would bring out the best to make Waterford better than the too good to be true it is now. It skillfully eliminates most of the faults created by the lapse of insight by our public utilities in the rush to service North Loudoun's unbridled growth. Our leadership and leadership abilities in these utilities make it now possible for these lapses to be corrected for the benefit of all.

Don't forget the Waterford Lyceum meets at the Old School tonight at 7.

Maura Cotter skims to victory
September 3, 2003

Maura Cotter, representing Waterford at the East Coast Skimboarding Championship which was held on the week-end of 16 August in Dewey Beach Delaware, placed first in the under 15 Girl's Division. This is the first time she has competed and since Maura is only 12 she has a long time to increase her skills and lock down this title for two more years before moving on to the older divisions. Maura stands on her skimboard as a sterling example of how all of Waterford's children are exceptional. Even with the skimboard limited training venue of Greystone Community Pool she has been able to prevail and become a nationally ranked athlete in this growing sport.

Other opportunities, but for 4 year olds through 3rd Graders, are starting at the old School Wednesday mornings at 9 until 10 on 10 September. Pam Harrison's Orff School is beginning its second season. These Classes are limited to 10 student so if you feel your child is Orff inclined get orff your dorff and call Pam at 304-725-7200.

Not to leave orff the adults, Yoga will be offered again this fall at the Catoctin Presbyterian Church here in the village on Wednesday mornings from 9 - 10, beginning Sept. 10th. Is all this pre-fair stress getting to you? Suffering from orffull puns? Aren't as flexible as you once were? Some yoga experience is suggested and pre-registration is required. No props are necessary as all are provided. Call Marilyn Naylor to register or if you have any questions. 540-668-6755. Sept. 4 and every Thursday after that sans the two holy weeks of the Fair!

Just in time to clear up the clutter before the Fair, the Ladies Board will accept donations at Morven Park's Equestrian Center beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, 8 September through noon on Wednesday. Proceeds from the event benefit Loudoun Healthcare Foundation. More information is available from the Ladies Board by calling 703-771-2985 or by visiting The trick to avoiding clutter is to donate more than you buy. We have, so far, been unsuccessful at this.

Parson's Peter pokes power pole
August 27, 2003

The excitement late Friday morning by the Mill was caused when Peter Hendrickson who lives in the Ann Parson's house hit the power pole used by demonstrators during the Fair. The Hamilton Fire and Rescue arrived with the fire truck and the ambulance in record time thanks to the UPS man who saw the pole being hit and called right away. Peter was climaxing a weeklong vacation of household chores with a bit of morning woodcutting when he went off Main Street. Fortunately the roadside hedge slowed the truck so that even the air bag did not go off. The record heat combined with his activity may have led to his pickup bumper doing some inadvertent cutting. Everyone seemed ok except to pole.

This excitement ended a week where the tomatoes getting ripe now take second place. Attempts at recognizing the first ripe tomato were thwarted by everyone having tomatoes that ripened the same night and no one was holding the stopwatch. The David and Carolee Chamberlin patch had a slight edge, which they attributed to, the placement of fish heads donated by a neighbor in the planting holes. The rest of Waterford's gardeners have now reached the point where everyone is trying to give tomatoes to everyone else.

There is abundance in other facets of Waterford's agricultural scene as Zachariah Lester's Tree and Leaf CSA has been furnishing its members with more than can be eaten but the variety is such that the wealth can be shared. This is the time to start putting up sauerkraut but with the Chinese cabbage kimchee has become more fashionable.

If you are looking at school age children and it is during school hours you have been hoodwinked. School started Monday. Waterford is the home of children that are so exceptional that even the most academically challenged are above average and they don't stay only above average once they get to Waterford Elementary School. A fresh teacher is in the school this year as Kristen Rhods begins with fifth.

It's no strangers in the night
August 20, 2003

Early Saturday morning, about 3, a flashlight in the night showed the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department was on the job protecting Waterford homes from possible danger. This was discovered when residents near the Arch House noticed a flashlight on the terraces behind their house and went out to investigate. They met a deputy emerging from the arch. The deputy had parked his prowl car on Second Street to avoid alerting a possible perp. Things did look suspicious because a sensor light had gone on revealing a ladder deployed in a manner indicating a possible elopement or foul play. The ladder had been there for several days. The area behind the houses along that part of Main Street does have a somewhat checkered past. About 20 years ago, according to local legend, a pot farmer who lived some distance from his illegal operation lost his entire pot crop when teenagers from Leesburg raided it.

The Loudoun County Parks and Recreation Department has evidently heeded the desire of Arcolans to come to Waterford. This desire came to light last April in a comment on Waterford in a readers reply to an article in this paper made by Jack Shockey of Arcola. Parks and Rec has arranged for a bus to be available at the Arcola Community Center to bring them to the Fair this year.

In another letter from the same part of the county Waterford was described as a place where houses could soak up the contents of a paint store. Our houses were using up paint again this Sunday as the artists from area sketch clubs came to the village and set up their easels. Pleas to stop putting the paint on canvas and start putting it on the houses were to no avail.

Nudes photoed as locals leave
August 13, 2003

This week in Waterford the naked ladies are in their robust glory, the photo clubs are here for the light in August and the beach colonials are heded up (as in hed'em up and mov'em out) and heded down. Whether or not it is the photo clubs that bring the naked ladies has long been a matter of some debate. The light in August was thought to be what attracted photographers such as the great A. Aubrey Bodine of the H.L. Menken era Sunday Sun. Now we are just as likely to see a tripoded photographer preying mantis like over a patch of ladies instead of sprawled across the center of Main Street to catch the raking sun pattern on a historic wall. They were doing both Sunday morning.

All week long wagon trains of Suv's festooned with racks of bikes and roofs of boogie boards have been moving east toward and away from the Atlantic resorts. The tradition of neighbors going to the same place, even to the same beach houses in places from Bethany Beach (The Sea Colony and Westward Pines), Duck NC (Corolla Light) to as far south as Atlantic Beach NC (Bogue Banks) continues. The advantage of this is you can double the kid's vacation and have week home alone when they are with your neighbors at the beach and thus double you own vacation.

Some who are unaware of the traditions of the historic village are confused as to which is the left side of the street and the right side of the street. This was never a problem before the County insisted on house numbers because you were always aware of the political, geographic, religious, emotional, artistic or sexual identities of everyone else. Just as the Seine in Paris has a left and right bank, our streets have left and right sides. To avoid a lengthy, though intriguing description, the simple explanation is that even house numbers are on the right side of the street and odd house numbers are on the left.

Nonparallel criminals nabbed
July 30, 2003

Last week in an election year crackdown on crime in Waterford summons were issued by the Loudoun County Sheriff Simpson's Department to all those engaged in the nefarious practice of nonparallel parking. To quote the code of Virginia 42.2-889;
" No vehicle shall be stopped except close to and parallel to the right edge of the curb or roadway, except that a vehicle may be stopped close to and parallel to the left curb or edge of the roadway on one-way streets or may be parked at an angle where permitted by the Commonwealth Transportation Board or local authorities with respect to highways under their jurisdiction."

As you can see the Code referred to on the tickets was quite specific about having the long axis of the vehicle close to and parallel to the curb or edge of the road. Waterfordians have always prided themselves on their unerring ability to determine parallel and have parked so assiduously. And had the Code given some clue as to which direction they should have parked other than merely indicating the alignment they would have done that also, but alas it does not.

