Newsletter October 2019



October-December, 2019 Edition

As this E-Magazine edition is about to be published, there are still swimmers and boaters in our beautiful lake as families make the most of a season that is about to disappear. As Summer folds into Fall, the lake and its surroundings assume a new color palette. The leaves work their color magic and the trees turn into artistic sculptures, and an afternoon nap followed by a drink on the dock have never been better.

The residents of Leesville Lake include a diverse group of delightful people who hail from all over the United States and bring a vast amount of talent to our lake communities. Resident professions and career experience include: business owners; gardeners; government workers; attorneys; scientists; production workers; plumbers and electricians; homemakers; realtors; MDs and PHds; engineers, I.T. experts; educators; musicians; artists; a landscape architect, a recording artist/storyteller, and more.

Leesville Lake is surrounded by Pittsylvania, Bedford and Campbell counties. Resident communities include: Runaway Bay (Lynch Station); Eagle Pointe Shores (Gretna); Heron Landing (Gretna); Playcation Retreat (Gretna); Brumfield (Pittsville), and Sunset Bay (Gretna).

This quarterly digital Emagazine,“Living the Dream at Leesville Lake” is published by the Leesville Lake Association and offers an update of current events, activities and lifestyle at Leesville Lake. 

Leesville Lake Members can expect to find the latest edition in their Email in-boxes at the beginning of each quarter: January-March; April-June; July-September; and October-December.
  Inside This Issue:
  • A Message from Dave Rives, LLA President: “And in the Blink of an Eye, Summer’s Over”
  • The October 12, 2019 General Membership Meeting
  • 2019-2020 Leesville Lake Calendar of Events
  • Two Wonderful Leesville Lake Marinas: Tri-County Marina, Camp Ground and Grill & Leesville Lake Marina, Pool and Grill
  • Learn what the LLA Does & How You can Become a Member
  • LLA Treasurer’s Report from Mary Loiselle
  • Water Quality Committee Report from Chair, Tony Capuco
  • Debris Committee Report from Debris Committee Members, Jim and Wanda Riccione
  • Navigation Committee Report from Chair, Joe Humphrey
  • Safety Committee Report from Chair, Gerry Caprario
  • Beautification Day Committee Report from Chair, Dannie Smith
  • Consider Becoming the New LLA Membership Committee Chair
  • Complete List of 2019-2020 LLA Board of Directors & Chair
  • Featured LLA Board Member: Dave Waterman, Communications Chair
  • Photo Submissions Requested for the 2020 Leesville Lake Calendar
  • LLA Website Archives: LLA Meeting Minutes & LLA Newsletters
  • Thank you to Leesville Lake Service-Provider Members
  • A Note From the LLA EMagazine Editor, Randy Weiss: “A Neighborhood Walk Straight Into History”
This EMagazine is brought to you by:
The Leesville Lake Association
P.O. Box 68, Altavista, VA 24517


Photo: These photos tell a story of Summer transitioning into Fall

Note: If you have any difficulty viewing content or photos, please click on “view this Email on your browser” located at the very top of this EMagazine

                       A Message from Dave Rives, LLA President:
                      “And in the Blink of an Eye…Summer’s Over” 

And in the blink of an eye … summer’s over.  Seems like just yesterday we were pulling out the kayaks and lake toys to kick off another summer season.  Now the kids are back in school and there’s a crispness to the morning air, some days.  

From a recreation perspective there were no reported accidents on the lake over the summer. That’s great news and an indicator of which we should all be very proud.  We have a great resource here and it seems that there were more boats on the water this year over last.  This has to remain our number one goal/value as an organization, to make sure everyone enjoys the lake, safely.  Many thanks to the Water Safety & Education Committee for all you do with classes and inspections.

The remoteness and undeveloped nature of our lake is one of it’s greatest attributes. It’s one of the key features that brought Pam and I here. That uniqueness also increases the chance of woody debris entering the lake. By working in collaboration with AEP, the efforts of the Debris Committee are paying great dividends. The cleanliness and therefore the safety on the water is showing steady progress.

Despite rain events impacting the original Beautification Day and the overall debris discharge into the lake from many sources, record amounts of debris were removed. By the printing of this newsletter, another Beautification Day will have taken place on September 21st.  It’s great to have a team with so many dedicated members.

The quality of the water continues to show positive and safe results, based in no small part due to the work of the Water Quality Committee and their monitoring and reporting on the lake and the Pigg River. Three new hazard buoys have been installed by the Navigation Committee marking shoals that are shallow during low lake levels.  So, safety isn’t just about the number of accidents, in fact that’s a lagging indicator.  Safety is all about the proactive work that goes into making our lake special.

On July 13, 2019 we held the Leesville Lake Association Annual Meeting.  Some 60+ folks attended and I think it was an enjoyable and educational event.  For the 2019-2020 fiscal year the members approved the budget, elected Directors, heard updates on the Bylaws and from all committees. Good conversation and fellowship, supplemented by BBQ with all the fixin’s. Many thanks to Leesville Lake Marina for hosting the event.

