Dedicated to maintaining the pride and spirit of Ceres


Year 2005 December Edition No. 4


This newsletter is sponsored by James B. "Jimbo" Muncy, Jr., of Richmond, VA. Jimbo, who is an active member of the Association and strong supporter of our fund-raising efforts, encourages other members to be a newsletter sponsor.

Thanks Jimbo! As a result of his sponsorship no Association funds are being used to print and mail this newsletter. If you or your company would like to sponsor the next Association newsletter, contact any officer or Board member.


This is my last newsletter as your President. I have enjoyed working with you and for you. I like to think that much has been accomplished with the hard work of many members.

Appreciation is expressed to all who have helped on our many work and fund raising projects. I hope you will give your new President, Archie Atwell, the same support.

Let me know if I can be of assistance to any of you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Betty C. Hubble, President



The fifth annual Ceres Homecoming on October 15, 2005 was well attended and enjoyed by all. The day started with registration and a chance for guests to tour the buildings on the former Ceres school campus and visit with old friends. At 1:00 PM a delicious and bountiful catered meal was served to 132 guests.

On display was a painting by Pat Neel Turner of the former Sharon Springs College. Pat was kind enough to tell the group about the college’s history. The college was located in Ceres on what is now the Barger Farm on West Blue Grass Trail and was operational in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Henry Blessing, Sharon District representative on the Bland County Board of Supervisors, presented to the Ceres Alumni Association with a beautifully framed resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors on September 27, 2005. He commended the Association members for their work to improve the community and County. This surprise presentation was much appreciated.

B. J. Boothe, 2005-2006 State Future Farmers of America (FFA) Secretary, spoke to the group. Her talk was of special interest since the Association founded and operates the Henry C. Groseclose FFA and Agriculture Museum on the former school grounds. B. J. has Ceres ties. She is the granddaughter of Bonnie Crabtree Boothe who grew up in Ceres.

Twenty-one members and local citizens whose deaths were reported to the Association since the last Homecoming were remembered.

During the business meeting the following Association officers were elected for 2006: President – Archie B. Atwell, Vice President – Wade Hall, Recording Secretary – Judy Cassell, Membership Secretary – Becky N. Kimberlin, Treasurer – Robert I. "Buddie" Waddle. The Association’s Board of Directors for the period through 2006 are Betty Hubble, past President, Donna Compton, George H. Peery, Jr,, and Jonan Cassell. Directors through 2007 are Anne Britton and William Hubble. Evelyn H. Holmes and J. W. Cassell were elected to serve the three-year term through 2008. The Association Endowment Fund Directors are G. H. Peery, III and James Wilson for a term through 2006, Vincent Groseclose and Larry Waddell for a term through 2007 and Dean Kirk and Jerry Thompson were elected for a 3-year term through 2008.

A much anticipated event of the day was the drawing of the winning tickets in the annual raffle. Thirty-three raffle prizes were awarded to: Gloria Blevins of Chilhowie, Dan and Sheri Dodson of Springfield, Evelyn H. Groseclose of Ceres, Marie C. Groseclose of Bland, Ann Spence of Saltville, Norma Repass of Roanoke, Pam Coffman of Ceres, Crockett Morris of Waverly, Martha Newman of Roanoke, William Hubble of Ceres, Jacob Repass of Roanoke, Pam Bray of Speedwell, Clay Hubble of Ceres, Sloan Cain of Ceres, Barbara Goins of Wytheville, Donna Akers of Bastian, Louise Hall of Bland, David Kirby of Salem, Patricia Williams of Frederick, MD, Gladys Deaton of Suffolk, James B. Muncy;, Jr. of Richmond, Norma Haun of Bland, Amy Ingram of Blacksburg, Priscilla Hubble of Chilhowie, Judy Hannah of Bremo Bluff, Anna Tate of Bland, B. W. Bowman of Tazewell, Carl Russell of Marion, Sarah Bryan of Palatka, FL, Grace T. Garrett of Leslie, GA, and Emily Hill of Bland. Linda Davis of Bland won the prize for selling the most raffle tickets. She sold $250 worth of tickets. Twenty-six door prizes were given to those attending the Homecoming.