Deputy J.C. Conner was forced to site the inapplicable 42.2-889 because he could not find anything that said what direction the vehicles should be facing in order to serve justice. The Blitzkrieg like slapping of $40 tickets on the not actually illegally misdirected offending windscreens left Waterford's criminal elements gasping in indignation (especially the elderly) as they struggled to get car doors open that were now wedged against the curb or pointing skyward because of the sharply angled gutters on much of Main Street.

This may just be the tip of the iceberg in the pursuit of crime in Waterford. Casual readings of the traffic regulations in the Code are quite specific about parking and obstructing traffic. We are all aware that to park on any of our street obstructs traffic, as they were not designed for traffic. Lest you get caught up in the dragnet of justice it will be safer to park elsewhere, at least until November 4.

Chamberlin to Russian Academy
July 23, 2003

Marion Chamberlin, a rising senior at Loudoun Valley High School, was selected through a statewide competition to attend the Governors Russian Academy at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. Marion spent three weeks ending on July 10 in a total immersion learning experience that included classes in Russian Literature, politics, drama, music and art. She is already a veteran of dance having performed for many years with the Loudoun Ballet. She was able to use her experience in the latter in the activities that extended beyond the classroom and included folk dancing along with cooking, traditional Russian volleyball, singing, and crafts such as "pisansky." Her dancing experience of course made her one of the stars of the Kapustnik (variety show). Her linguistic talents and her cultural interests are hereditary as her parents, David and Carolee are both members of Waterford's disproportionately large corps of returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

It was gratifying for the village to hear that the Loudoun County Board of supervisors voted unanimously to support the efforts being made to save the historic landmark status. It is good to feel that the efforts made to preserve the setting of Waterford is recognized and the contribution made by the protection of the open spaces both here and in other areas like Aldie, Bluemont and Leesburg, all of whom are trying to protect the identities that are the joys of visitors as well as those who live there. We all help balance the demand made on the public infrastructure by being relatively low maintenance in our requirements. Even though our Board may be contentious about many things we are grateful that they are all united in their concern for Waterford. May they remain cohesive in all their actions to benefit Loudoun.

We have no entries in the great tomato ripe tomato contest this week though Leaf and Tree C.S.A. has delivered several dozen green tomatoes of sufficient size, none were red. They were for frying with eggplant.

The weather is getting dry and since Waterford is not the place to spend well water on plants it is time to mulch. Friday The County Landfill had mountains of good-looking mulch.

Naked ladies are ready to romp
July 16, 2003

Any day now the naked ladies will come romping through the village. We would have a naked lady contest but that would not be politically correct. We will have to while away the hours thinking of other more politically correct clothed beauty contests in which Waterford has participated in the past.

The last beauty queen we had representing Waterford in a countywide event was Sally Gonseth about 1978. A civic organization would sponsor an event that peaked at August Court days when a Miss Loudoun would be picked from the contestants who had been submitted by towns and villages to appear in evening gowns on the stage in front of the court house for the final judging. They were judged on poise, grooming, grace, etc.

Sally was at an age where she represented both two ideals of Waterford at once; "All Waterford’s children are exceptional" and " All Waterford’s women are athletic." You could tell that she was the winner of anything any where by the way she strolled out onto the stage in her evening gown chewing gum and wearing sneakers. The contest judges of course were governed by the usual prejudices about Waterford residual from the War of North Loudoun (1861-1865).

A few years later the Waterford Citizen's Association was asked to submit an entry for the contest, cooperate memory being a common failing. Someone said the Gleadalls had some daughters that might be interested in the Miss Loudoun title and the meeting then moved on to other business. At the August Court Days the announcer got to Waterford and announced that Magnolia Gleadall was representing Waterford. Magnolia was not one of the Gleadall's daughters but their basset hound. Magnolia had recently had a litter of puppies and did not appear. It was some time before Waterford entered another beauty contest.

To make up for this deficiency in the American experience we are having the Greater Waterford Ripe Tomato Contest. The first person that can conduct us to a full size fully ripe tomato, no green, still on the vine (No potted or cherry tomatoes) will get their name and maybe a picture with tomato in the paper. All entries become the property of the judge.

" Remove not the Ancient landmark,
July 9, 2003

which thy fathers have set" Proverbs 28:22 was the quote underneath the picture of the sun setting on Phillips Farm on the T-shirts.

Only a few more than a hundred showed up Wednesday morning to witness the arrival of the Loudoun County planning officials and representatives of Historic Fields to view the 144 acres of the Historic Landmark that development would destroy. Stoked on doughnuts and coffee provided in the yard of the John Wesley Church by the organizers of the "Quaker witness" the sparse crowd was in a somewhat ambiguous mood when the expected principals did not arrive at the gate of the Phillips farm. It was like a hanging when the guest of honor does not show up.

The event had been wonderfully well planned by Cate Magennis Wyatt and executed (so to speak) by a host of volunteers from as far away as Ohio. After the crowd returned from the non-arrival, speakers expressing support were heard in the church and a resolve to amplify the "Quaker witness" the next time spread throughout. "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers" who were there this day before the 4th of July eve. If only we each could bestir ten home a-bed cursing that they were not with us, we will be a thousand.

Should the rumor that the Phillips Farm is not for sale be true the funds being raised for its purchase could be used to fight the building of any houses impacting on the landmark. It is felt by some this is preferable since lawyers, who as a group have been getting bad press since the time of Shakespeare, are anxious to be the guys in the white hat for a change.

Some thought the security for Quaker witnessing was lax and this had been responsible for the non-arrival of the Historic Fields Engineering Department. The presence of four Supervisors; Chairman-at-Large Scott York, Catoctin Sally Kurtz, Leesburg Mark Herring, Blue Ridge Eleanore Towe who were not told about the cancellation by the County Planning Department belied this. Mostly TV crews and reporters from large newspapers to the east were present and so it had not leaked to the locale press. The Quakers in Lincoln had only heard about it by chance and then to late to come. The search for a mole was called off. No one from Ashburn was there.

July 4th for love of liberty
July 2, 2003

Every year the village of Waterford celebrates our Nation's birthday with a daylong celebration beginning of a morning on the 4th.
10-11 The Day begins with the registration for the Grand Parade on Factory Street.
11 The parade begins moving down Factory Street with a column right at Second Street, a column half-left at Second and Main Street and finally a column right into the Tannery Lot by the Bond Street Barn.
11:45 Singing, speeches and awards to all the parade participants.
12:30 Refreshments (Hot Dogs, hamburgers and watermelon) and games on the Bond Street field.
6:30 The Old School Potluck Dinner begins. Bring a dish with enough for everybody you bring but eat what everybody else brings. The oldest goes to the head of the line. Bring proof of age or you will have to rely on the decision of the judges. Those under 12 have to eat desert last.
After dark Fireworks at the Schooley Mill Barn begin.

A community meeting was held Thursday night at the Old School for an update on the crises to the landmark with the potential development of the Phillips Farm. The Dulles Area Association of Realtors is supporting efforts to save the landmark. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the US Department of Interior, Senator Warner and Congressman Wolf, have all previously made known their support.

Among the things discussed was the need to inform all those who have lived in Waterford, and then moved to better places, like Ashburn, of the threat so that they could help in its salvation. Already one Waterfordian had informed his heirs that he wishes his ashes spread on the field.

The Souders had been hard at work resurrecting Quaker faces for the vigil that was then planned to "Witness" in the Quaker tradition at the Phillips Farm gate at 9 a.m. 7mo 2da 2003 (that's today). The arrival of the Historic Fields representatives and Loudoun County Zoning officials to walk the site for planning purposes is anticipated.