Our next Membership Meeting is scheduled for October 12, 2019 at the Altavista Train Station at 10:30 am.  Our scheduled speakers are: Mr. Ben Farmer, Pittsylvania County Supervisor and Mr. Matt Rowe, Pittsylvania County Economic Development.  See more about this below.

On a personal note, Pam and I once again enjoyed another summer here in our retirement.  During August we held the third annual “Camp Leesville Lake” for our four grandsons, ages 3 to 9. Between swimming, fishing, tubing, hiking, crafts and good food, we never had to rock anyone to sleep, including us.  It’s wonderful for families to have a place like this lake to enjoy.  We are all blessed.

      Until next time, enjoy the lake and stay safe.
       Dave Rives


Photo: The Rives family enjoying
“Camp Leesville Lake”

                    The October 12, 2019 General Membership Meeting

An Invitation to All Leesville Lake Members and Prospective Members

The Leesville Lake Association is dedicated to providing pertinent information to our lake communities. The General Membership Meetings offer an informative and engaging way of bringing members together to socialize and to learn a bit more on how government leaders affect our respective communities. 

When: October 12, 2019

Time:   10:30 AM

Where: The Altavista Train Station (adjacent to the Staunton River Library Parking Lot in Altavista)

Guest Speaker(s): Mr. Ben Farmer, Pittsylvania County Supervisor and Mr. Matt Rowe, Pittyslvania County Economic Development.

RSVP: At the conclusion of the meeting, somewhere around 12:00, we will have a pizza social.  Please plan on staying to enjoy lunch and mingle with your fellow LLA members. RSVP at so we know how much food to order.

                                                        Why This Meeting is Important

The Leesville Lake Association is a member of TLAC (Tri-County Lake Administrative). You may be familiar with TLAC because it is one of the places where we report lake debris and they in turn, monitor AEP’s response to these reports along with handling many other important functions. TLAC is managed by the County Supervisors from 4 counties: Pittsylvania, Campbell, Bedford and Franklin.

It is essential that we, as LLA members and lake property owners understand how the Supervisors of the three counties that border on Leesville Lake (Pittslyvania, Campbell and Bedford) understand and view the issues of our lake, including economic development.

As the Pittsylvania County Supervisor, Ben Farmer has input into one of our lake communities. While his focus is on Pittsylvania, his duties and responsibilities are similar to those of the Campbell and Bedford County Supervisors and hence, his talk is relevant to all residents/users of Leesville Lake.

The purpose of this important meeting reflects LLA’s mission in creating and ensuring strong and enduring relationships with all of the County Supervisors as well as for individual citizens to learn what the Supervisors have to offer and how to connect with them.

From and About Ben Farmer

“Leesville Lake has an unmatched God-Given beauty that creates a peace and calmness to those who experience it.”- Ben Farmer

At the Leesville Lake General Membership meeting, I will be speaking on the beauty and simplicity of Leesville Lake.

My Bio
Married to Kate Blair Farmer
Father to Charlie (6) and Helen Katherine (4)
Employed at Moore’s Electrical and Mechanical in Altavista
Civic Work:
Town of Gretna Council 2012-2016
Pittsylvania Board of Supervisors (Callands-Gretna District) 2018-Present
I serve on the Following Committees:

  • Finance
  • Personnel
  • Legislative (Chair)
  • Solid Waste
  • Technology
  • West Piedmont Planning District Commission
  • Staunton River Regional Facility Authority
  • Tri-County Lake Advisory Committee (TLAC)

Photo: Ben Farmer, Pittsylvania County Supervisor

                          2019-20 Leesville Lake Calendar of Events

The Leesville Lake Association runs on a fiscal year beginning in September 1- August 31, and includes a year full of activities. The specific event dates for 2020 are listed below but the locations are still a work-in-progress as this newsletter is published.  The locale information will soon be available on the LLA Website, and will be listed in the January-March, 2020 issue of this newsletter.  For planning purposes: Board Meetings are generally held at the Staunton River Library and General Meetings at the Altavista Train station as noted below. These locations will be confirmed prior to the event(s) with a LLA E-blast.
                                                            Board Meetings
The LLA Board Meetings are open to all LLA members (please see note below)
September 12, 2019:  Staunton River Library 6:30 PM **
November 14, 2019:   Staunton River Library 6:30 PM
December 12, 2019:   Staunton River Library, 6:30 PM 
November 14, 2019  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM
December 12, 2019:   Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

February 13, 2020:    Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

March 12, 2020:         Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

May 14, 2020:            Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

June 11, 2020:           Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

August 13, 2020:       Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

September 10, 2020: Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

November 12, 2020:  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

December 10, 2020:  Staunton River Library, Altavista 6:30 PM

Note: All LLA members may attend Board Meetings since they are open meetings. However, only Board

Members  may vote on actions being taken.

