The story about the 1930 drought [front page, Aug. 17] brought back memories of that year in the small town of Falls Church on the edge of rural Fairfax County.

The town had no water system; each household supplied its own water from a well in the backyard. Most of those wells were hand-dug to a depth of 20 to 30 feet, and large numbers went dry then. Fortunately, our house had a marvelous 96-foot-deep drilled well that never went dry even though it supplied our large family and that of our neighbor and his cows across the road. (There were three farms within town limits then.) Since the farmer supplied us with rich unpasteurized milk at 10 cents a quart, we felt obliged to help him. Our well also supplied drinking water to two other families as well as water for the weekly baths of their kids in our tub.

The 3rd U.S. Cavalry at Fort Myer came to the town's rescue when it lent a large water wagon. Water from that tank was peddled by the town along its dusty dirt streets at a penny a gallon until the drought ended. Soon after that the town put in water mains, but we kept our well in use for years afterward.

H. CHRISTOPHER MARTIN

Charlottesville