We hope that this does not become the beginning of the death knell of the Waterford National Historic Landmark Village. The warning bell tolls.

Natures delights often seen
June 25, 2003

The Waterford Gardener's Club was granted permission to take a walk Monday on the Phillips Farm property to look for plants native to the area that attract butterflies. This was anticipated as a wilderness trek over rough terrain and all were advised to wear protective clothing and in deed be protected by deet.

The last time we led a group trek back to the dam area was about twenty years ago. A bluebird nesting box project was such a success that flocks of bluebirds were beginning to fly around the old orchard by the dam and up and down the Catoctin creek pastures adjacent to the village. Today they are still flying. The Audubon Naturalist Society of Washington DC requested a tour, as many of their members from inside the Capital beltway had never seen a bluebird. As the heavily field glassed and bird booked crowd moved along the banks of the mill race someone said, "Oh, look there is a couple having a pic..." Nic never came as 30 field glasses focused in some figures beside a distant bush. We did not have any field glasses and all we could see was that two people appeared to be having a speed dressing contest while hiding behind the bush. At the end of the day the birders had all added several bluebirds to their life list, among other things. The tour had impressed upon the Audubon Naturalist Society that Waterfordians are lovers of nature.

In a meeting of the community columnist last week the new editor encouraged all the columnists to include as many names as possible in the weekly columns in order to foster a community spirit. We certainly agree, but not always.

Next week will be the last column before another one of Waterford's glorious yearly events, the Waterford Citizen's Association's 4th of July. The schedule will be printed here and it is hoped that all visitors who come this year will enjoy and help support the growing cost of fireworks.

1st Class flies on to 1st Grade
June 11, 2003

The first class passengers composed of the Kindergarteners of Waterford Elementary School flew on a ceremonial jet to become first graders in what will eventually become the High School class of 2016 Friday morning in the school auditorium. The production conducted by volunteer Anne Stewart of Patsy McClintock's and Donna Nachaiski's 27 member class featured a song filled journey from one end of the country to the other (Waterford to Hawaii). The other passengers included parents and grandparents giving the school a multigenerational aura not usually seen.

The Kindergarteners passed into the realms of higher education after taking a symbolic SOL exam conducted by Patsy McClintock. The test was passed by all with shouting enthusiasm. Then all the passengers bolted for a Hawaiian feast that included pineapples, mangoes, papayas, coconuts and rice crispy mahi-mahi. The program listed the first class passengers as; Grey, Samantha, Stuart, Cory E., Elizabeth, Bradley, Michael, Elise, Cory A., Jenna, Blair, Mackenzie, Christine, Tagg, Quentin, Ryan, Connie, Colin, Megan, Olivia, Gracie, John, Ken, John, Riley, Ethan and Darby in one column, with surnames Guyre, Anderson, Stewart, Clinard, Mullally, Lambert, Mowe, Nagell, Burton, Dunne, Buchanan, Fetterly, Chaudet, Nagell, Francis, Burgess, Cunningham, Mergele, McMullen, Bartell, Madison, Reulein, Goode, Kidd, White, McMullen and Dunne. This was to create a travel game and is printed here to be a quiz for the class of 2016 50th reunion in 2066.

The program also pointed out that this class had 4 sets of twins at one time in its history. This means twins composed 27% of the class. This statistic explains why Loudoun County is building houses at the rate of 2.6 classrooms a day.

Waterford still continues to take a beating from the monsoons. We noticed the creeks coming out of Beacon Hill by the golf course are still running bright red as uncontrolled erosion continues. This emphasizes the importance of having stable creek banks such as the Phillips Farm pastures that protect the water quality.

A collision of a dump truck and a hopper truck at the intersection of Clarkes Gap Road and Charles Town Pike last Wednesday may have released oil into the Catoctin stream system. How many wrecks does it take for a stoplight?

Father's Day and soccer moms
June 11, 2003

Don't forget Sunday is Father's Day and in Waterford and since all the men are caring and nurturing they make highly desirable fathers. If you are a perspective mother, Waterford has a rather limited selection of perspective father's as they are usually snatched up soon as they become available, even the older used models. The new models are so sought after that they usually have to leave the village as soon as they become eligible. They are so eagerly sought after that they have to sneak back in, usually under the cover of darkness.

Mothers in Waterford are just as desirable as all of Waterford's women are athletic. One of the ways this is obvious is evident Sunday at the Waterford Elementary School. Much has been made of the American phenomena, "Soccer Mom". In Waterford Soccer Mom does not necessarily mean the same as in the rest of the country. Here the relevance of transporting children to soccer is secondary to the fact that the moms are actually playing soccer. A group of Waterford women meet at the school every Sunday afternoon through July at 4. They are there to promote fitness, networking, and fun through playing the biggest sport in the world - SOCCER. For more information contact Rosie Dunn at (540) 882-3969.

With school letting out this week it is time to plan ahead to prevent your children from reverting to the wild over the summer. To help prevent this reversion, Catoctin Presbyterian Church invites children ages 4-11 to attend Vacation Bible School June 23 thru June 27, 9am to 12 noon. Call 882-3058 for more info or stop by the church and fill out a registration form. You can also log onto the web site to register. The theme this year is "Lighthouse Kids."

As we go to press on D-day we are glad to hear that Sandra Hutchison has returned home from the hospital recuperating from her broken leg suffered in a rainy day auto crash near Charlestown. Her return was helped by her determination to meet her physical therapy goals and the use of a steel pin technique used to keep fighter pilots with broken legs flying during WWII. Her family and all the rest of Waterford are both relieved and happy at her quick return and speedy recovery.

Dead not mourned in Leesburg
June 5, 2003

There was no wreath laid for the fallen Union Army soldiers at the Memorial Day Ceremonies on the Court House lawn In Leesburg. Wreaths were laid for the Confederates, along with wreaths for the dead of all other American wars except the Revolution but mention was made for plans to have a memorial for those patriots. No mention was made at all of Loudoun's Union Veterans. Loudoun's Confederate veterans were honored by two groups placing wreaths on the Confederate Monument that is centered in front of the Court House. The Confederate Statue is somewhat rare in Southern monuments, as it does not face north or south, as do most. Loudoun's Confederate Statue faces west, toward the enemy, toward Waterford.

How could the Memorial Day Committee who presented an otherwise outstanding program be so callous? Are not our Union dead just as deserving of recognition. Did not they die just as gloriously for a just cause, only more so and in greater proportion? Are they not to be honored on Memorial Day by the Loudoners whose lives and property they were defending and protecting at the cost of their lives?

Their names are;
Charles F. Anderson, F. B. Anderson, Charles M. Atwell, James S. Corbin, Charles Baker, John Coates, Thomas Coates, James M. Cox, James Daily, Presley A. Davis, Thomas Dixon, Charles Dixon, Henry Dixon, Peter Dorherty, H.C. Fouch, Peter C. Fry, James W. Grubb, George W. Hough, A. C. Hawk, John W. Hawk, H. W. Hoover, John Kidwell, Joseph Magaha, James McKinney, Peter Miles, James Monegan, Michael Mullen, Randolph Nicholes, Charles Pekam, Phillip Pritchard, F. P. Rinker, J. W. Shakelford, S. Shakelford, James Stoneburner, Charles E. Stout, William Shoemaker, George Swope, R. A. Virts, George H. Waters.

These are just the names of the members of the Loudoun Rangers recruited around Waterford who died during North Loudoun's War. Other Union Soldiers were from other parts of Loudoun serving individually in other Union units. Their memories should be memorialized as the others honored in Leesburg.