                                                         Membership Meetings 
The LLA Membership Meetings are open to all LLA members and prospective members (please see note below)

 Oct 12, 2019:   Altavista Train Station 10:30 AM ** Speaker(s): Ben Farmer, Pittsylvania County Supervisor and Matt Rowe, Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director
January 11, 2020:    Altavista Train Station 10:30 AM-Program to be Announced 
April 11, 2020:         Altavista Train Station 10:30 AM-Program to be Announced
July 11, 2020:          Annual Meeting and Picnic-Time, Program and Location to be Announced
October 10, 2020:   Altavista Train Station 10:30 AM-Program to be Announced 

Note: General Membership Meetings are designed to give all LLA members and prospective members an opportunity to gain further knowledge about the Association and its activities, and to become active in its pursuits. 
                                                          Beautification Day(s)
Dates, Times and Locations to be forthcoming
                                                          Boating Safety Classes

Dates, Times and Locations to be forthcoming
** Leesville Lake Marina – 2736 Marina Drive, Gretna, 24557 * 434.324.8500 
** Staunton River Library – 500 Washington St, Altavista, 24517 * 434.369.5140

** Altavista Train Station – Washington St, 24517 (Adjacent parking with the Staunton River Library) 

   Photo: Be sure to mark your calendar with October, November and December, 2019 LLA events 

       Two Wonderful Leesville Lake Marinas: Gasoline, Food, Entertainment

     Tri County Marina, Campground & Grill  &   Leesville Lake Marina, Pool & Grill

Tri County Marina, Campground & Grill

Thomas Bradner, General Manager * 434.369.5126  * * Facebook  
1261 Sunrise Loop, Lynch Station, VA 24571 * Mile Marker 5   

Open:  Weds & Thursday: 9 AM-5 PM; Friday: 9 AM-7 PM; Saturday: 9 AM-11 PM; Sunday: 9 AM-6 PM.
Call to Confirm Winter Hours  

Closed: Monday and Tuesday  *  24-Hour Call Service (for lake emergency or gas) 434.369.5126
Entertainment: (Call or see Facebook Page for event details)
Food: Burgers, Fries, Sandwiches, Pizza, and More
Other:  (Call or See Facebook Page for Event Details)
                                                  Leesville Lake Marina, Pool & Grill                                                             Chip and Lisa Zimmerman, Owners * 434.324.8500  *  2736 Marina Drive, Gretna, VA 24557  
Open: Monday-Thursday: 11 AM-7 PM; Friday: 11 AM-9 PM; Saturday: 10 AM-8PM; Sunday: 9 AM-6 PM.
Call to Confirm Winter Hours  
Pool: Call for Seasonal Information
Entertainment: Call for Information
Food: Burgers, Fries, Sandwiches, Fish and Chips, and More 
Other: Gas, Watercraft Rentals, Private Event Venue

                Leesville Lake Marina                                                                    Tri County Marina              

            Learn What the LLA Does & How You Can Become a Member

The Leesville Lake Association is intent on welcoming all lake residents and recreational lake users as members of the LLA. Please reach out to your friends and neighbors who enjoy Leesville Lake in any capacity to join the Leesville Lake Association.
The Leesville Lake Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that was formed in August 2003 to promote stewardship of Leesville Lake by:
  • Monitoring and protecting water quality 
  • Assisting clean-up of waters and shorelines
  • Assisting in safe recreational use such as creating and maintaining mile markers and navigational aids, including a detailed map of the lake in conjunction with AEP 
  • Assisting in economic development 
  • Fostering optimum water levels.
Additionally, the LLA board members and committee chairs maintain consistent, on-going relationships with essential agencies such as TLAC (Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission) and AEP (Appalachian Electric Power).  These relationships are critical in protecting the safety and overall high quality of Leesville Lake. Board members and committee chairs and their teams are all volunteers who need the support of a solid membership backing their efforts. Please consider yourself as part of the team and become a LLA member
The annual membership dues are $25 and they are tax deductible.
To join, please visit and choose one of these two options:
1.) Print and Mail the Membership Application with your check for $25                                                   to Leesville Lake Association P.O. Box 68, Altavista, VA  24517
2.) Pay On-line with a credit card via the Membership Application 
The Leesville Lake Association encourages  recreational users of the lake as well as community members to support the work of our association along with lake residents. If you are already a member, the LLA thanks you. If you are not yet a member, please join today.
* If you or your HOA would like Membership Application Flyers for distribution to your community, please contact Randy Weiss at

                       LLA Treasurer’s Report from Mary Loiselle

That was a long, hot summer, wasn’t it?  OK, maybe not long but
certainly hot, and perfect for spending time at the lake! 

Invoices for the fiscal year, 2019-2020 dues were distributed at the picnic and the remainder mailed in July.  Thank you to everyone who paid by August 31!   Many more thanks to those who donated funds above and beyond the $25 dues.  We appreciate your generosity.   If you missed the cutoff and still want to pay dues, please go online to and click on Quick Links or mail your check to LLA, PO Box 68, Altavista, VA  24517.

Over the summer, I worked with Dave Waterman and Frank Podrebarac to make some improvements to the website for payment purposes.  The Quick Links button now has a Calendar order form; a New Member online form that leads directly to a payment section; a New Member form that can be printed and sent in with a check; a Current member link to pay dues. and a Current Member link to update information.  Options within each link have been streamlined to avoid confusion.

