(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Cape Charles Historical Society has for more than a decade been recording oral histories of the area’s earlier days. In 2002, as one in a series of lectures sponsored by the Cape Charles Library entitled “The Way We Were,” Cape Charles native Lloyd Kellam shared the following account. In 2012, funded by a grant by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the recording, along with 14 others, was transcribed. The Historical Society has now made it available for readers of the Wave. All the transcriptions are also available for reading at the Museum.
December 8, 2013
I’m trying to bring back memories to people who lived here and describe what the town was like [if you] didn’t live here. But we had a dairy and I remember, I don’t think you got it all the time, but I remember him delivering milk in the horse and buggy. And there were cars, we had cars. I can remember when the cars parked catty corner in the streets. One other story that I forgot to tell you. Later on as I was walking down the street, Ray Lassiter came here with a music store. He had a store on Pine Street and moved it right next to your drugstore, right?
[Audience member:] Lloyd, at one time, you know, Dad moved down next to the Wilsons.
Yes, he did. He had two stores at one time. The store next to the bank was Lloyd’s until he bought the store from Louis Getzel. For a period of about a year he ran both stores. But he renamed the one down the by the bank, “The Capital.” He sold that to Toad Ewell and a guy named Harry Johnson ran that for a time. Then Lloyd’s was up close to town.
Another story of when Daddy bought the store from Getzel — I smiled when I think of Miss Getzel because her little bulldog she had, she would never let me in the store to get any of that ice cream. I think the first ice cream I got was when Daddy bought it! I didn’t know this and I don’t know if anyone else does, but Mr. Getzel used to sell ice cream up and down the Shore and he put it on the train. He’d loaded ice cream on the train. He had these freezers in the back and all this ice cream ice, I guess, block ice and rock salt, and metal cans. He had freezers back there. But when Daddy bought the business from him, he filled every metal can full of ice cream before he left. I’ve never talked to you about this, but the worst thing he ever did to you, was Daddy had a halfway decent ice grinder down at the one down next to the bank, but the ice grinder he left Daddy at Getzel’s was just horrible. And that was my job, ground ice. If you had one of those hand grinders, it would kill you. [Read more...]
By TAMMY HOLLOWAY
Bay Haven Inn
December 6, 2013
The 12 Days of Cape Charles Christmas kicks off today (Friday) with the 18th Annual Northampton County Chamber Holiday Progressive Dinner Tour where guests are treated to a Progressive Dinner Feast as featured in the December issue of Southern Living magazine.
Throughout the 12-day period, events will be offered that provide opportunities for people to celebrate, share, give, and unite. Many of the events are free or have a nominal charge. A bounty of offerings for children and adults alike such as Santa arriving via skiff during the lighted boat parade and continuing his journey via lighted golf cart parade.
Participants will follow a luminary lit path that culminates at Central Park for the GRAND ILLUMINATION, December 7.
Sunday afternoon, December 8, adults will not want to miss the Holiday Wine Tasting Event, where Gull Hummock Gourmet Food Market offers wine and food pairings, wine selections from “Women of the Vine,” and female wine specialists will showcase wine from four continents.
As the 12 days celebration continues the town kicks off the week of giving by declaring Monday, December 9, Random Act of Kindness Day. “We encourage residents to visit a friend who might live alone, send a card, buy someone’s lunch at one of restaurants in town or simply thank someone for the kindness they give all year long,” says Mayor Dora Sullivan. [Read more...]
By BILL NEVILLE
Cape Charles Historical Society
December 4, 2013
As a part of the Cape Charles Historical Society’s ongoing oral history project, the Cape Charles Museum hosted a gathering of ferry captains and historical society members for an informal session to interview and record the captains’ personal experiences, stories, and details of what it was like working on such legendary ferries as the Pocahontas, Princess Anne, Delmarva, Northampton, Accomac, Virginia Beach, and Old Point Comfort.
Present were Captain Richard Belote, Captain Billy Ray Phillips, and Historical Society members Butch Baxter, Ed Lewis, Bill Neville, and Jan Neville.
The group spent two enjoyable hours talking with the captains who grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and started their service with Virginia Ferry Corporation in the early 1950s. They worked through the transition to Chesapeake Bay Ferry District at Kiptopeke and finally to the Delaware River and Bay Authority in Lewes, Delaware, and Cape May, New Jersey, where they both retired in the 1970s.
Some highlights of the gathering included stories of witnessing the destruction of the “Big D” during the Ash Wednesday storm, which did great damage to the Shore in 1962. (The “Big D” was a huge piece of construction equipment used in building the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The remains of the wreckage still lie on the bottom adjacent to the bridge). The captains also shared interesting accounts of groundings, accidents, rough seas, scuffles with feisty sometimes “liquored up” passengers, and a tornado that went through Kiptopeke while a ferry was docking. [Read more...]