Besides they won.

Pasture flooding ends drought
May 28, 2003

The Phillip's Farm pasture became Lake Waterford for a few hours last week as the mighty Catoctin Creek rose out of its banks. The flooding stranded the cows on a peninsula with a few venturing up along the mill ace berm. This gave a chance to watch A 47 happily munching the fresh green grass at close quarters. He was smooth and sleek. The rain ran in sheets off his well filled out flanks with the air cool enough to see the steam rising of his back as the grass changed to beef. He and his 50 some brothers and sisters spread around the pasture all look good and this mean that they will taste good.

The A on the left shoulder of the cows means they belong to Bob and Kitty Ashby who are grazing several other herds in North Loudoun. Kitty is Loudoun County Commissioner of Revenue and Bob is the retired manager of Leesburg's Safeway, always known for having meat a cut above.

The rain delayed the first delivery of Zechariah Lester's Leaf and Tree produce until this Friday across from The Old Mill but rain has a way of increasing the yield. Georgia Lester was at the Waterford Gardener's Plant exchange with some extras. Some of Leaf and Tree's efforts can be seen gracing the hillside beyond the Hague-Hough House. Waterford is a National Historic Landmark because of its setting. The Ashby's beef and the Lester's produce growing in that setting make us one of the few places where you can constantly see what you eat growing day by day.

The rain that continued on Sunday did not make things easy for JoEllen Keating and Co-chair Brad Gable with Ron Carpenter as Guru as they opened Loudoun's doubles outdoor tennis season with the ECHO Tournament. The 32 reserved outdoor courts stayed unplayed upon as the yearly event used the Loudoun Racquet and Fitness's 6 indoor courts. The last final ended at 8:30 with Waterford Tournament habitués Mike Healy with Tracy Pohlum and Steve Solow with Muriel Hunt, the former over the latter team in 8.5. Doris and Scott Carpenter were the finalists in the 8.0 and Hans Hommels and Alice Music won the 6.5.

When you have an 32 court outdoor tournament on six indoor courts on a rainy day only the best players play and they all deserve and ECHOing round of applause.

Summer might start next week
May 21, 2003

The Greystone Community Pool has shown activity among the raindrops for the last few weeks. All the big fish in the little pool better check their swim suits for the coming summer season. If you want to be a big fish in a bigger pool the Lovettsville Dolphins Swim Team is now taking applications for the team. It is a great way to have fun and keep in shape at the same time. The applications are at the Lovettsville Community Center or Parks and Rec. in Leesburg.

In the interest of truth in journalism we must confess the plant exchange mentioned as having taken place last Saturday was rained out and it took place this Saturday as of 2 this Friday afternoon.

Daily papers in large cities seem to be in a constant state of crises. This has affected Waterford in the past two weeks as the half of the Sunday morning paper that arrives Saturday did not show up at all in half the village two Sundays ago. Then the morning paper was not showing up until the afternoon. A man that we suspect was working a string of 20-hour days was accomplishing this. Well, this week it started showing up again about four thirty in the morning. In the summer time when the living is easy and the windows are open the sound that starts our day is that of a series of "flops" as the newspapers hit the ground.

We have been reading about a New York Times reporter who has been accused of all sorts of things like not being where he said he was and reporting things gathered by others as his own. We can sympathize with but not condone with his actions. Now is the time for us to confess. We roam the world running up fabulous bills and expenses and concealing this by never submitting expense accounts. The information imparted in this column is plagiarized from others in the far corners of the universe and when that fails to provide enough we simply make something up. As for Waterford and all the people, plants, houses, dogs and cats and all this stuff we write about each week, as many of you may have long suspected because nothing could be so wonderful and so preposterous, they don't exist at all, as of 2 this Friday afternoon.

If you want us to plagiarize something for you send it in early because of summer starting next Monday, they don't exist at all, as of 2 next Thursday afternoon.

May May flowers keep blooming
May 14, 2003

Blooming May flowers this week around the Village reminds us of the people who planted them or are associated with them. The Wisteria hanging over The Richard Newman Memorial Bridge over the Tannery Branch on Main Street should be called the Mary Elizabeth Wallace heirloom wisteria. It covered her house that is being renovated, climbing all over the roof. The house was known as the vine-covered cottage and is now known as Wisteria House. Slips from this wisteria are blooming all around the village such as in front of Katoctin Creek house. Now slips from that wisteria have been transplanted and they should be called the Lucy MacCallum heirloom wisteria.

Once in a while you will see violets that have blue petals and gray petals on the same stem. Ruth Bentley said they were Confederate violets as they reminded us of the blue trousers and gray jackets worn by Confederate soldiers. By that reasoning the more numerous all blue violets should be Union violets. Thus Waterford has two varieties of Ruth Bentley heirloom violets, the Confederate and the Union. Ruth was originally from Alexandria you know.

Ruth also introduced miniature sedum to the village. She planted it up on the Big Hill and it eventually migrated all the way down to the Newman Bridge. Richard Newman was a world-class gardener and was responsible for the spread of many plants. For years he made fun of our puny attempts at raising vegetables until we became fed up by buying the plants, giving them to him and eating out of his garden all summer long. He gave us the Richard Newman heirloom lilac that blooms last in the dooryard. Slips from this were distributed at the Gardener's Club Plant and equipment exchange on the village green Saturday.

Marie Hilton raised Boxwood that still surrounds her house, Hillside, at the end of Main Street. She started many of her bushes from rooted cutting given to her by her next-door neighbor at Mill End, Albert White. Albert had tended formal gardens around the county. Some of his boxwood had come from Morven Park and Westmoreland Davis had imported it directly from Persia.

Plants are still being introduced to Waterford by the currant residents. Joan Thomas contributed to the spread of Copper Basil by planting some in her tree boxes in front of the Painted Rooster next to the Red Barn Alley. From there the basil spread to the doormat and then down Main Street probably on peoples shoes.

We have been propagating Hosta for years and exchanging it at the yearly plant exchange. The most desirable feature of this shade tolerant plant is its ability to crowd out weeds. This is known as a Hostal takeover.

Moo, moo, mooo, ma, MOOO, MAMA
May 7, 2003

And thus the prodigal calf was located on the far side of Catoctin Creek from its mama.
The drama is repeated every spring when calves wander away from their mother and end up separated by the creek. The first hint that this has happened is a series of plaintive moos coming from a panicked cow running along the bank. An equally plaintive ma from the opposite bank increases the frequency and volume of moos. Then follows a series of dashes along the banks until a slope gentle enough for the mother to get down to water level is found on the village side. This is the signal for the calf to jump into the water no matter what and swim to its mother. In the best of all worlds the cow and her calf then walk across the pasture to a spot far from the creek and resume their usual habit of munching grass and this week in Waterford is was the best of all possible worlds.

On Saturday, 10 May, a chance to make the world even better will be at the Waterford Gardener's Club plant and gardening equipment exchange at 10 am on the village green by the jail. Please label every thing with your name and the name of your plants. Also if perennial or annual and the height, width and other growing characteristics. This year is also a chance to swap other garden stuff. Please make arrangements for the return of the unswapable.

The Waterford Citizen's Association's printer cartridge collection program is still in effect. You can leave your old cartridges at the Waterford Market and they will also be collected at the Gardener's plant exchange.