You may wonder how I got the LLA Treasurer position.  I was asked by one of the first people I knew at the lake and I agreed to take the job when asked because:
1) I was planning on moving to the lake full-time and figured I’d need something to do
2) I thought it would be a good way to meet people and
3) I was told it would only be 10 minutes of my time per month.
#1 and #2 worked out better than expected, and #3 was not true!  Even though it takes a little bit more than 10 minutes, I have enjoyed every minute of my time working with LLA and being a good steward of the funds.  The meetings have allowed me to meet not just the board and the officers but many members from around the lake.

In addition, since joining the board and moving to the lake full-time, I’ve learned about the lake and its role in the Smith Mountain power project; the Piedmont area of Virginia and more.

Please think about joining us on the board or a committee.

                                                                      Mary Loiselle

                     Photo: Mary definitely knows how to “live the dream at Leesville Lake”

                       Water Quality Report from Chair, Tony Capuco

Our water monitoring efforts over the years have primarily focused on assessment of water in Leesville Lake (LVL), the results of which led to the conclusion that LVL is a healthy and maturing lake.
The lake was tested during the 2017 season, when water quality degraded following destruction of the Pigg River dam (Power Dam Road) in the fall of 2016. Although the issues we encountered have lessened, the events that were precipitated brought increased focus on the quality of water entering our lake from the Pigg River. Our previous water monitoring had shown that the sediment, nutrient content and bacterial levels of the Pigg River has been trending upward. Dam removal certainly exacerbated these issues in 2017. Therefore, we expanded our water monitoring efforts to include multiple sites on the Pigg River during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. 

Our expanded monitoring of the Pigg River in 2018 showed that nutrients in the river were high, oxygen levels low, and 85% of samples collected in the Pigg River exceeded Virginia’s safety standards for E.coli content in surface waters for recreational use. This has not degraded the overall health of LVL, but has impacted water quality near the mouth of the Pigg River. 

Our efforts in 2019 seem to be in line with those obtained in 2018.  What we have incorporated into our water quality efforts in 2019 is an analysis of the bacterial content of water from various sites in the Pigg River to enable identification of the source of the bacteria.  That is, whether the bacteria is from cattle, deer, water fowl or human.

This determination of bacterial hosts is based upon sophisticated analysis of marker genes in bacterial DNA.  This is accomplished by shipping water samples to a commercial laboratory in Florida for analysis.  The identification of hot spots in the river and the host species of the bacteria should provide us with information needed to target remediation efforts and enlist others in this effort.

The mission of our water quality team is to protect LVL and to enhance its health and productivity.  This can be fostered by improving the health of the Pigg River.  Although construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in the Pigg River watershed is currently on hold, as it proceeds it is particularly important that we keep on top of this issue.

Specifically, What Do We Do?

Water quality monitoring is accomplished through collaboration between volunteers on our Association’s Water Quality Committee and Dr. Thomas Shahady, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Lynchburg. 

                                                             Leesville Lake Monitoring

The Water Quality Committee’s activities on LVL are restricted to the months of June – August.  Once per month, we monitor 7 sites on LVL from the LVL dam to the mouth of the Pigg River.  At each site, we assess water clarity by determining the depth to which an 8 inch disk with black and white quadrants can be visualized.  When the quadrants can no longer be visualized, the depth (Secchi depth) is recorded.  Additionally, water is collected into sterile containers for assessment of the E. coli content and into other bottles for determination of the nitrogen and phosphorous content of the water.  These analyses are performed in Dr. Shahady’s laboratory.

Dr. Shahady’s lab monitors water quality on the lake from the LVL dam to the tail water of Smith Mountain Lake once per month from April to October.  They also evaluate the Secchi depth, nitrogen and phosphorous and E. coli content.  But their analyses include other detailed data.  They determine water pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, oxygen-reduction potential, turbidity, conductivity and chlorophyll content at 0.5 meter increments of water depth.  Thus, they obtain a depth profile of water quality parameters at the multiple sites from the LVL dam to the Smith Mountain Lake tail waters.

Together, data collected by volunteers and Dr. Shahady are used to assess overall water quality, productivity and health of the lake and to identify trends across years.  If an issue is encountered, additional water monitoring may be performed.

                                                               Pigg River Monitoring

The Water Quality Committee and Dr. Shahady combine efforts to monitor water quality on the Pigg River.  Our sampling involves collecting water samples at 12 road overpasses along the Pigg River from LVL to Rocky Mount, on three occasions from June – August.  Travel to these sites is by truck and does not typically entail boat access to the river for sample collection.  Typically water is collected by suspending a water sampling container from an overpass into the river, without disturbing the underlying river sediment.  At each site, we monitor water temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity.  Samples from each site are taken to the lab for analysis of total phosphorous and E. coli content.

As mentioned earlier, this season we will obtain water samples to determine the biological hosts of the bacteria in the river (human, cow, deer, waterfowl) – a process known as bacterial source tracking.  We have identified 4 sites in the Rocky Mount area that appear to be areas of concern.

