By Cesca Waterfield

Today’s paper is the second I’ve worked on as Editor of the Westmoreland News. I am delighted to join this unique publication and put my efforts to work on behalf of Westmoreland County.

I’ve recently spent many hours in the office of our sister publication, the Northern Neck News. In its original production space sits a printing press from the 19th century, a wide roll of paper still threaded in its cylinders.

I can’t pass its heavy iron frame without thinking about the thousands of stories and news items that have rolled from its press over the past 133 years, to be read in homes and businesses throughout the Northern Neck.

I’m fortunate to have copies of the wedding announcement of my great-grandparents, Flora Virginia Hall and James Bradford Lowery, that appeared in the Northern Neck News in 1909.

I treasure letters to Santa written by my kin as children in 1904 that include requests for “gum boots and a rifle” and “a big doll and a carriage to ride her in” published in a section that featured letters from young people throughout the area. These clippings from the Northern Neck News have made long-gone family more tangible for me than even the few photographs carefully stored at home.

But more than indulging my sentimental nature, these mementos also underscore the privilege I feel to work at the Westmoreland News, and they remind me of the importance of community newspapers in general, and this family of publications in particular.

Clearly, news reporting has changed since 1948 when the Westmoreland News was founded. Yet we maintain our vision as a publication focused on a rural community that is vast in land, and rich in resources and people. We will highlight the people who bring the county to light as much as Westmoreland County itself.

And as news reporting grows increasingly collaborative, we invite you to participate in “Your News,” a section of that allows users to submit stories and photos for online publication with the possibility of having them published in the Westmoreland News.

We hope to expand the breadth of our offerings and add more multimedia content to our site.

We would like to feature more opinion pieces.

As always, we welcome your story suggestions and your insights.

I look forward to meeting and working with you in the months ahead.

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