Town Climbs Down from Fake Chimney Demand

Jefferson as it appears today

621 Jefferson as it appears today — minus chimney (and TV antenna)

621 Jefferson as it appeared in May 2013 (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

February 17, 2014

A year ago, members of the Historic District Review Board resigned en masse after Town Council overruled their requirement that Hotel Cape Charles modify its new glass balconies.

Following the resignations, a new Historic District Review Board was appointed, and at their first meeting last May, they denied a request by the owners of 621 Jefferson Avenue to elimante a non-functioning chimney, stipulating that it be replaced with a new fake chimney as part of their renovations.

Now, Town Planner Rob Testerman has recommended that the Review Board overrule its own decision and forget about the chimney.

A May 30, 2013, report in the Wave on the fake chimney requirement drew a number of comments – none of them in agreement with the Board’s decision.

Most vocal was Planning Commissioner Dan Burke, who wrote: “Dear HRB — Get off your duffs and go take a look at what you’ve done. There are several houses right across the street that a stiff wind could knock down, half of the older houses don’t have chimneys, one has a stainless steel pipe through the roof, and two other houses have been recently remodeled with no chimneys. These people are investing in our town. We desperately need people like this and you are concerned about a broken-down chimney.”

The four owners of 621 Jefferson originally agreed to comply with the requirement for a fake chimney, but have had second thoughts. A recent letter from the owners to the Board echoes Commissioner Burke’s comments. Reviewing the 600 block of Jefferson Avenue, they found “enormous variation in the condition of these structures ranging from uninhabitable to completely and handsomely renovated. . . . The pattern is very clear: the overwhelming majority of renovated, well maintained homes (and those recently built) do not have chimneys. Most of the homes with chimneys are dilapidated and poorly maintained,” they wrote the Board. [Read more…]


Cape Charles Chickens Leave Home to Roost

This backyard chicken coop from Williams & Sonoma has been vacant since the previous owner moved away last year. (Wave photo)

This backyard chicken coop from Williams & Sonoma has been vacant since the previous owner moved away last year. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles Wave

February 17, 2014

Chickens that resided at two Cape Charles residences in the Historic District have left town. One little flock of three left last summer when their owners sold their property. The other flock of six has moved to Eastville while their owner awaits a decision on whether backyard chickens will be allowed in town.

The presence of chickens in town and the need for an ordinance regarding them has sparked controversy between friends and neighbors. Town Council has tasked the Planning Commission with providing a draft ordinance about backyard chicken keeping. This month Commission members discussed the pros and cons of chicken keeping in town but did not finalize a draft ordinance. The discussion will continue next month.

As has been reported in the Wave, numerous municipalities allow small flocks of chickens in residential neighborhoods. Roosters are rarely allowed due to their natural tendency to crow in the morning. [Read more…]


Groundwater Use Could Go to 1 Million Gallons Per Day

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The meteorite that hit 35 million years ago between Hampton Roads and Kiptopeke not only created the Chesapeake Bay, but also destroyed all but one freshwater aquifer, which the lower Eastern Shore depends on today.

Cape Charles Wave

February 17, 2014

The Eastern Shore of Virginia gets all of the water used for residential development, agriculture, and industry from underground aquifers. Those aquifers were the subject of the Groundwater Summit held at Kiptopeke School last Wednesday, February 12.

About 20 attendees braved a snowstorm to attend a presentation by Britt McMillan, consulting hydro-geologist to the Eastern Shore Ground Water Committee, and Curt Smith, Director of Planning for the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission (ANPDC) about “Groundwater on the Eastern Shore of Virginia from Kiptokepe to Eastville.”

Two additional summits will be held with Eastville/Nassawadox/Exmore in June and communities from Belle Haven to Accomac in October.

Like most areas of the country, access to groundwater is fundamental to human activity. Agencies called upon to protect access to resources must weigh competing needs of humans for clean, fresh water with the requirements of agriculture and industry that create jobs. “Northampton County has a sustainable amount of groundwater for the foreseeable future,” Smith told the Wave.

Demand for water on the lower Eastern Shore could reach 1 million gallons per day and be sustainable even though very little rain water reaches the water table. The report noted that even with 44 inches of rain a year, only 5-6 inches makes it down to the Yorktown-Eastover Aquifer that supplies our drinking water. [Read more…]

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Wayne Hodgson Is Town’s Newest Police Officer



February 17, 2014

The Town of Cape Charles has announced that Wayne Hodgson joined the Police Department January 27.

Officer Hodgson previously worked for the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy and for the Town of Exmore Police Department. He is a graduate of Nandua High School in Onley.

Hodgson is the first officer to be hired by newly appointed Police Chief Jim Pruitt. One more vacancy remains to be filled.

Thursday Graveside Service for Morris Dyckman, 95, WWII Veteran, Town Policeman & Fireman, Bridge-Tunnel and Railroad Worker

February 20, 2014

Maurice “Morris” Charles Dyckman, 95, husband of Elinor Marie Gladden Dyckman and a resident of Cape Charles, died Monday, February 17, in Nassawadox. A graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, February 20, at Cape Charles Cemetery with the Rev. Russell Goodrich officiating.

