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Hurricane camille

A Legacy of Giving

Largely forgotten elsewhere, the devestation wrought by Hurricane Camille on the night of August 19-20th, 1969 remains a vivid memory for most in Nelson County who lived through it. Often referred to locally as The Flood, the rainfall in excess of 30 inches which fell in just a few hours unleashed torrents of water and collapsing hillsides. Whole towns and communities were swept away, and an estimated 126 people died or were never found in Nelson County, including the first President of our club, Carl Raines. The Davis Creek and Massies Mill areas accounted for the majority of deaths.

The assistance of Mennonites who caravanned over the mountains the very next afternoon from neighboring Rockbridge and Augusta counties is still remembered and honored to this day. But recent research in our Club's records by David Hight documents another outpouring of support: that from other Ruritan clubs in Virginia and neighboring states. Massies Mill Ruritan Club received in the months of September and October roughly $6000 in cash donations from 44 Ruritan clubs, along with an additional $550 from churches and individuals. (Adjusted for inflation, this would be something over $40,000 today.) With this, 106 persons or families were provided with money, groceries, clothes, and/or tools to assist in putting their lives back together.

Memories and appreciation of this support have prompted our Club to make donations in a similar spirit to other clubs in devestated areas, including two clubs in tornado-hit communities in Virginia in April 2011.

Although our records may not be complete, we have compiled the following list of those clubs that supported the post-Camille recovery process through their donations to our Club. The list is based on the date received.

Donating Clubs

Cumberland Ruritan Club Grassfield Ruritan Club
Short Pump Ruritan Club Great Bridge Ruritan Club
New Kent Ruritan Club Hickory Ruritan Club
New London Ruritan Club Wallacaton Ruritan Club
New London RC Ladies Elephant Forks Ruritan Club
Climax Ruritan Club Bergton Ruritan Club
Forest Hill Ruritan Club Larrsville Ruritan Club
Woodrow Wilson District Liberty Springs Ruritan Club
Bethlehem Ruritan Club Somanton Ruritan Club
Sharon Ruritan Club Eastover-Wilbay Ruritan Club
Joyner-Gray-Yale Ruritan Club Windsor Ruritan Club
Driver Ruritan Club Cypress Ruritan Club
Smithfield Ruritan Club Newsoms Ruritan Club
Boswell Ruritan Club Holland Ruritan Club
Wakefield Ruritan Club Courtland Ruritan Club
Spout Spring Ruritan Club Dendrun Ruritan Club
Forks of the River Ruritan Club Prince George Ruritan Club
Ivor Ruritan Club Isle of Wight Ruritan Club
Hunterdale Ruritan Club Central Chesterfield Ruritan Club
Charles City Ruritan Club Broadway-Timberville Ruritan Club
Creeds Ruritan Club CE&H Ruritan Club
Deep Creek Ruritan Club Bastian Ruritan Club





Next membership meeting: The Massies Mill Ruritan Club meets the first Tuesday of each month. Prospective members are invited. Gather at 6:30, dinner meeting at 7 pm.

.Massies Mill Ruritan Club is now on Facebook! Click here to access our Facebook page (no log in required). If you are a Facebook user and "like" our page, you will get regular updates in your newsfeed, including announcements of newly-scheduled dances!