More than 1,400 students are expected at Orange County High School when the school year begins later this month, according to the top story in the Aug. 19, 1971, Orange County Review. The 1971-72 school year will begin Aug. 30. This week’s other lead story on the front page announces the Orange County Chamber of Commerce effort to “spur economic development,” by creating a $100,000 development fund backed by local subscribers. The $100,000 would be used to purchase a site and construct a general purpose building to attract an employer to the county. Chamber leaders took the action following extended concerns over the level of productivity at the American Silk Mills facility and the community’s inability to attract another department store to Orange. Orange Volunteer Firefighters took first place in the six-man ladder competition at the state convention in Hampton. The winning team is comprised of Brent Sprinkel, Junior Fox, Robert Colvin, Tom Bennett, John Dawson and Grover Dean. Walker Carpenter is the coach. Inside this week’s issue, the paper reports “Somerset,” the 1803 estate built for President James Madison’s sister, Sarah Catlett Madison, was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Donald Gingery of Montgomery County, Md. The selling price of the 1,080 farm and manor house—designed by U.S. Capitol architect Dr. William Thornton—was not disclosed, though a recent sales brochure listed the property at $675,000. Mr. Gingery heads a Maryland construction company and is a developer of shopping centers and suburban communities in northern Virginia and Maryland. This week’s issue includes a number of back-to-school ads, including one from the local Sears Catalog store that says, “First to Sears and then to school.” The lets customers know “all the great buys from the Sears catalog are as near as your phone. Just call, we’ll do the shopping, saving you time for more enjoyable activities.” The local Sears catalog store is operated by Bob and Joyce Showalter on Grasty Street in Orange. With the new school year about to begin, the Review met with Dean Dr. Randall Edwards at Germanna Community College as the Locust Grove school prepared to wrap up its first full year of operation. Dr. Edwards is a graduate of Orange County High School and following his education at the Virginia Tech returned to Orange County and is Germanna’s dean of instruction. The school enrolled 426 students last year, and 33 recent OCHS graduates have enrolled this fall. Citizen advisory committee member James N. Cortada said, “It is amazing how fast the school was organized in only one year and I predict great things for the college in the future.” This week’s picture is an announcement from the Orange County School Board about book sales and school supply fees.
It happened, but not recently: Aug. 19, 1971