Born in Hampton and reared in Cape Charles, Mr. Dyckman was the son of the late States Samuel and Roberta Foxwell Dyckman. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad for 18 years, the Cape Charles Police Department for 12 years, and later as a carpenter at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. He was a member of the Cape Charles Fire Company and Rescue Squad with 30 years of service. He was a member of Cape Charles Baptist Church and never missed a Sunday for 19 years.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Dyckman is survived by two sons, Morris Charles Dyckman, Jr,. and wife Annell of Winnabow, N.C., and Reggie Dyckman of Axton; six grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cape Charles Baptist Church, 509 Randolph Ave., Cape Charles VA 23310. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.foxand Arrangements are by Fox and James Funeral Home, Eastville.

Bridegroom Goes Overboard From Ferryboat

Pocahontas ferryboat steamed between Cape Charles and

Pocahontas ferryboat steamed between Cape Charles and Norfolk, captained by Bill Evans.

February 17,  2014

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Cape Charles Historical Society has for more than a decade been recording oral histories of the area’s earlier days.  In 2006, Bill and Jan Neville interviewed the late Capt. Bill Evans. A grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities enabled 15 interviews to be transcribed, and the Historical Society has made this one available for readers of the Wave.  All the transcriptions may be read at the Cape Charles Museum.)

Excerpts from a March 31, 2006, interview by Bill and Jan Neville of Ferryboat Capt. Bill Evans and his wife, Grace. 



I do remember being outside . . . and my boat had broke down and couldn’t get out and I had to wait for her to get straightened out.  But I was concerned then about those submarines coming in when we were laying out there right off the Capes.  We were dead in the water, just laying there.

Were you anchored or were you just drifting?

We were drifting.  Those anchors, you might get them overboard, but you’d never get them back!  We never did drop anchor.

I bought a foghorn that it said it came off one of the ferries.  It was in a wooden box and it had a handle along the side there.  And I asked you if they really used them on the ferries.

That was in emergency.  In case you lost your steam out there in the fog and had to have a foghorn, then you used that.

They said you kept it right up there under the pilot house.

That was one of the requirements.  You had to carry a foghorn and kerosene sidelights and all of that.  That was mandatory.  In fact, the Coast Guard when you had your inspections, we had a yearly inspection and then we had a quarterly inspection.  That was one of the first things they would call for is your emergency equipment.

I don’t know how this guy in Lewes ended up with it.  But then again, the ferries left Kiptopeke and went to Lewes, right?  And you moved, did you go to Lewes or –

I went to Cape May.  Me and Mr. Chandler and Parker Drummond.  Nolan Chandler, he went up there as superintendent, but he was superintendent down here.  So they hired him and me and Parker Drummond.  I went up there, of course, as captain and he went up there as forward engineer.

Yeah, I went up there as captain, good salary, too.

(Grace) They offered him a job on the bridge.

Yeah.  But I told the head of the Bridge-Tunnel, I just couldn’t see myself waving traffic through that tunnel!  So we wound up in Cape May.

Getting back to World War II.  I remember you telling me about some skirmishes on the boat, maybe it wasn’t during the war.  Some sailors and some woman was involved and they got to fighting and they had to call the cops.  Does that ring a bell?

Yeah, that does ring a bell.  It was Dance Night.  See, you had dances on there Wednesday nights and Saturday nights.  And these two got fighting over this woman.  This one woman danced with this man and the other man was her boyfriend and they wound up fighting.  So before I got back to Little Creek, I called the police and they met us at the docks and picked them up. [Read more…]

Shore’s Closest Pro Football Team Has Skin in the Game

1983 to present

1983 to present


February 17, 2014

As Olympians from around the world are meeting in Sochi to compete for gold, two members of Congress, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) have also forayed into sport by sending a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, appealing to him to support the effort to change the name of the Washington Redskins. “The National Football League can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur,” they write.


Meanwhile, the team and several players have released statements claiming they have received “more than 7,000 letters and emails” in favor of keeping the name, with “almost 200 from people who identified themselves as Native Americans or as family members of Native Americans.” Whether or not the Redskins and the NFL are on the “wrong side of history,” as the senator and representative state, is something to consider. Given that I am married to a Redskins fan, and the Eastern Shore is historically Redskin territory, it might be helpful to review the actual history we may or may not be on the right side of.

The original team dates back to 1932, in Boston, owned by George Preston

1972 -1981

1972 -1981

Marshall, Vincent Bendix, Jay O’Brien, and Dorland Doyle. The team played their games at Braves Field, and as a matter of expedience adopted the same name, Boston Braves.

In the first year the team lost $46,000, and Bendix, O’Brien, and Doyle dropped out of the investment, leaving Marshall the sole owner. Marshall, who was having a dispute with his current landlord for the Boston Braves, immediately moved to Fenway Park and changed the name to the “Redskins.” Marshall claimed he did so to honor the team’s coach, Lone Star Dietz, who claimed to be of Native American descent (part Sioux). There is also an account that Marshall chose the



name as an allusion to the Boston Tea Party Patriots that dressed as Native Americans, as a way to send a not so subtle message to his former landlord.

Several years of mediocrity followed until 1936, when the Redskins won their first Eastern Division Title. However, even after winning the title, only 4,000 fans showed up for the final regular season game, at which point a thoroughly disgusted Marshall refused to play the championship game in Boston and instead moved it to the Polo grounds in New York, giving up home field advantage. They lost. [Read more…]


THURSDAY 2/20: Town Council Considers Wage Study

Cape Charles Town Council meets 6 p.m. Thursday, February 20, at St. Charles Parish Hall, 550 Tazewell Avenue. [Read more…]