A weekend stay last month at the Blackburn Inn in Staunton, Va., gave my wife Juli and me an appreciation for a freedom we usually take for granted — the ability to come and go as we please.
After checking in, we were free to leave the premises to stroll around Staunton’s bustling downtown and enjoy an hour of virtuoso performances at a Bach festival. Later, after dinner in the hotel’s bistro, we returned downtown to enjoy some local brews.
This freedom to leave the grounds was something that thousands of people who had once inhabited the historic hotel and neighboring buildings did not enjoy.
Many Americans are aware that George Washington lived at Mount Vernon, near Alexandria, Va., a historic site where they can walk in the footsteps of our nation’s foremost founding father, Revolutionary War hero and first president.
What’s less well-known is that Washington grew up 40 miles south of there, at what is now called Ferry Farm, near Fredericksburg, and the site — the setting for such mythical events as chopping down his father’s cherry tree and throwing a coin across a river — can be visited as well. Both locations provide a fascinating window into Washington’s life. And this year, both have something new to offer visitors.
The thought occurs to me as I’m led down the long, gloomy corridors of the building known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, which housed thousands of patients over its 130-year history as a hospital for people with mental illnesses and disabilities.”
Town officials announced late last year that the course is under contract to CalAtlantic, a land- development company that plans to build 27 homes there and donate most of the remaining property to the town. Since the sale’s announcement, scores of residents have shown up at town council meetings and other community gatherings to object to the plan.
A standing-room-only crowd packed the council chambers as residents who live near the golf course implored the council to acquire it and keep it as open space. More than 100 people filled the room after learning that the property is for sale, and that it is zoned for commercial and residential development.
Over the past few weeks, Douglass School has taken the lead in a relief effort to help students in a Florida community that was devastated by Hurricane Irma last month. The project has given the students an opportunity to look past their own struggles, imagine what it would be like to lose everything and consider what they can do to help.
The Loudoun Board of Supervisors will not seek authority from the Virginia General Assembly in January to move or remove a statue of a Confederate soldier that stands in front of the county courthouse.
On Wednesday, the supervisors narrowly defeated a motion by Board Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) to request that the General Assembly amend state law to give the county discretion over the bronze statue, which was erected in 1908. Under state law, Virginia localities are not permitted to “disturb or interfere with” war memorials.
Breaux Vineyards opened the spring wine-tasting season this year with a supply of 2,000 high-end crystal wineglasses manufactured by Riedel. The popular winery in western Loudoun County has only about 200 of them left.
One of the luncheon guests used to work in the White House. One taught African American children in a segregated school. One had been a fighter pilot. One grew up on a cotton farm.
Although the 15 people who gathered for lunch in Broadlands on Aug. 25 had diverse life stories, they also had a few things in common. All had volunteered their services to help others in the past year, and all were at least 90 years old.