Brownsburg Update Newsletter

Brownsburg Update: November 23, 2020

Calendar Pick-Up

To those of you who ordered 2021 Brownsburg Calendars, don’t forget to pick them up at Wade’s Mill.  If you neglected to order a calendar or need an additional one or two, there are a limited number available for purchase (cash or check only) at Wade’s Mill, Thursday-Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Calendar sales support the all-volunteer Brownsburg Museum.

The Swinging Bridge Is Lit!

For the fourth year, Ed and Lucy Hayes have strung holiday lights on the swinging bridge behind the Post Office in Rockbridge Baths.  Since Ed is an arborist, he has access to tree trimming equipment which might make this effort a little bit easier!  The lights will be on from 5:30 to 10:30 every night until January 6, and Ed and Lucy encourage you to come do a drive-by.  Lucy says it’s magical – especially on clear nights in the moon glow.  Here’s a picture Lucy shared of the bridge and its reflection in the Maury River.  Thanks, Ed and Lucy! 

General Stores – Then and Now

by Vern Lochausen

The Brownsburg Museum’s General Store is a wonderful step back in time. I recall going with my Grandfather to the general store that was also the feed store in Brea, California when it was a rural farm community in the 50s. The Museum has all the authentic items I recall, a potpourri of merchandise, artfully displayed just as it would be back in the day. 

The COVID outbreak and its restrictions caused us to explore alternatives to the Lexington-Staunton groceries. I called the Middlebrook Mercantile in April to see what they could offer, just 9 miles from our home.  They delivered fresh local milk and eggs that very afternoon.  And so we discovered the modern version of the “general store.” Delivery really isn’t in their business plan but McKession Irvine kindly offered in consideration of the early COVID period uncertainty and she left them on the porch and picked up the cash envelope I set out.

Now Middlebrook Mercantile or “The Merc” is a regular on a par with our frequent stops at Frank’s in Fairfield.  Not as expansive a line as in olden times, The Merc is just right for today. They have just about everything that you might have just run out of, including paper products, wine and beer, ice cream or even motor oil. For us the BEST part is the homecooked lunches, very reasonably priced and served quickly or even to go. Your lunch is served with a smile and friendly conversation. You can take in her antiques, consignment items, and general store line of candy, fresh cookies, and so much more.  An array of sandwiches, burgers, casseroles, soups, salads, and pizza, with daily specials are available. McKession and her mother-in-law Janice make it all. AND be sure to ask for homemade desserts from the Middlebrook kitchen of McKession’s Mom, Katy Quick. All of these delights await you there.  Bring home those local eggs, milk, meats, jams, chips, and a tea or soda for the drive back home. And if you haven’t gone north on Brownsburg Turnpike from our community, don’t delay….the views all the way to Middlebrook are awesome. Open 10 to 3, Tuesday through Saturday, The Merc is there for YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The BCA Board is very, very grateful for all of you folks who do so much to make Brownsburg a wonderful place to live.  Although there may be less travel this year and smaller gatherings, we have much to be thankful for!  May your turkey be tender and moist, may your Zoom and Facetime gatherings bring joy and laughter, may your mask not fog up your glasses, and may we all pause for a minute or two to realize how fortunate we are to live where we do.  Happy Thanksgiving!


Brownsburg Update: November 11, 2020

Post Office – Use It Or Lose It!!!

This is your annual reminder to use our Post Office!  The Brownsburg Post Office is so small, it’s always in jeopardy of closure.  Several years ago, it was on the USPS list of post offices being considered for closure.  Losing our Post Office would be a big blow to our community as it serves not only as a convenient place to do our mailing, but also as a (pre- and post-Covid) community site for socializing, sharing news, and warming by the fire in the winter.  The USPS evaluates post offices for closure based on local post office revenue.  The holiday season is approaching, and you’ll probably be sending lots of greeting cards and gift packages.  Buy your stamps and mail your packages at the Brownsburg Post Office!  You’ll be doing your part to help make sure our Post Office doesn’t wind up on a list of post offices scheduled for closure.

Pierre Daura Exhibit

From now through March 7, 2021, the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke is hosting an exhibit titled “From Spain to Virginia: The Art and Times of Pierre Daura.”  The exhibit curator’s notes state, “Catalan-American artist Pierre Daura (1896-1976) was born in Spain and enjoyed a successful career that spanned several decades and countries. Through more than 30 paintings and watercolors, visitors will be able to experience Daura’s unique and rich artistry: landscapes that capture his native Spain and adopted France and Virginia, still lifes that echo those of French artist Paul Cézanne and portraits of family and friends. The exhibition highlights the Taubman’s extensive holdings of Daura’s work and includes several loans from southern museums and private collections.”  Pierre Daura met his wife, Louise Blair of Richmond while she was studying art in Paris.  Louise became ill in 1939, and the Dauras made an emergency medical trip to Virginia. World War II prevented their return to Europe until after the war. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1943, and at various periods, they lived in several different residences in Rockbridge County.  Their last residence was the contemporary house beside the springs at Rockbridge Baths where the Dauras lived until their deaths.  Both are buried in the Bethesda Presbyterian Church cemetery.  Daura painted a number of landscapes of the Rockbridge Baths area, and some of our neighbors proudly display artworks that he gave them. The Taubman Museum is open from 10-5 on Friday and Saturday and 12-5 on Sunday. Admission is free.

Fun Fall Weekend!

After all the rain predicted for the next couple of days, the weekend sounds like the weather will be perfect for getting out to visit some of our local businesses.  The North Rockbridge Fall Harvest Trail on October 17 was such a success, it’s going to happen again this weekend (Saturday, November 14), and once more on December 5.  So why not get out, drive around to enjoy the beautiful scenery; support local small businesses in northern Rockbridge County; and have an enjoyable day while being socially distant.  Opening hours vary by business, and each business will have a little something special for you.  Here’s a link to the flyer: North Rockbridge Autumn Trail with a convenient chart that provides the business hours for both November 14 and December 5. Go and have a great day!

Thank You, Veterans!


Brownsburg Update: November 2, 2020