Letters to The Editor – January 9th, 2019
Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2019
On secrecy and bullying
Editor, Smithfield times
I would like to thank John Edwards for “setting the record straight” in the Short Rows section of the Smithfield Times the week of Dec. 19.
It is past time for the Smithfield Town Council to work for the people in open meetings. There have been too many closed-door sessions. This latest attack on Denise Tynes is inexcusable; Mayor Williams should have stopped Randy Pack’s attack on Mrs. Tynes. If Carter Williams did not know the law and allowed the attack, then Town Attorney Bill Riddick should have stepped in to halt the attack. Since all three of these men did not know the law, I suggest that all three resign their positions effective immediately. We need council persons who want to work together for the people of Smithfield, not stab a fellow council member in the back.
Except for the three new council persons and Mrs. Tynes, this Town Council will not work to save our history. Mrs. Tynes has tried to follow the historic ordinances but has been bullied, as witnessed at the December council meeting. The Wombwell house is owned by the town, and should be protected, yet the Town Council wants to allow the fire department to burn it for practice.
Also, the Pierceville house, a 1730 Dutch Colonial, sits in disrepair because the town will not insist that the owners fulfill their mandated responsibility. We need people on the Town Council who will follow the town ordinances. If council had worked as hard to preserve these historic houses as they have worked not to save them, we would have two more showplaces to add to our list of historic homes in Smithfield.
Editor, Smithfield Times
Concerning your Short Rows article on Terrascoe Neck: Terra in Latin means land, so Terra’s Coe could be Land’s Cove of Cove of Land. That interpretation supported by the protection given boats and ships by Ragged Islands, Ragged Island Creek, Batten Bay, Chuckatuck Creek and Brewer’s Creek. Or, Terrascoe Neck could be land of wine. That is terra ascus or terra asco combined — ascos meaning wine skin. That interpretation is supported by Isle of Wight being the number one county in Virginia in wine production in 1810. Jefferson recorded in his notebook that he ordered grapevines from Isle of Wight.
Tobacco exhausted the soil in two or three years, giving rise to pasture land and orchards, hence wine production. The first mention of Terrascoe Neck appears in 1656, confirming a second generation naming of this neck between Brewer’s Creek and Ragged Island Creek, consistent with pastures and orchards.
Isle of Wight’s first church within the county’s modern boundaries was in Terrascoe Neck at Founder’s Point. This church, called the Then Church in 1638, has been mistakenly assumed to be in the vicinity of the old St. Luke’s Church site in the past, while old St. Luke’s was being constructed.