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Now that’s entertainment: ‘Everybody would get drunk, fight, and run their horses around town’

 In the early 1900s there were few opportunities for organized social entertainment. People spent time playing baseball, riding horses, buggy riding and sleigh riding in winter. Dances were popular. The whole upstairs of the Washington School could be converted to a dance hall, and dances also took place on the second floor of Thornton’s Garage. The expansive upper space in Thornton’s building evolved into the town’s first community entertainment and recreational center. Over time, there was a barroom, poolhall, poker and cardroom, dance hall, basketball court and a theater to show movies. 

The venue also saw the birthplace of basketball in Rappahannock County in the early 1920s. Both boys and girls teams played there until the gymnasium was constructed at the Ashington High School. Poker playing was a major social event for men in Washington. One favorite spot was called Buzzard’s Roost, above the butcher shop across

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