We will obtain samples from each of these sites at three times (once in September and twice in October) for bacterial source tracking.  These samples will be shipped to a lab in Florida for analysis.  The sites we have chosen for these analyses are in the Rocky Mount area and span the distance from Waid Park to Chestnut Hill Rd.  The sites include the Rocky Mount municipal area, the Rocky Mount water treatment plant, a region where there is a dairy and a beef farm, and a region where there has been some recent clear cutting.  At the times we collect samples for bacterial source tracking we will also evaluate other parameters that we routinely access.  We hope this will shed light on some of the issues we are facing.

For those interested in more detailed information, this can be obtained from annual reports and other descriptions on the Leesville Association’s website.  Results from our water monitoring efforts for 2018 have been summarized in the annual report that is posted on our Association Website 

                                                                           Tony Capuco

Photo: Above is a photograph of the bridge at the site of the former Pigg River dam (Power Dam Rd). During our water monitoring efforts on the Pigg River, we evaluate areas for potential sediment runoff and debris accumulation.  You can see the huge accumulation of debris that has lodged against the bridge abutments, but also runs under the bridge.  For scale, please note the presence of workers on the debris field.  Our Association’s Debris Committee has reported this issue, and the debris is being removed by VDOT subcontractors

Photo: Tony Capuco and Water Quality Committee member, Dave Waterman diligently take water samples from Leesville Lake and the Pigg River
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Tom Shahady, Lynchburg College)


                 Debris Committee Report from Committee Members,                                                             Jim and Wanda Riccione

    The Debris Committee members are Gary and Pam McMillan, Jim and Wanda Riccione,                and Frank and Barb Podrebarac.

The Debris Committee, along with AEP’s participation, is working to keep our lake clear of debris that potentially poses a safety hazard for public use, and the overall aesthetics and enjoyment of our beautiful lake.

The Committee continues to strive for a productive working relationship with AEP.  On August 12, senior leaders from AEP toured our lake and later met with President Dave Rives, and Debris Committee member Pam McMillian.  Below are some highlights from that meeting.

* AEP stated that they could see some improvement on the lake but indicated that there is still work to be done

* There was a discussion on how debris moves on a regular occurrence each time there is a release from Smith Mountain dam. There is debris movement in and out of coves throughout mile marker 7 to 12.  Also, there is debris movement that occurs from the coves and shore which is making its way into the main channel.

* AEP is looking at other equipment options to assist with debris removal.
* APCo will continue to have a dedicated crew on the lake, to work 6 to10 hour days, six days a week plus the contractor will continue to split time between SML and LVL.
* The need to capture debris at the Pigg River continues to be discussed, and AEP indicated that they have an engineer examining options.

Members of the Debris Committee continue to accompany the APCo crew on monthly inspections of Leesville Lake and make recommendations on where the crew should focus their work for the next month.

From AEP’s August/September Debris Report the Leesville Lake crew focused their efforts primarily between Leesville Dam and MM12 working 6-10 hours days resulting in 25 days worked during August, while the contractor focused their effort between MM7 and MM10 working 6 days during the month.  Year to date there has been 2,717 tons of debris removed from Leesville Lake in 2019.

It is more essential than ever to report lake debris sighting.  We strongly request that all residents and boaters of Leesville Lake to Email complaints and STILL-photos regarding lake debris to both of these on-line addresses:

* (TLAC-Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission

* (LLA Debris Committee)

 Please include in your Email:

  • Your name, address, phone number and/or Email (if Email, include a statement as follows: “I give TLAC/AEP permission to contact me by Email”). This information is critical because AEP historically has, and should respond to you regarding your complaint, so we wish to assure that they have your correct contact information.
  • Mile Marker Number of debris locale or a landmark or address that would describe the area
  • Still-photos only are accepted (Do not send videos or other formats)
  • Please send only one complaint per specific incident, per family.
There is an email template available on the LLA Website.  Look under “Quick Links–Debris Reporting.” That link will draft an email in which you can fill in the details.

Your participation is greatly needed, and we urge you to alert our committee and TLAC every time you recognize unsightly debris in your locale.  If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, (other than photos/complaints which should be sent to the e-mail address above), please contact us.          

                                        Leesville Lake Association Debris Committee 

                        Photo: The AEP barge strives to keep Leesville Lake clean and safe

             Navigation Committee Report from Chair, Joe Humphrey

The first three Shoal-Hazard Markers installed in the locations approved by TLAC and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have remained in place throughout the changes in the lake level, weather conditions and debris experienced since their installation. 

It’s important to note the Hazard Markers (buoys) were installed to mark the hazardous shoals and rocks “at the 600 foot elevation”, the lower limit of typical lake level operating range.   Therefore, what may not seem like a hazard with water levels elevated, certainly would become a hazard at the lower water levels.  Staying well clear of the hazard markers is the safest policy regardless of the lake level.

The Navigation Committee now plans to move ahead with plans to obtain approval for a second set of hazard markers. Again, there are approximately 12 hazard locations which have previously been identified as needing markers to alert mariners of potential dangers.  We will be requesting the assistance of TLAC to complete the required applications.

