Fluvanna Review

Day campThe Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation Department has a number of summer camp programs. The Equus Springs Farm Day Camp is one of them. Two week-long camps are offered for anyone from age 8 to adults. The first camp was held in June and the second will be held July 24-28. July 21 is the last day to register. These are full-day camps that run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drop-off is allowed as early as 7:30 a.m. and pick-up is allowed until 4:30 p.m. Equus Springs Farm is located on Ruritan Lake Road in the Scottsville area of Fluvanna. Heather Antonacci, who owns the farm, is the instructor.

The idea of the camp is to give the participants somewhat of a full immersion experience in what is involved in running a working horse farm. The parks and recreation brochure says, “Participants will be actively involved in the daily routine of running a horse farm; learning by doing and getting dirty.” This statement is in bold lettering in the brochure, so they want people to know that the farm day camp is not just an academic endeavor. The program is designed to show participants what it is really like to own and care for a horse. Add a comment

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Dakota Rigsby may be getting a post office named in his honor.

Less than a month after Rigsby, 19, died in an accident aboard the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan, Representative Tom Garrett (R-5th District) has introduced House Resolution 3183 to designate “the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 13683 James Madison Highway in Palmyra, Va., as the ‘U.S. Navy Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby Post Office.’”

There are more than 31,000 post offices in the United States and the vast majority of them are unnamed. Bills to dedicate them in honor of notable local residents have mushroomed in recent years. According the Congressional Research Service, at least 20 percent of all public laws passed by Congress are naming bills. 

The process, while simple, can take several months to complete. Garrett’s bill has already been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Once approved by the committee, it will be sent to the House for a simple voice or roll call vote before heading to the Senate, where it will likely pass by unanimous consent.

The local post office will later dedicate a small place somewhere in the lobby saying the building had been named after Rigsby by an act of Congress.

Garrett has also submitted a bill to name a post office on the University of Virginia (U.Va.) campus in honor of Captain Humayun Khan, the U.Va. alumnus who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The congressman’s office said in a press release that both the Rigsby and Khan families approved the bills.

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Charles PayneWhen we think of Fluvanna history, we think of people like “Texas” Jack Omohundro, the Timberlakes, and other notables who designed buildings, fought in battle and blazed trails. Few ever mention those who came after, growing up in humble beginnings in rural Fluvanna. They were trailblazers of a different kind, who made sacrifices, withstood trials and faced obstacles. A woman named Chris was one of those people who is rarely talked about, but who made a significant impact in the lives of those who knew her.

In his book titled Chris, Charles Payne talks about Chris and her unique journey through life as a single mother and a woman who made it in a male-dominated world when it was difficult to do so.

“Chris was an extraordinary woman – a product of the Great Depression who had unflagging determination to improve her life and a can-do attitude,” said Payne. This inspired him to write her story.

The book opens around 1910. Payne sets the scene with the innovations, economy and society of that time, and the marriage of Chris’ parents in 1911. Chris was related to the Perkins and Morris families in Fluvanna.
Payne would not give too much away about his story, including Chris’ last name, where in Fluvanna she lived, or his relationship to her, but he did say the family suffered many hardships during the Depression.

“Chris had several siblings and during those years they suffered life-shattering losses and deprivation. They lost everything they had, forever altering the paths of their lives, and death stalked them,” said Payne. “Remember also, in World War II women did many men’s jobs. Chris was tall, slender, pretty, outgoing and kind hearted, but she was also fiercely tenacious and brighter than she or anyone else realized until her accomplishments began to be noticed.” Add a comment

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Frances HillFrancis Hill, 92, sat outside on her swing waiting for me to arrive.

She is bright and full of life. In spite of having to use a cane because she can’t trust her left knee not to give out, she looks far younger than her age. She and her husband live with their grandson in Bremo Bluff.

How long have you lived in Fluvanna?
All my life. I was born here. I started school at [age] 7. West Bottom. I had to walk three miles every day rain or shine. My grandma wouldn’t let me stay at home. My grandma raised me. I never knew my mother. She died when I was a baby. My father’s mother raised me. My father’s name is George Armstrong. My mother’s name was Margaret.

Tell me about your family.
I had 11 children; six boys and five girls…I didn’t go to the hospital for any of them. Miss Murry Scott was my midwife. My husband, Bennie Hill, Sr., worked at Farmington Country Club. I don’t know what he did there. At one time I think he worked construction. My kids live all over. Some in New Jersey. Some in Atlanta.  One lives in Short Pump.
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Pool design finalized

Lake Monticello General Manager Catherine Neelley told the Board of Directors at a budget work session Thursday (Nov. 2) that the pool will be functional through the 2018 season.
“We’re going to make it another year, no problem,” she said to the visible relief of some members.

Finance Director Dabney Wallford told the directors that the pool lost less water than in the previous year, in part due to the contractor sealing cracks, and that the pool manager kept the chemical levels balanced despite ongoing problems with the filtration system.

Cracks and the failing plumbing system were the chief reasons the Board called for replacement of the 41-year-old pool earlier this year.
The process has not been without controversy.

While initial estimates of the replacement were around $750,000, the Board eventually decided to request $900,000 to fund the project. Residents approved a funding plan that will take $436,000 from the Emergency Reserve Account and $463,600 from the membership in the form of a one-time special dues assessment of $100 per household.

Voters had to make this decision without knowing what any proposed new pool would look like or where it would be located. Directors initially believed it would be more cost-effective to build on a new site, either adjacent to the existing pool or near the golf course. In September they announced it would be built on the current site. Add a comment

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