Mendota Rising

There’s something different in the air in Mendota this fall.  For some reason, people are becoming optimistic that our little community is revitalizing.    I thought about this today and wondered out loud to Mike whether this was wishful thinking on my part or was it reality?   Perhaps you and I together can find the answer.

It started, believe it or not, with our Mendota Cemetery Quilt sale.  We sold $2100 in tickets for our quilt.   For a large community, this might not be significant, but for Mendota…a community without even a store, this is impressive.   Was it just a pretty quilt?

Mendota Cemetery Quilt 2014 2

And there are other signs.   Literally.  Do you see two signs in the photograph below of “sprouts” of vitality in Mendota?    If you did, you missed one.

Three Signs

Gary Barker retired from the Washington County School System and opened a garage in Mendota.  The Kiser family operates a successful organic farm in Mendota.  The third “sign” is that corn in the background — that belongs to River Gate Farm — one of Southwest Virginia’s largest dairy farms located right here in Mendota.


Then…as I climbed back in the truck….interruption here to say I love Luckie and she and I roll in a truck!

Luckie in the Truck

Back to whatever I was talking about.….I looked over at Gordon Barker Jr.’s  farm and saw….more!    I recalled two years ago when Mike, Marc, Mary and the boys and I drove across Clinch Mountain to a pumpkin stand and tiny farm maze.  I asked the owner “where did you get your pumpkins?”   He replied “Gordon Barker, Jr. in Mendota, Virginia.”


Here’s some awesome news…I’m going to the doctor next week, and I’m riding my bicycle to get there.    HMG has reopened the Mendota Medical Clinic (pictured below).  The days are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  The phone number is 276.645.6710, and the beloved Dr. Andy Brockmyre is our doctor.     Great medical care right here in Mendota.   He bikes to work…we might just bike beside each other on the day of my appointment!



Katie had her store open last Saturday.  She’s percolatin’

Katie's Store

She had some cute pillow slip dresses and a stack of stuffed punkin’s…

Pix 2 Pumpkins

Here’s the dresses made with antique pillow cases…nice.

Pix 3 Pillowcase dress

There’s several folks that operate businesses from their homes….

Gray Guy

I know of three men in the valley who make beautiful jewelry.  Tom Ilowiecki made this bracelet.  It sells for $35.


Like a little table with barn siding?   Mike makes those.   Personal note:   are you happy Pat Statzer?  This is for you!!!   


So there’s all sorts of bits of optimism!  So…another thought for Mendota.   We could have our own Quilt Trail.   The Timmons’  barn has one, and look what is going to go up soon at RiverCliff Cottage!    Are there more to follow?

Sawblade Quilt Square

Next spring is going to be fun for Mike and me.  We are working to have our property on the North Fork of the Holston work for us.  There’s a business plan, there’s lots to learn and there’s a lot of work, and we’re still in the “almost decided for sure phase” of what we want to do.  I’ll share it with you as each step becomes concrete.   But I can tell you, we’ll be down at the shop often enough to make sure my flowers get watered.

Shop Window Box

In the meantime….we are keeping it all in perspective.  One step at a time.

I love Mendota




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  1. I want a Mendota button. Where did you get yours? Mendota is booming, yeah!!

  2. Linda Salyer says:

    Can’t wait to learn more about your new adventure.

  3. Millie Falls says:

    Great post, Eva!

    Every time I read one of your posts, I ask myself why it is that you–and most of our generation–have such a complete grasp of correct grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure, but so many of the students that come to me in the 11th grade can’t write a complete sentence, much less a correct one. To what would you attribute your ability to write and use grammar and mechanics so well? Being drilled on each aspect for years in school? Being an avid reader? I want our school systems to get back to whatever it is we have dropped in educating our children. In moving away from the basics, we have left them handicapped in a way that has been detrimental to society.

    • Millie…oh my goodness..I look at my posts and see all kinds of errors, because blogging is more like talking and less like writing! However, you are right — we do know how to be grammatically correct when we need to. For me, it was Miss Rhoda Craig at John Battle. She was my shorthand teacher but was a stickler for grammar. I was too immature to reach out to her and let her know what a gift she had given me. By the time I realized how much this would have meant to her, she was gone.

      On another note, and this is specific to where I live, you would be impressed with what our homeschoolers are reading.

  4. Dottie Millard Dye says:

    Thanks Eva,I always enjoy your blog, I love Mendota, always have and can’t wait until I can be a small part of it again.. Hope to see you again in a couple of weeks..

    • Hey…this is so strange. I dreamed about you last night (before I saw this). I’m not sure what the dream was about but I remember your being in it. Call me when you get in…we’ll go down to the Family Bakery or somewhere for lunch.

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