For all of us using Leesville Lake we recognize the floating debris certainly remains the most significant safety hazard.  However, those locations identified as needing hazard markers are certainly a safety concern and identifying them with these markers (buoys) will benefit all who navigate Leesville Lake.

If anyone is interested in assisting with the efforts to make our lake a safer place to play and would like to join our Navigation Committee please contact me or the Leesville Lake Association.  We’d be pleased to have your help.
                                                                         Joe Humphrey

Photo: The Navigation Committee monitors all areas of the lake for potential hazards and make the appropriate corrections                   

                Safety Committee Report from Chair, Gerry Caprario

In an Emergency: Knowing How to Use an AED Could Save a Life 

by Beth Schwab, United States Power Squadrons, Compass 

Do you know how to use an automated external defibrilator (AED)?

One of the easiest pieces of life-saving equipment around, an AED takes very little knowledge to use. Take a look at the mall, grocery store, restaurant or your marina and I bet you will find one on a wall.

Sudden cardiac death is usually a result of the heart going into an arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation. The only treatment is to defibrillate the heart so that it can reset itself into a normal blood-pumping rhythm. Hence, the use of an AED. With early use of an AED (within 3-5  minutes), the person has a 70% chance of survival.

Don’t be afraid to use an AED because the machine will tell you exactly what to do.

Here is what you should do if someone collapses; doesn’t respond, or doesn’t appear to be breathing:

  • If necessary, move the person away from wetness before administering shocks
  • Grab the AED and turn it on and have someone else call 911
  • Place the pads on the person’s dry, bare chest. Device includes a picture of where to put them. The cables are usually attached to the AED
  • Make sure nobody is touching the person. The AED will say, “Analyzing.”
  • If the AED says, “Shock advised”, make sure nobody is touching the person, and yell, “All clear” and push the shock button and continue with CPR
  • If the AED says, “No shock advised,” perform CPR

    Gerry Caprario

    Photo: Gerry Caprario’s excellent advice is an asset to all who enjoy Leesville Lake

 LLA Beautification Day Committee Report from Chair, Dannie Smith

                                                     “Beautification Day Extension”

This year we tried a ‘Fall’ Beautification Day which was happily successful. 

We set it up for the Leesville Lake Marina drop-off site because it was the most successful site during the June Beautification Day.  Next year we might choose a different drop-off site for our Fall work day depending on the need and interest. 

We completely filled a 30 cubic yard dumpster which held approximately 5 tons of driftwood including a few large logs.  We send a special thanks to the hard working ground crew who carried,  drug, chainsawed and loaded the 5 tons. That’s why some of us were so worn out from the “needed” exercise. 

We couldn’t have done it without the boat crews hauling and towing multiple trips to the boat ramp. Thanks to the four boat crews: Ralph & Pam Palmer; Dave & Pam Rives and Dave & Anne Waterman; Dannie Smith & Richard Beaton, and  JW Burton with Snookie. 

We’re calling it another job-well-done in helping to keep our beautiful lake safe and beautiful. 

                                                                  Dannie Smith 

Photo: Dannie Smith 

       Wanted: Leesville Lake Membership Chair & Committee Members

                      Leesville Lake Association Membership Committee/Chair Job Description

Recruit New Members:

  • Attend local gatherings with LLA materials and membership applications, e.g., Uncle Billy’s Day in Altavista.
  • Write a quarterly report for the E-newsletter (see update/communicate below), including soliciting the assistance of current members in finding new members.
  • Reach out to all HOAs and subdivisions on and near the lake, maintaining contact to hear about new homeowners
  • Work with local chambers of commerce and other outreach groups. 
 Update & Maintain Database of Current and Expired members:
  • Keep names, addresses and spellings of each correct and up-to-date.
  • Send thank you notes for donations.
  • Send welcome packet.
  • Obtain trinkets  for giveaways. 
  • Respond to inquiries.
  • Maintain property owners list
Update & Communicate:
  • Monthly reporting  – statistics of total members, new members, activities planned for next month for recruiting and outreach.
  • Write quarterly article for E-newsletter. 
  • Provide monthly reports at the Board of Directors and General Membership Meetings.
  • Provide information and review draft of LLA calendar for accuracy.
  • Assist with planning General Membership Meetings to encourage attendance by members.

