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April 15, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Store part of Goldvein legacy

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I saw the store was falling into disrepair,” Susan Leopold says. “It was tragic.”
I think we are pretty fortunate for all of our land in conservation easements. I think we will see local agriculture continue to grow. I think Californians will start flocking here for the breweries and wineries. I’ve traveled all over the world, and every time I come back, I think how lucky we are to still have intact plants, forests and clean water. I hope Fauquier County takes development into consideration. We don’t want Marshall to become Manassas.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Childhood memories of Goldvein helped revive her grandfather’s store in the southernmost tip of Fauquier.

Susan Leopold several months ago got inspired to restore the Goldvein General Store, which needed work.

“I saw the store was falling into disrepair. It was tragic to see that happening,” Ms. Leopold recalled. “As a child I would always come here to spend time with my grandparents. I wanted to revive it. I just didn’t want this place to fall over and see it developed or be turned into another McDonald’s.”

Her grandfather, H.P. “Pat” Monroe, for 50 years operated the Goldvein General Store, right across Route 17 from Monroe Park, for which he and wife Thelma donated the land.

Ms. Leopold describes the reopening of the store as her contribution to the local economy.

One of the few Fauquier businesses close to the Stafford County line, the convenience store stocks the basics: milk, bread, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, beer, gasoline, cigarettes, snacks, diapers and coffee.

She and business partner Katie Newton hope to feature more local food and artisan items in the future. With community support and input, they plan to open phase two of the store, with a kitchen for food service, in a few months.

With a doctorate in ethno botany, the study of relationships between plants and people, Ms. Leopold’s career focuses on native plant conservation.

She lives on a northern Fauquier farm where she raises goats and serves as the executive director of United Plant Savers. Ms. Leopold has written a children’s book to share her love of botany with younger generations.

She believes preserving land, plants and agricultural-based communities will save the county’s beautiful landscapes.

“I’ve traveled all over the world and every time I come back, I think how lucky we are to still have intact plants, forests and clean water,” said Ms. Leopold, a Markham resident.

The Goldvein General Store is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

• Age
40

• Home

Markham

• Work

Co-leases the Goldvein General Store with Katie Newton. The store re-opened in January. Executive director of United Plant Savers, 2011 to present. Worked as librarian at Oak Spring Garden Library Foundation on Rachel Lambert Mellon’s estate near Upperville for 10 years, 2001 to 2011.


• Why do you do the job?

I was working on renovating my grandmother’s house in Goldvein, and I saw the store was falling into disrepair. It was tragic to see that happening. I love history and I love Fauquier County. My grandfather was a very community-oriented person and he owned the store. As a child, I would always come here to spend time with my grandparents. So I decided to bring the store back to life.

I was hoping it could serve the community. I wanted to revive it. I just didn’t want this place to fall over and see it developed or be turned into another McDonald’s. My grandparents, H.P. and Thelma Monroe, owned the store and the land across the street. He donated the land to the county because he thought the southern end of the county needed a park.

The building was originally an old schoolhouse but served as a store and post office when her grandfather took over.

My grandfather was the Goldvein postmaster for 50 years. He would go to Richmond to buy food to stock the store.

• Family
Mother, Jacki, and father, Charles; aunt, Shelby Monroe Hadeler; three children.

• Education
Doctorate in ethno botany from Antioch University New England, 2011; master’s degree in landscape, The Conway School of Landscape Design, 1998; bachelors in ethno botany, Long Island University, 1996.

• Organizations
Board member of Botanical Dimensions and the Center for Sustainable Economy.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 1999.

• Why do you live here?
I love the mountains. Fauquier County has a tremendous amount of land protected. It’s amazing to live in the northern end. I can look east and see nothing except mountains. Fauquier County has proven in the long run that land preservation is worth it for our economy.

• How do you describe this county?
Fauquier County still has a historical landscape and that’s one of the things that make it so beautiful. We need to do things to protect it. Do we really want more Walmarts and Taco Bells to define us? Fauquier County is a mix of the wealthy with large farms, commuter homesteads and ethnic pockets.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I really hope we can keep business balanced with farming in Fauquier County. If we lose farmers, we lose landscapes. We need to figure out how to support a small, valued, locally-based county. We don’t want another cookie-cutter county, where everyone commutes to D.C. We need to cultivate the farm-based economy.

• What do you do for fun?
Collect books and climb trees.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Mrs. Mellon’s library and gardens (Oak Spring) was a pretty amazing spot.
Leeds Manor Road is one of my favorite roads in the county for the scenery.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think we are pretty fortunate for all of our land in conservation easements. I think we will see local agriculture continue to grow. I think Californians will start flocking here for the breweries and wineries. I’ve traveled all over the world, and every time I come back, I think how lucky we are to still have intact plants, forests and clean water. I hope Fauquier County takes development into consideration. We don’t want Marshall to become Manassas. I’m grateful for the PEC (Piedmont Environmental Council).

• Favorite TV show?
“Shameless”

• Favorite movie?
“The Man from Snowy River”

• Favorite book?
“The Healing Forest” by Richard Schultes

• Favorite vacation spot?
Costa Rica

• Favorite food?
My grandma’s corn pudding.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
My favorite lyrics from the song “Freewill” by Rush: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

And: “To see a flower takes time like to have a friend takes time.” — Georgia O’Keeffe

• Who’s your hero and why?
I dedicated my children’s book to Marion Lobstein for teaching children botany. I think if young people don’t learn about plants, they won’t appreciate them.

Also, my grandfather H.P. Monroe, who taught me how to drive on his lap down Route 17 when I was around 8 years old and picked roses to adorn dresses and shirts on Sunday morning from his rose garden. He, as many will describe, was a pillar to his community. He helped everyone around him as best he could, but more than anything he was a big dreamer and always encouraged and inspired me to follow my dreams. His brother Flip, who was a postmaster as well, were both deeply influential in my life and instilled a deep love for local history in me.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Invest it in an herbal medicine co-op project. Educate people about local plants to heal the landscape and heal people. And I would build a magical tree house.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• County native Maggi MacQuilliam devoted to the great outdoors.

• Health care for the needy Rob Marino’s mission.

• Daphne Latimore focuses on human capital.

• Horses extend Louise Summers’ work as teacher.

• As volunteer coach, Jeff Budd develops young wrestlers.


• Fraces Allshouse’s jobs focus on preservation.

• Jessica Smolinski’s book introduces children to Old Town Warrenton.

• Margaret Rice’s job all about fitness and fun in Warrenton.


• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.


• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.


• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.


• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.


• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.


• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton


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Rex · April 17, 2015 at 8:50 am
A Dollar General store is being built at the corner of Courtneys Corner Road and Route 17. Did the BoS consider the impact of that Dollar General store when they were reviewing the request for rezoning?
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