Annis and Bill McCabe were ordinary people who chose to pursue extraordinary possibilities.
Having met in college and married upon graduation, they began a life together that seemed unremarkable. As young physician born and raised in Thaxton, Virginia, “Doc” McCabe was called to what was, in 1960, considered “underserved” Bedford County. He and Annis quite literally “carved” out a place for their home on then heavily wooded Route 811 (now Thomas Jefferson Drive) in Forest. Dr. McCabe was given free office space (now Pints of Plenty) to begin his rural general medical practice. He made house calls, saw any and everyone who came to or called upon him, and often traded livestock and produce for his services. In his early years, he even delivered babies!
Educated as an artist and teacher, Annis placed most of her professional training on hold as she began raising a rambunctious bunch of 5 children. Living in Forest, Annis and Bill espoused the diversity inherent in rural community life and instilled in their children the responsibility to do same.
As the children got older, Annis taught in various institutions, including University of Lynchburg, Randolph College, and the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center. She and Bill believed strongly in the value of education and were instrumental in getting Forest its own high school to better serve the families of Forest and Boonsboro areas. Respect and affection for humanity and animals, commitment to community service, music and the visual arts are some of values they passed along to family and indeed, the community at large.
In the late 1970’s Annis and Bill moved to Wheat’s Valley and Annis at long last realized a long held dream of teaching in her own Blue Feather Studio. In 1990 their youngest son was killed in an accident which would alter their family’s life forever. Having purchased the Counter Ridge School by way of silent bid not long before Stuart’s death, they set about laying down their grief in this school which was closed just after desegregation. This shell, with so much space and a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge mountains, inspired the creation of The Sedalia Center whose vision was that everyone, everywhere has an inherent need and capability to be creative. Thus, with the help of friends, family and community, The Sedalia Center was launched as a place to explore the living arts and the art of living.
Over the years there have been Native American Pow wows, concerts, lectures, workshops, festivals, weddings, funerals, coffee houses, and countless other events which have sustained and inspired the vision of The Center.