 LLA Board Members are standing by ready to welcome and work with the new Membership Chair

Please contact President, Dave Rives for more information

Photo: Working with great people for a great purpose is a rewarding and fulfilling experience

Complete List of 2018-19 LLA Board of Directors & Committee Chairs

David Rives – Director/President, Executive Committee Chair & TLAC Rep * 804.921.2621

Tracy Pauley – Director/Vice–President, Nominating Committee Chair * 434.509.5401

Phyllis Garlick – Director/Secretary * 434.944-0632

Mary Loiselle – Director/Treasurer * 434.324.6125

Tony Capuco – Director/Water Quality Committee Chair * 240.994.8931

Gerry Caprario – Director/Water, Safety & Education Committee Chair * 434.656.9082 

Dannie Smith – Director/Beautification Day Committee Chair * 434.841.9313

J W Burton – Director *434-610-2107

Richard Beaton – Director * 434.656.3302

Frank Podrebarac – Director * 434.324.7690  

Chip Zimmerman – Director * 559.970.2479

Joe Humphrey – Navigation Committee Chair

Dave Waterman – Director/Communication Committee Chair

Julie Moore – Finance Committee Co-Chair

Anne Waterman – Finance Committee Co-Chair

Randy Weiss – LLA Newsletter Editor

Ready-to-be-Filled – Membership Chair

Photo: Our LLA board and chairs are dedicated to excellence when it comes to the welfare of Leesville Lake

  Featured Board Member: Dave Waterman, LLA Communications Chair

I am a relatively new member of the Leesville Lake community, living right on the lake after retiring from a career in information technology.  I strive to do what I can to support the Association goals of ensuring that our shared environment is both clean and safe. To that end I volunteered to chair the Communication Committee.  

The Communication Committee supports the following association goals:

(1)    To inform members of Association activities by maintaining the website (Dave Waterman), editing and sending quarterly digital newsletters (Randy Weiss), and getting the word out to local newspapers about programs and events (Frank Podrebarac).
(2)    Producing the LLA Calendar using Leesville Lake area pictures submitted by members.  A Volunteer(s) interested in taking this on may contact me at the email address below.

Please contact me if you have any comments/suggestions regarding and areas regarding LLA communications including the LLA website.

                                                                          Dave Waterman


Photo: Dave at Pacific Ocean Beach in California (Beach? Yes, please.) 

                     The  2020 Leesville Lake Calendar is Now Available

The 2020 Leesville Lake Calendar will be available at the October 12 General Membership Meeting. Please come by and pick 1 (or more) up. They are only $10 and have all the important dates for the year of LLA activities. If you cannot make the meeting and would like a calendar, please let a board member know or use the web page to order. (When ordering from the web page, there is an additional $2.00 shipping charge added.)

Photo: The Leesville Lake Calendar is a great way to welcome 2020. 

        LLA Newsletter Archives: LLA Meeting Minutes & LLA Newsletters

          To view previous Leesville Lake Associations Newletters, please visit  
To view Leesville Lake Association Minutes and Reports, please visit

              Thank you to Leesville Lake Service Provider Members

There are so many stellar people who can be depended on to assist Leesville Lake residents in all sorts of ways. Thank you to the service providers below for becoming LLA members as well as providing valuable services to our lake communities. 
  • REG ANDERSON, ABR, GRI Long & Foster Realtors, 16869 Moneta Rd., Moneta, VA 24121 * * 540.580.6960                         “Selling 2 Lakes, 2 Lake-Lifestyles: “Smith Mountain & Leesville Lakes”   
  • Brian Miller, Miller’s Catering 434.942.1466  “Nothing Too Big, Nothing Too Small”
  • Shawn Harter, Construction, Dock Builder, Power-Washing, and more                                      540.750.0909 * “You Name It-I Can Probably Do It”
  • Brian Finch Landscaping, Hardscaping, Excavating, Inc.  “Well-Respected Lake-Wide” * 540.875.8844.
The Leesville Lake Association is pleased to offer these resources to its members. Please contact  the service-providers for actual references.        
                                                                        Photo: Everyone understands the sense of relief when a competent service-provider fixes something and does it well

 “Why Leesville Lake” from the LLA EMagazine Editor, Randy Weiss

Why Leesville Lake? The answer is simple and eloquent: Serene, Friendly, Intelligent, Clean, Beautiful, and so  much more. Whether one lives on the lake or in the beautiful woods surrounding Leesville Lake, food, drink, and community are a huge part of lake-living all year ’round. 

                        “A Neighborhood Walk Straight Into History”

Recently, I was on my way to visit a neighbor and no sooner did I make it out of our driveway when I came upon a man and his son standing in front of the small family graveyard that is situated in front of our neighbor’s property.

The man introduced himself as Hugh Mattox, the same family name that can be found on most of the headstones. He resides in Amherst, VA (about an hour from Lynch Station). He said he was researching his family history and was hoping to find the original homesite that matched the graveyard. I have often visited this graveyard where so many young children are buried.
I told Mr. Mattox how when I drive by this site on my way home, I am apt to offer a prayer for these babies.

The more we spoke, the more intrigued I became. I am excited to know about those who lived long ago in our neighborhood, and hope that the LLA residents might also be interested in this bit of history within our area. It’s important to note that Leesville Lake did not exist at the time so one can only imagine what the terrain actually looked like. I am delighted to share Hugh’s story with you here and now.

                                                             Robert Powell Mattox
                                                            Written by Hugh Mattox

Driving down to Leesville Lake, on Runaway Bay in 2019, a cemetery whispers a kindred tune of a time long remembered. Stepping afoot on this piece of land, the soil sinks the soles of those who ventured across the land of a farmer’s sanctuary. Runaway Bay has certainly changed a lot through the years as many families have lived in this beautiful area.