Bits of wool blowing up Second Street indicated that fleecing was afoot at the Waterford Market. Linda Landreth reports that the girls out back gave up 27 fleeces and three lambs so far this spring. The lambs were somewhat of a surprise as no breeding program was undertaken. How these three lambs came about is only known by ewe and nobody else but ewe.

Waterford gang invites Arcola
April 30, 2003

Jack Shockey wrote "My family has lived in this county for over 60 years and we have never gotten an invite from this Waterford gang Maybe that is because we live in Arcola". This was in the reader opinion box on the Loudoun Times Mirror's web site in about letter to the editor " Waterford's status important for students" that was written by our Superintendent of schools last week.

We were horrified at the idea that such an injustice to Arcola could have gone on for so long and at the same time somewhat puzzled about what form the lack of invitation took and the reason. The invitations to join the Waterford Foundation, to come to the Fair, to attend the Waterford Concert Series, The George Bentley Lecture Series or even to attend the Waterford membership meeting Tuesday night contained nothing excluding Arcolan's. A quick check of the publications, Walk With Us Through Waterford Virginia and Share showed nothing that would eliminate the Arcolan's from the appeals to everyone else to participate in Waterford's activities.

The Waterford Citizen's Association has many activities that are the reasons for its existence and never was Arcola left out. But then none of these broad invitations to things Waterford specifically invite Arcola. We can only say to the citizen's of Arcola that we are sorry for this oversight. Acolan's please come to Waterford. The Fair is the first full weekend in October and all other activities are henceforth to specifically to include you. If you want to come at any other time just by yourselves or as an exclusive group of Arcolan's just let us know when and how many and how long you want to stay. It would be nice to know if you have any particular dietary requirements or preferences and what kind of sleeping arrangements you prefer if you are staying overnight and we will work things out. The reasons for excluding Arcola for at least the last 60 years are best forgotten and we hereby forgive everyone who now lives in Arcola.

Sad news, sad news, good news
April 23, 2003

The sad news is the loss of Carolyn Hunley and Ruth Shoaf last week. Carol was always a delight with her enthusiasm for all things old. We know that she was looking forward to coming back to Waterford from Alexandria. We are reminded of her cheerful presence every time we pass Trouble Enough Indeed.

The passing of Ruth Shoaf takes us further away from an era of post World War II Waterford when the children who are now our only natives were growing up. This gentle lady whose regime of swimming in the Greystone Pool should serve as an inspiration for us who are passed the need to swim just to be with our children. Her house will always be the landmark that tells us we are home.

The good news is a joy to the hearts of the Keating and Mercker families. Our step- and JoEllen's daughter Jan Schroeder and Christian Mercker, the son of Maureen and Albert Mercker of North Fork formerly of Waterford, announced their engagement at Oatland's Point to Point on Sunday. This was the result of a proposal made and accepted in the rose garden during the race for the Loudoun Times Mirror Cup. Jan, currently the wine attacheé for France in New York anticipates cellaring closer to Waterford. As the couple galloped along in the days since Oatland's, plans in the first turn indicate a Waterford Fair-time wedding this fall.

Last weeks village activity of note on Tuesday was the boring of cores on Second and Main Streets to determine the depth of the pavement. We looked at the location of these holes with great interest since we have long been a fan of holes in Waterford starting with the sewer trench in 1978. At least five of the test borings were over the sewer trench excavation so we must now have a pretty good idea of how thick the pavement is above the sewers. But then we have no idea how thick it is on the unexcavated part of the roadway.

The test borings where they were not over the sewer trench went down to the stream gravel from the creek that covered the streets before the county started raising them when we gave up our charter. Early photos indicate the streets on the lower part of Main Street two or more feet lower and of course four feet at the Tannery ford.

Ruth Bentley rides in a truck
April 16, 2003

Ruth Bentley got in the truck to go to work last Thursday. When you ride in a car pool with someone for years, if you are smart, you don't discuss politics, religion, bodily functions or personal opinions. In the years we carpooled with Ruth, that's all we discussed, or debated, or argued, or fought about. We never agreed about any thing.

Over the years the only time we never argued was when someone else was with us as what always worked out to be a temporary member of the car pool. We would both shift our attention to the details of that unfortunate victim. For example we once consumed between us an entire one-pound box of stale Mammy-Lou peanut brittle on a voyage from Maryland to Virginia on the Jubal Early because we both noticed our rider had been repairing his own dentures.

Ruth complained constantly. She complained about the carpool being unfair because we had bought several years Ferry passes when the ride was twenty five cents, and would not sell her any. She complained when we would hand the ferryman cold beer instead of the fare on a hot day yet she would pay full fare because handing out cold beer was not lady like and we wouldn't do it for her. She complained about the indignity of arriving at her office in a pick-up truck while we rode in a Lincoln. She complained about the way we, dressed, had our hair cut, shaved, neckties, shoes, coats, shirts, pants, smelled, didn't smell, ate, drank, talked, breathed, moved, or drove. Ruth had taught fifth grade and had written this column so she corrected everything we ever said or wrote. She even complained and tried to correct the way we looked and listened.

She never complained about the way we thought.

Waterford and everything connected with Waterford never had a more loyal or harder working supporter. Before a meeting with an important vote of any organization she was a member of, she would call the entire membership. Before the voter rolls got so huge in Catoctin District she would call the entire roll book before County, State and National elections. The day of an election she would call those who did not vote early. During the years that Ruth was our car pool member the best reason to go to work was the trip in and the trip home. Never did we have a better, more loyal friend and we have never met anyone who was more correct in what and why and the way she thought.

Ruth, we are home. Get out of the truck.

Spring fifty-five years late
April 9, 2003

Fifty-five years ago we were give a pen point, staff, bottle of ink and a piece of paper made out of wood chips. We were told to copy these words from the blackboard by someone wearing a wimple.
Spring, spring.
The birds are on the wing.
Absurd, absurd.
The wings are on the bird.
Better late than never.

We had three fat robins in the back yard. They are the first robins of spring. For years we thought that they just stayed but these must have been someplace that did not have snow cover for weeks on end By now you should have cleaned all the old nest out of your blue bird boxes as the scouts are here and they are starting to build. Look out for mice and snakes.

While you are looking out, there is a new batch of cows in the pasture along Catoctin Creek. They are just beginning to learn where the fence is down so watch out. Be especially watchful near the Tannery Branch, as that is one of their favorite escape routes.

And look out for your friends and neighbors along the road, as The Keep Loudoun Beautiful Spring Clean up is now under way. To join them call Vivian McDonnell at 882-9620. Vivian is our Waterford area leader. She can provide you special cleanup bags and inform you where full bags can be picked up. She will also let you know what stretches of roads need volunteers to cleanup trash.

As the Keep Loudoun Beautiful organization says:
Loudoun County's beauty is not simply in the eye of the beholder...It's in our hands as well.
As people who wear wimples habitually say, "Idle hands are the Devil's workshop". If your hands are idle start getting ready for the spring plant exchange -- Open to everyone, not just The Waterford Gardener's Club members. Saturday May 10 from 10:00 am till noon, on the Village Green (by the Jail). Plan now to save and share bulbs, seeds and/or plants from your garden.

To make it bigger and more fun, bring any surplus garden supplies you no longer use or have room for, to donate or sell -- tools, good pots, watering cans, whatever. Put your name on such goods, and do be prepared to take home whatever you bring that doesn't find a new home – we want the Village Green to be tidy again right after the sale.