Appreciation was expressed to all the donors of the raffle gifts and door prizes, especially to Bill and Doris Woodward for providing apples for all the dinner guests and the baskets of apples that were given as door prizes. The following businesses and individuals donated prizes: Ceres Alumni Assoc., P. Buckley Moss Foundation and custom framing by Farmers Daughter, Muncy Associated Management Service, Inc., Fowlkes Machine Co., Inc., R. P. Johnson, Inc., Marion Tractor Supply, Becky Kimberlin, Pat Turner, Crabtree and Pruett Sewing, Bill and Betty Hubble, J. W. and Judy Cassell, Buddie and Lorree Waddle, Kenneth Bruce and Rita Repass, Jacob and Norma Repass, Ellen Wildgoose. Della Mae Neel, First1VA Bank, Nelson and Diane Tibbs, Arten and Jonan Repass, George and Anne Peery, Claude and Frankie Davis, Evelyn H. Groseclose, Rosie and Clifton Warden and Peeples. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans provided a special matching grant for the raffle.


Sluss Massacre Play Performed Again

More than 125 people, including direct descendants of the Sluss Family, Wayne and Mary Sluss from Tazewell, attended the play, "Daffodils to Remember," which was performed on the stage at the Ceres Community Center on Friday, October 14, 2005. This play, written by Mindi Bowers, made its debut at this off-Broadway site last year. This season, some changes were made to the original script including new dialogue, set designs, and props. The play depicts the massacre of the Sluss Family by Shawnee Indians that occurred in Fincastle County (now Bland County) near the present village of Ceres on property presently owned by Kim (Crabtree) and Ben Dillow. The exact date of the massacre is uncertain, but most historians believed that it probably occurred in 1774 or 1778. All of the Sluss Family were killed with the exception of six-month old Baby Mary, who was asleep under the bed in the cabin; Marion, a young lad, who escaped to the fort; and two older daughters who had stayed at the fort.

This year’s talented cast consisted of the following individuals: Brian, Duncan, Martin, and Robin Bowers, Jim Britton, Josh and Pam Coffman, Bill Crabtree, B. J. Dillow, Frieda, Lorin, and Thomas Hanshew, Joyce Keen, Kacey Lyles, Ashley Mustard, Ashley Neel, David Peery, Allyson and Isaac Repass. Some of the actors did double duty by playing more than one role. Other persons working hard behind the scenes included: Lorree Waddle, co-director and writer of the play’s added scenes; Joyce Keen, who co-directed the play and at the last moment stepped in to take the starring role of Grandma Polly; Kirby Keen, who constructed the sets and helped with moving the props on and off the stage; Buddie Waddle, who helped in constructing the sets and who ran the spotlights; Pat Turner, who painted the original backdrop for the play and who this year provided another set – the fort scene – and who also assisted with the make-up of the actors, particularly the Indians; Ann Pruett who also assisted with the make-up for the cast; Robin Repass, who was the stage manager and stepped in and did everything that no one else have the time or talent to do; Donna Lyles, who was the assistant stage manager; Sloan Cain, who was the sound technician; B. J. Dillow, who operated the curtains and the stage lights; Jennifer and Lorin Hanshew, who allowed their four-month son, Thomas, to star as Baby Mary, and Frieda Hanshew, who dressed her grandson Thomas in the christening gown belonging to his great grandmother, Lettie Bruce Repass.

The Ceres Alumni Association and its members hosted the play and provided refreshments for the cast and audience immediately following the performance. The Ceres Ruritan Club generously allowed the cast the use of the Ceres Community Center for rehearsals, set constructions, and the performance.

The play was provided free of charge to the public as a thank you for the community’s help and support in renovating the buildings on the old school property at Ceres. Judging from the attendance and applause, the play was a successful venture.



John Heiss, (husband of Velma Edwards)

Judy Edwards Baxley

T. E. Mallory



Thanks to those who helped move the memorabilia in the shop area of the museum. The interior walls have now been repainted in the original colors.


$120,000 Federal Appropriation

We hope to have more details by the end of February on the certainty of receiving this funding. We still understand the funding is to be over a 5- year period and require a 20% match. Governor Warner’s proposed Budget Bill contains a request for the matching funds. We hope the Virginia General Assembly will look kindly on this request. Thank you, Governor Warner.


Quarterly Membership Meeting

Jan. 21, 2:00 PM

Quarterly Membership Meeting and VERY Special Program (details later)

April 8, probably 2:00 PM

Flea Market and Yard Sale

May 5 (noon – 8:00 PM) and

May 6, (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)

Vendor setup Friday morning. Vendor inf. - call 682-4587

Spaghetti supper for Relay for Life

Sometime in May

Picnic and Membership Meeting

July 15, 1:00 PM

Ceres Homecoming

October 21, time to be announced

Kitchen Shower

A list of items needed for the kitchen will be made available at a later date.

Date & time to be announced