One family in particular were the Mattox’s. From letters, pictures, stories and memories, his descendants have retraced their family’s heritage to a man by the name of Robert Powell Mattox and his family. Robert Powell Mattox was born January 26, 1820, in Southern District of Bedford County, Virginia. Several historical records also refer to his place of birth as Franklin County and Otter River.

Robert was married to Martha Maria Franklin Mattox (second wife). Their family gravesite is located on what is named Peninsula Point, in Runaway Bay, in Leesville, Virginia. Robert Powell Mattox was a farmer on the land, that is part of Runaway Bay. According to the 1880 Census, they had 10 living children, with the addition of two or possibly three who died at an early age.
Some records indicate they may have had 14 children with many not surviving infancy:

Rosa Belle Rebecca Mattox, born April 1, 1850 by Charlotte Morgan Mattox
Alexander Robert Mattox, born April 14, 1854 by Martha Maria Franklin Mattox
Henry Davis Mattox, born November 9, 1855
Drusilla Prudence Mattox, born February 8, 1857
Sophia Jane Mattox, born January 2, 1859
Bruce James Mattox, born October 4, 1860
John Wesley Townsend Mattox, born May 11, 1863

Children born after the war include:
Martha Lee Mattox, born April 12, 1865
Walter Charles Mattox, born April 21, 1868
Elizabeth Porter Mattox, born February 14,1872
Robert was married prior to Martha. His first wife was Charlotte Morgan. They had a daughter born April 1, 1850, by the name of Rosa Belle Rebecca Mattox.According to the letters and records after Fort Sumter, he left his wife Martha and seven children ranging from 3-months to 13-years old. As he headed to Richmond on his horse “Coly”, Mr Mattox truly thought that because of his age, he would be discharged rather than be assigned to active duty but that was not the case. He was conscripted at the age of 43 years and 7 months. Robert served with the 2nd Virginia Calvary for the Confederacy. His commander was General Fitzhugh Lee, a nephew to Robert E. Lee. He also served as Treasurer, with the Bedford County Masons. He stayed in contact with his family during his service in the Civil War, and throughout the exchange of each generation, family members have been able to locate actual letters Robert wrote to Martha.Other documents from the National Archives offer insight to when and where Robert was during the war. His letters indicate he was a serious farmer whose reputation was flavored by his genuine soul. He writes to Martha, giving specific instructions about selling wheat as well as mentioning Confederate Bonds and financial details for Martha to carry through. Robert P. Mattox was truly a provider. He farmed the land and had a keen eye of a business-drawn persona.Throughout the wake of the Civil War to the turn of the century, Robert’s morals reflect a man whose military demeanor distinguished one truly experienced survivalist. Amongst the blazing turning point in our Nation’s history, there lies an ambiance of humanity’s true nature. In a letter dated 1864 he writes, “So farewell for this time. Kiss the children for me as I remain yours forever.” 

Robert Mattox died on February 11, 1900, at the age of 80, in Campbell County. My family and I are deeply appreciative of the records that have been preserved from many direct descendants who include: Lucille Lee Yeager Shelton, Eugene Mattox Baird, Gary Lee Mattox, Gary Lee Mattox Jr., Wendy Mattox Miller, James Alexander Mattox, Ryan W. Mattox and Fitzhugh Lee Mattox 111, for their enthusiasm for knowledge and preservation for the Mattox family.

My research on my Leesville Lake family is an on-going process. If you can provide information about the Mattox family or perhaps you think you are a part of our family tree, please contact me                                                            at from the Editor: Hugh told me that he visited the newly renovated and re-opened Carter’s Store on Highway 43. There is actually a record in the store’s archives of Robert Mattox’s family shopping there. 

On Another Note: Please send me your “Ahhhh” stories about living at Leesville Lake be it on the lake or on dry ground. Please submit stories of how ones’ neighbors have brought joy into your life; upcoming community/neighborhood events that you’d like advertised; a favorite recipe; a special photo that tells a story, and/or testimonials about what you love about Leesville Lake, etc.

This EMagazine is all about you, me, and everybody who is a member of the Leesville Lake Association whether they live on the lake full/part-time, or come on the weekends from neighboring communities to fish, boat, or swim. I so look forward to hearing from you.

Above Left Photo: Randy Weiss, Editor of “Living the Dream at Leesville Lake” EMagazine
Above Right Photo:  Hugh Mattox (middle) and his son and cousin visit the grave site of their relatives in Runaway Bay, Lynch Station

Your January-March, 2020 Issue of
“Living the Dream at Leesville Lake” will be Sent in Early January

Our January-March, 2020 issue will include:
Information about lifestyle, current events, resident members, board members and many more features regarding our beautiful lake…
Stay tuned.
*   *   *   *   *   *   *  

Thanks so much for being part of our Leesville Lake Community-The Leesville Lake Association


Photo: Leesville Lake’s resident heron spends some quality time on a dock  throughout the year

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Leesville Lake Association Quarterly E-Magazine

Living the Dream at Leesville Lake”
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