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November 15, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Huge Disney theme park planned

1993: The winningest football coach in FHS history, John Chmara addresses the team before his last game on Nov. 12.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of November 19, 1993

Disney’s America planned near Haymarket

The Walt Disney Co. last Thursday announced its plan to built a history theme park on 3,000 acres, just across the Prince William County line near Haymarket.

“Disney’s America” would attract as many as 30,000 tourists a day, starting in the summer of 1998, according to officials of the California-based company. The park would depict nine historic periods, from 1600 to 1945.

North of Interstate 66 and west of Route 15, the park would include nine major “thrill rides” and a 150-room hotel. It would create 3,000 permanent jobs and contribute $1.5 billion in tax revenue to Prince William and the state over 30 years.

Gov. L. Douglas Wilder (D) and Gov.-elect George Allen ( R) expressed strong support for the plan at a Nov. 11 press conference in Manassas.

Local reaction has ranged from glee to outrage, with Fauquier residents expressing hope for economic growth and concern about desecrating the countryside.

5-screen movie theater planned

Fauquier’s 19-1/2-year effort to lure a movie theater operator may end soon.

The managers of a Warrenton shopping center say they have a signed contingent lease with an operator who plans to open a five-screen theater by April.

“It’s gonna be great,” said Jeffrey G. Weaver, vice president of Gates Hudson & Associates in Fairfax, which manages the Warrenton Towne Centre on Frost Avenue (Route 211).

Warrenton Amusements Inc. would lease 13,000 square feet of the former Ames department store for the theaters, according to Weaver.

The center’s owners and the movie theater operator would share the cost of renovating the space, he added. “It will be a five-plex . . . . The retrofitting of the Ames is going to be a major expense.”

Kmart files plan for huge new store

Kmart made it official. The nation’s second largest retailer has filed plans to build Fauquier County’s biggest store next year.

Kmart’s Cleveland-based architect has drawn blueprints for a 120,391-square-foot building with 517 parking spaces at the east end of the Warrenton Village Shopping Center on Lee Highway.

The Warrenton Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the retailer’s application for a variance of setback requirements to erect the huge building on 8.8 acres. The variance would allow the Kmart to abut existing Warrenton Village stores.

The new store would open by September 1994.

1,500 attend Fauquier Veterans Memorial dedication

The impressive ceremony ended with God Bless America, a 21-gun salute and finally Taps at sundown on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

More than 1,500 people gathered on Hospital Hill to dedicate the memorial honoring 158 Fauquier citizens who have died in military service since World War I.

“This memorial is dedicated to the sons and daughters of Fauquier County who served their country in the United States Armed Forces,” reads the simple inscription at the base of a 70-foot flagpole.

Former Orlean resident David Gerrish Sr. in March 1988 proposed building the Fauquier Veterans Memorial.

Gerrish returned last Thursday to help dedicate the $150,000 memorial of stone and bronze. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown, U.S. Sens. John Warner and Charles Robb, landscape architects Meade Palmer and Carol Blair, sculptor Jay Hall Carpenter and Lindy Hall, wife of late sculptor Frederick Hart, also spoke.

Chmara era ends at Fauquier High School

John Chmara’s final football season at Fauquier ended the way it began: with a loss.

Potomac defeated the Falcons, 22-8, Friday night, ending Fauquier’s 1-9 season.

But, in Chmara’s eight years at FHS, his teams won three consecutive regional titles at the Group AAA level and posted a cumulative record of 57-34.

The Bluefield, W.Va., native plans to retire after 37 years and 387 games. His teams won six state titles in West Virginia.


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