Living in a desert dust storm
April 2, 2003

The reddish orange sand built up all winter; now that the roads are cleared, the trucks come and grind it to fine dust beneath their tires. Each truck, part of a seemingly endless convoy, swirls the dust roiling in the orange clouds seen behind trucks on PX pillows. This dust is now fine enough to swirl up as high as a two-story house. This dust coats the ancient houses and forms a yellow haze on the wrinkled glass of the windows. It works its way into the houses along side the road and turns every surface into a minute desert that redeposit its shifting dunes.

The natives have a hacking cough as the finer silt works its way further and further into the tiny recesses of the bronchia and their teeth grind together like minute millstones burred by the sandy grit. Their once colorful robes, becoming worn and threadbare by constant washings, are turning to monochrome rags. The rain comes and washes down the dust to a mud that defines the low spots as muddy puddles and then the desert blooms briefly with new green grass so bright it hurts your eyes until the dried blood mud dust covers it too.

This is not a highway to Baghdad but the streets Waterford suffering from the after effects VDOT's sanding all winter long. They bring it in with each layer of snow or ice but they never take it away.

Workman began dismantling the gazebo in the Griffith/Gover House Friday prior to restoration. They peeled back the old hot dipped tin roof and twisted off the awning supports. Fortunately hot dipped tin has become available again recently after its manufacture stopped in 1965. This remarkable material that was on the Gazebo roof was able to withstand 82 years of weather with no maintenance. The awnings held by the supports were part of one of the most dramatic summer scenes of Waterford when the awnings from the porch and gazebo shaded the yard under a cloud of canvas on a hot summer day.

All Waterford's children are exceptional has come to the fore in the results of last weeks Loudoun County Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Camilla Dulys-Nusbaum was the winner in the Mathematics category with her project "Math and Sloth" dealing with the mathematics of lawn-mowing efficiency. She also placed as alternate overall and was the recipient of first in the Revis Sproul Memorial Award presented by KLB (Keep Loudoun Beautiful). Aubrey Clendenin was first place winner in the Environmental Sciences category with her project "Impact of Soil Texture on Coliform Movement From Waste Media" on the effects biosolids on soil types found in Loudoun County. She also received third in the Revis Sproul Memorial Award presented by Keep Loudon Beautiful .

Landmark as bunkered as Baghdad
March 26, 2003

Just as Baghdad's dawn was shattered by the first missiles exploding in the leadership bunkers of Iraq the Waterford villagers were huddled at the Old School hearing from the Waterford Foundation that sometimes hard work and altruism or not enough to save the historic landmark.

In the dark days of World War II when the continued existence of the Old Waterford Mill was threatened the Waterford Foundation was formed. Now, when the continued existence of the village as the only landmark because of its intact setting is threatened, a similar response to one in the past was launched. The Waterford Foundation will be selling landmark preservation bonds just as our country sold War Bonds during World War II.

The Waterford Foundation celebrated the 60th anniversary of its founding during those war darkened days of 1943 this weekend with a 60's dance at the Old School. This event was the premier of this preservation bond drive with $100 and $250 denominations going on sale. The proceeds from these bonds will be used to purchase and preserve land in the National Historic landmark or to finance other measures to protect the Landmark.

Hopefully the good will of the thousands of people who have worked hundreds of thousands of hours over those 60 years can prevail in protecting one of America's treasures. The twin towers were a visible landmark that vanished because of the assault from a foreign terrorist who remains a threat. Who would have thought that a "foreign investor" would ever pose a similar threat to an American historic landmark?

Stand close to the razors edge
March 19, 2003

A straight razor was the usual method of committing suicide during most of Waterford's history but sometimes folks got innovative and resorted to things like diving down wells. This the type of information that can be gleaned from the sources listed as locally available for those who are interested in Waterford's history at the Waterford Foundation. They also have a photo collection filed by street and number and house files on every house in the village filed by street and number. These files contain the information that was gathered during the 30's as part of the HABS (Historic American Building Survey). Other sources are a CD containing 13,000 names associated with Waterford, folders on 600 families with folders on military, Quakers, education and the Underground Railroad. There are copies of census files from 1749 to 1930 for the village as well as books compiled by John Devine on marriages, deaths, births and lawsuits.

These were the type of things that were discussed at the organizational meeting of the Waterford Lyceum that was held at the Corner Store on Wednesday. Some other things discussed were too interesting to believe until we found out they were true. It is the intention of this group to be an informal monthly gathering of individuals who share an interest in history of the Waterford area and wish to share their knowledge and stories or who simply want to learn something about local lore. Each meeting will cover a different topic of discussion. Most likely, subsequent meetings will be in private residences. Come to the next meeting and share some of your history. For further information, you may email Cordelia Chamberlin at or Kimberly Jack at

Waterford Gardeners Club will meet at the Old School on Thursday 20 March at 7pm. Waterford's resident professional gardening guru, Mary Dudley, will share her expertise on designing and nurturing "Gardens in Pots".

If you have a pot attending this is a must.

VDOT has bade way to much time
March 13, 2003

Restoration of streets begins. Thursday night a meeting was conducted at the Old School by Kimley-Horn and associates with Dan Burden as facilitator to gather input from the community on the "Bury the Wires and tame the Traffic " project. The streets of Waterford have never been cow-paths that were later paved. They were part of the integral design to be clear well-drained paths of communication between the homes and businesses juxtaposed for mutual interest in the support of surrounding farms. More on the traffic study

With First Street being the first street coming to the early mill from Catoctin's water ford, Bond Street, First's extension, was built so the line of earlier houses were on the up hill side. Their foundations were banked into the hillside and the drainage from their roofs and domestic activities would run away from the roadbed and down the slope toward Tannery Branch.

The main road to the mill from the Quaker Meeting House and the upper water ford was designed with a different drainage pattern. Since it was on a steep slope becoming more gradual as it approached Tannery Branch the design was that the houses and businesses on either side would drain down the middle of the street. The Main Street water from the big hill would go into the drain that carried water from the spring at the top of Water Street. The water from the houses banked into the up-hill side on Main would go down the center of Main Street. To provide dry footpaths and to protect the houses from street traffic dressed curbstones were laid along both sides of Main Street from the intersection of Main and Water.

When greedy developers seized the amenities offered by the village shortly after the War of 1812 and established the later streets of Second and Factory, the relatively flat streets called for different considerations. The solution to street drainage was to crown the road and have ditches on both sides. The ditches would drain toward Beans Run at the cross streets of Church, Janney and Patrick. The streets coming down hill would drain down the center.

Given the type of vehicles in use at the time that these streets were built these designs worked wonderfully well. People generally walked and when goods had to be transported they went in two wheeled carts, later in four wheeled wagons and really heavy loads would be skidded on mud, ice or snow or rolled in hogsheads. The romanticism of the 18th and early 19th century does not usually take into account the fact that four wheel wagons did not exist in the Valley of Virginia, from whence Waterford was founded, until 1746 and the age of the horse peaked in 1920. More on early Waterford

Ox shoes are found here occasionally and almost any excavation turns up horseshoes in endless variety. Many of us have spoken with Emmet Jackson of Leesburg who remembered Oxcarts in Loudoun County and John Rollison of Waterford who would talk of driving a six-horse hitch. The early photos, some from the 1860's, of Waterford show broad dry flat streets lined with ornamental trees. The streets are shown with children playing and people standing about in their Sunday best. The houses are clean and well maintained and curbs and steps long buried go up to the front doors. In 1932, the success of the streets as part of the integral design came to an end.

VDOT has bade way to much time
March 5, 2003

Now will be a chance for the thousands of commuters who use the Main Street corridor to complain to VDOT about the insanity of having a one lane under engineered residential street in a National Historic Landmark as the principal part of an extensive road net serving so many thousands of homes. How long and at what cost can VDOT continue to waste money on an unsatisfactory traffic situation? The damage wrought to our homes, property and lives by the traffic must be eliminated. Now is the time for a bypass to be built. The need was 40 years ago and the decision to build it was made 30 years ago. Where is it? Tomorrow, Thursday, March 6th at 7:00 p.m. in the Old School auditorium the special meeting on bury the wires - tame the traffic project meeting will take place. This is one of two meeting in connection with the study. Hopefully representatives from VDOT will be present.

On the cover of the new 2003 Alexandria Drafting Companies' 2003 street map atlas of Loudoun County the grass is green, the sky is blue, the barn is red; you are looking past the stone wall through the space before the fence starts and across the field at the Bond Street Barn. This year's ADC map book of Loudoun was published last month and is the one that everyone uses to find people and places in the county among the 6000 new houses that are being built each year. Ironically the cover is a scene that has not changed in over a hundred years since the tannery closed. The cover shows that at least one place still exists where all could be right with the world. How much better it would be if we could build one house a year for six thousand years rather than build six thousand in one year.

Having an interest in portrayals of the war of North Loudoun we ventured down the county last week to see "Gods and Generals" in an attempt to review the film. After four hours of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, plagued by constant threats by the wife to desert, we were compelled to yield in that attempt.

Waterford loses its last Captain
February 26, 2003

The ship of Waterford was saddened last week with the death of Captain John W.
Davison. He and his family moved to Second Street in 1948 bringing to the village the perspective of a well-traveled navy family in the wake of World War II. We remember visiting the Davison household just before the house was sold in 1974 and seeing the marks on a doorpost recording the growth of at least a whole generation of Davisons. John was a member of the Waterford Foundation and for many years he and his family furnished a corps of volunteers for the Foundation and other village activities, especially at the Fair. His concern about the health, safety and welfare of the village manifested itself in his leadership as a member and as President of the Waterford Citizens' Association. It was during his watch that the funding and impetus for the Waterford Sewer system was implemented. After retiring from a distinguished career in the navy he taught at Loudoun County High School and at Loudoun Valley High School, the schools that Waterford's students attended. With his family we mourn his passing but with the appreciation and gratitude that those of us in the village are foremost among those who live much better lives due to his efforts

Like the rest of Loudoun, Waterfordians spent the last week taking turns digging each other out of the snow. Successfully getting a car loose was a matter of timing. To soon and there was no place to return to as the open place would be plowed shut and to late was after a Matterhorn mountain of snow had been pushed fore and aft of your car. VDOT plows were vigorous in creating a white walled one-way alpine autobahn, sides armored with chunks of cars, all the way from the Mill to Clarkes Gap Road. It was paved with enough sand for those of us at the bottom of Main Street to create several large asparagus beds from the terminal moraine.

Being walled up in the house with school out not only brings about visions of boiling moccasins but can also be a preconditioning experience for the Growing Stage's presentation of The Diary of Anne Frank Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Harmony Intermediate School in Hamilton. The El-Shafey mother and daughter team will be featured in this play that will make you thankful that you have been only trapped inside because of the snow. Call 540-338-5367 for times and tickets.

Waterford sees spring shadow
February 20, 2003

In the bitter cold night before Valentines Day the Gardeners' Club of Waterford met and heard a presentation from Tree and Leaf CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members at the Old School foretelling of the joys of summer. Tree and Leaf has been providing locally grown sustainable produce to its shareholders and provides a direct connection between the Grower and the consumer. Husband and wife team of Zachariah Lester and Georgia O'Neal along with Zach's brother and sister John Mark Power and Elizabeth Bracey spoke about the advantages of CSA, especially how it puts a face on the farmer for the community. This is somewhat redundant as far as the Alice and Jim Power family is concerned as they all have been and continue to be such an active presence in the community for so long and as alumni of Waterford Elementary School they continue to prove all Waterford children are exceptional. If you missed the meeting and want information on Tree and Leaf CSA you can call 540-270-9300 or e-mail

Another harbinger of spring in the village along with the swimsuit edition of the LL Bean catalog is a planned trip to the Philadelphia Flower show on 5 March. If you are interested call us at 540-882-3217.

Docents are still needed to help guide Waterford walking tours to visitors. This is an opportunity to learn all you want to learn about Waterford. Call 540-882-3918. As a docent you will be given a script that contains basic information about Waterford. You will also have the opportunity to Tour the village and hear the talks given by researchers and residents who provide further information that can be used to answerer questions that may be asked. You can also learn all you don't want to know if you like. Some of us are thinking of developing a walking tour that caters to this approach. For example we found out at the docents meeting that Sam Gover's mother hanged herself at our house. Now we have to find out how and why. Life may have been harder in the 1820's than the 2000's.

High-camp and high-tech meet
February 13, 2003

" Bedlam and Breakfast", bound to be a cult favorite DVD, premiered Saturday evening to a packed house as the crème de la crème of Waterford society hobnobbed with the distaff half of Alexandria's royalty and the first nighters from the Northern Virginias Dinner Theater corps while nibbling on wings and cheese and sipping Chablis. Carolyn Taylor, the location director whose historic Hall House was used for dinning scenes, arranged reservations for Waterfordians, always seeking new adventures in culture closer than Cannes, to attend the production at the West End Dinner Theater in Alexandria. The landmark endeavor years in the making by the West End artistic community was lensed in Waterford using a combination of the Old School and historic homes to form the setting for the mystery drama.

The acting talent of Janet Jewel was a cameo in one of the street scenes and Linda Landreth provided the catering for the production's cast and crew. The cast and crew were very appreciative to Waterfordians, especially those in the audience. One of the starlets who began a journey toward motherhood when the picture was here in production even named the resulting daughter Elizabeth Waterford in appreciation. One of the crew spoke glowingly of the excitement generated by working under the painting of a very large rooster in the historic Hall House. The historic William Williams House across Second Street was used as the entrance hall to the fictional B&B, the Jacob Mendenhall house was used for the living room and the John Brayden house for just about every other room and cellar.

One of Tom Edmonds's classic Studabakers was featured and the historic shed at Market Hill was essential to the plot. This shed has shared heavily in the history of Waterford since soldiers used it for a dwelling during the war in North Loudoun. Norman Weatherholts recovered a grill, a soldier's belt buckle and some bullets from the floor when he was renovating it years ago.

We can hope for a sequel, perhaps "Bedlam and Brunch."

The Preservation Society of Loudoun County's annual membership meeting and Valentine party this Sunday at 3 pm 16 Feb will be at The National Audubon Naturalist Society Rust Sanctuary in Leesburg. This is a chance to join the 30-year-old organization that works to preserve all those things that make Loudoun such a special place to live. You can park at C.S. Monroe Vo-Tech for shuttle.

Waterford contribution dissed
January 29, 2003

Waterford contribution dissedIt seems strange that opposition to the placement of a statue of Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad in Richmond would come from a delegate from Loudoun whose northern part around Waterford contributed the only organized body of troops from the entire south to fight for the preservation of The Union. During that war not only were the brave cavalrymen of the Loudoun Rangers killed and wounded in the fortunes of war that effects all combatants but they had to live in fear of retributions that were constantly being exacted on their families and having their property routinely confiscated by the illegal government in Richmond that was in rebellion against our constitutional government.

The citizen's of North Loudoun, of which Waterford is the center, lived in constant fear not only these thefts and confiscations but of imprisonment for their beliefs even though these were the tenants of a long established religion. Waterford from its inception has served as refuge for all Virginians, especially black Virginians who enjoyed the benefits of freedom in a state that condoned slavery. The actions taken by Waterfordians and the Loudoun Rangers instead of being lauded served to cause our village to be constantly bypassed by benefits flowing from Richmond until well into the 20th century. Perhaps the opposition to the Lincoln statue by one of Loudoun's, but not Waterford's district delegate, show that, with the limitations imposed by the Dillon Rule, we are still suffering today.

Richmond of all places needs the reminder that the unjust conditions, before the sacrifices made by Waterford and the Loudoun Rangers prevailed, are long gone. Freedom, "With malice toward none; with charity for all." is now enjoyed by all Virginians.

We would hope that all, not just some, of our representatives in Richmond would rise nobly to efforts to memorialize great ideals and not sink by association with beady eyed small minded bigots steadfastly holding to long defeated injustices.

The wind between the spheres
January 22, 2003

As the icy wind blasted Waterford Heights this week we passed the other Waterford Heights, the one in South Carolina that was suffering in the grips of seventy degree breezes. We arrived inTitusville Florida in time to stake out a vantage point to watch the space shuttle launch across the Indian River at Cape Canaveral. This is part of an ongoing project to bring news of things that Waterford does not now have, such as space flight centers.

The closest Waterford came to being a space flight center was in the very early 1980's when Jim Ratcliffe introduced model rocketry to the village in one of those historic firsts that often go unrecorded, until now. The operation involved the construction of model rockets about 18 inches long that were propelled spaceward buy one of a series of engines labeled A, B or C. Each was supposedly twice as powerful as it proceeding letter in thrust. The first launch from the launch pad, a block of wood with about a yard of coathanger size wire pointing skyward behind the Ratcliff's house, was suitably dramatic. A backward count from ten, several times until the connection to the batteries was firmed up, produced several anti-climaxes and one climax.

A prolonged hiss split the air and the minature rocket shot skyward. As it hit its apex it rolled over and a dot of red that was the unfurled parachute appeared. It stayed unfurled and trailed the white tube all the way down until it hit the ground about 50 feet from the launch pad. It did not seem damaged and was immediately reengined with the red parachute more carefully packed and launched again. The second launch replicated the first except this time the parachute deployed and the wind carried the descending spacecraft toward the intersection of High Street and Factory. It was never seen again.

Driven by success, construction was begun on several subsequent vehicles. The launches continued for several days with long pauses caused by waiting for the delivery of engines, when finally the ultimate in raw power, the mighty C engine was launched. On what was to be the final launch from the unmanned space flight center at Cape Catoctin Creek the Ratcliff Mark III space vehicle screamed toward the outer realms of space until it was a mere dot in the clear blue sky, and then it too was never seen again.

Their builders still think of it, drifting cold and alone on an eternal voyage throughout the universe where the wind between the spheres cut it like a knife.

Bye Paeonian hello Beacon Hill
January 15, 2003

The ridge to the east of Waterford, a boundary for eons geologically and almost as long politically, culturally, architecturally and even climatologically lost its educational boundary status last week when the school board voted to include Beacon Hill in Waterford Elementary School District and exiled Paeonian Springs to Hamilton Elementary School District. This action completes the separation of Paeonian Springs. The last political precinct redistricting moved that part of Paeonian south of Route 9 into Blue Ridge District with Waterford remaining in Catoctin District whose school board members must be relieved because "they" don't vote here anymore.

Buttons DeHart, a small curly black dog who lives on Waterford Heights has his own door with his own set of little stone steps. The steps are so he does not have to make an awkward jump to get up to the door that lets him to come and go through the mudroom with out bothering the other DeHarts. Buttons is not the only Waterford pet to have his own door. He is, however the only pet, so far, to have his own steps; another historic first. Billy, Neil Keller's cat has his own cat door built into the side of the kitchen wing of his house. Billy is a black and white Sylvester type silvestri. He usually approaches the door from the west, as that is where all the good stuff is. Good stuff for a cat is the mice and rats that eat the fruit that have fallen from the trees and the squirrels living in his neighbor's attic.

Approaching from the west creates a problem for Billy. A drain pipe sticks out just enough so that when he jumps to the narrow to the narrow stone ledge in front of his door his face is to the east of the door. He cannot see the door right beside him because a batten in the siding blocks his view. He then moves forward and looks at each inter-batten inter-stice until he knows he is to far from the door. He jumps down and turns around and this time jumps up to the door. He is jumping from the east and no drainpipe blocks his jump. He always hits the door from this direction. Billy has a relative, a basset hound named Darryl who visits. Darryl does not have a doggie door and can't jump up to Billy's. No one knows about Darryl's other brother Darryl's door.

New Years bonfires light ways
January 8, 2003

Several bonfires glowed around the historic village to enable the baby 2003 to find us New Years Eve. The tuxedoes and tails accompanying gowned beautiful women swirled around Waterford past the past traditional sites of celebration, Greystone, Talbot and Hunley to newer traditions at The Old School, past a bonfiery Echo Hill and up to the heights of Waterford Heights with the highest bonfire in North Loudoun.

The lights of Loudoun Valley have become much more numerous and glow from an area that was in darkness twenty years ago. Now a view over the valley at New Years reminds one of the view Samuel Pepys saw upon the leads, looking over the Thames Valley, counting the bonfires that signaled approval or disapproval of government action. Formal wear was so de rigueur that one bonfire builder, clad lumberjack style in jeans, plaids and boots, slipped into a closet and emerged white tied, tailed and dancing pumped ready to party.

Bye Paeonian hello Beacon Hill
January 15, 2003

The ridge to the east of Waterford, a boundary for eons geologically and almost as long politically, culturally, architecturally and even climatologically lost its educational boundary status last week when the school board voted to include Beacon Hill in Waterford Elementary School District and exiled Paeonian Springs to Hamilton Elementary School District. This action completes the separation of Paeonian Springs. The last political precinct redistricting moved that part of Paeonian south of Route 9 into Blue Ridge District with Waterford remaining in Catoctin District whose school board members must be relieved because "they" don't vote here anymore.

Buttons DeHart, a small curly black dog who lives on Waterford Heights has his own door with his own set of little stone steps. The steps are so he does not have to make an awkward jump to get up to the door that lets him to come and go through the mudroom with out bothering the other DeHarts. Buttons is not the only Waterford pet to have his own door. He is, however the only pet, so far, to have his own steps; another historic first. Billy, Neil Keller's cat has his own cat door built into the side of the kitchen wing of his house. Billy is a black and white Sylvester type silvestri. He usually approaches the door from the west, as that is where all the good stuff is. Good stuff for a cat is the mice and rats that eat the fruit that have fallen from the trees and the squirrels living in his neighbor's attic.

Approaching from the west creates a problem for Billy. A drain pipe sticks out just enough so that when he jumps to the narrow to the narrow stone ledge in front of his door his face is to the east of the door. He cannot see the door right beside him because a batten in the siding blocks his view. He then moves forward and looks at each inter-batten inter-stice until he knows he is to far from the door. He jumps down and turns around and this time jumps up to the door. He is jumping from the east and no drainpipe blocks his jump. He always hits the door from this direction. Billy has a relative, a basset hound named Darryl who visits. Darryl does not have a doggie door and can't jump up to Billy's. No one knows about Darryl's other brother Darryl's door.



 Top of page




Download the free web browser you can trust
Faster and safer than Internet Explorer

- 03/21/2005 © 2023