CAPE CHARLES WAVE
December 2, 2013
Is Cape Charles finally hitting the big time? Is the “best kept secret” finally out of the bag? That may depend on how many people nationwide saw the HGTV show a week ago Sunday. For those who missed it, the video clip above tells the story.
Glossy magazines like Southern Living (click here) and National Geographic Traveler (click here) have featured the attractions of Cape Charles during the past year and a half. So have the Washington Post (click here), USA Today (click here), and the Richmond Times-Dispatch (click here). But there’s nothing like a real nationwide TV show to seal the deal.
The HGTV show featured a Richmond family, the Outlands, who fell in love with Cape Charles and wanted to buy a beach house with a water view while prices are still low. Blue Heron Realty agent Eva Noonan was their guide, and showed them four properties. Click the screen above to watch the first four minutes of the show.
November 30, 2013
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Cape Charles Historical Society has for more than a decade been recording oral histories of the area’s earlier days. In 2002, as one in a series of lectures sponsored by the Cape Charles Library entitled “The Way We Were,” Cape Charles native Lloyd Kellam shared the following account. In 2012, funded by a grant by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the recording, along with 14 others, was transcribed. The Historical Society has now made it available for readers of the Wave. All the transcriptions are also available for reading at the Museum. This is Part 2 of Mr. Kellam’s reminiscences. Click here to read Part 1.)
Anyway, where was Sample’s [Barbershop]?
[Audience member]: Near Wing Sing’s Laundry. Right in that group.
I don’t remember that. I remember apartments being over top. Anyway, to change the subject, in my time, Sample’s Barbershop was down that same street. He moved it. His son’s picture is in the paper this week, Johnny Sample. If you wonder who he is, Tommy Savage taught him all he knew about football!
When you turned the corner, there was Savage’s Drugstore and then, I can’t remember what was next to that. Was it a dress shop? OK, there was a dress shop there. Then the Palace Theatre was my first recollection, but I do remember when the Palace was built and I remember them tearing all those old buildings down. But I can’t remember who was there. I do remember Mr. Tilghman and I spent many a day in Mr. Tilghman’s place watching him fix watches. Back in those days, a watch was probably the most important thing that people had. And then there was Adam’s Quality Shop [?], Harry Rudy had a barbershop in there. And Lee Hart had a plumbing place, I forgot what it was called. And then Byrd Vick and then a Western Auto. The Radium was between Waddell’s Popcorn Shop, I called it, and Slim Colonna’s Barbershop. Then about the time I really remember, they opened up a beauty parlor upstairs and F. Winslow Toussaint’s. F. Winslow Toussaint and he started taking pictures. In looking back on it, I think that he didn’t have a bad deal with having the Miss Virginia Pageant in the Palace Theatre, which is another story. The newspaper that had that in it had nothing in there but pictures of all those beautiful girls from F. Winslow Toussaint. They were great, he could make a local girl look like a movie star! He was good.
Mr. Sak’s was down there. Where the building burned, I can’t remember exactly what was there, but my recollection was it was a grocery store.
[Audience]: Gaskill’s Grocery Store.
Then last but not least on that corner, in my memory, is the Palm Tavern. If Cape Charles ever really does come back, I want to go in there and open up a restaurant called Peach Street Chicken! [Read more...]
November 23, 2013
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Cape Charles Historical Society has for more than a decade been recording oral histories of the area’s earlier days. In 2002, as one in a series of lectures sponsored by the Cape Charles Library entitled “The Way We Were,” Cape Charles native Lloyd Kellam shared the following account. In 2012, funded by a grant by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the recording, along with 14 others, was transcribed. The Historical Society has now made it available for readers of the Wave. All the transcriptions are also available for reading at the Museum. In Part 1 below, Mr. Kellam recalls the German P.O.W. camp in Oyster, as well as the day a Cape Charles policeman accidentally shot and killed Mrs. Barban. Mr. Kellam, now 79, is a long-time pharmacist who reopened his Shore Pharmacy this year in Exmore.)
My name is Lloyd Kellam. And those of you who lived here knew me before as “Brother.” Some guys in here knew me as “Sly.” Those were some of my nicknames. Everybody here during that time had a nickname, and I mean everybody! I can’t think of some people’s real names!
But anyway, it’s hard to do this, but it’s easy. One of the reasons is that I’ve had this love affair with Cape Charles all my life. And I just can’t seem to shake it, it’s like a good woman, I guess. But my thoughts of Cape Charles are maybe not the same as yours because you’re going to see my memories through a child’s eyes. I think my thoughts begin when my father went in business downtown and stopped when I went to college. Daddy opened his business in Cape Charles downtown in 1938. We had an apartment over the store. A lot of things I’m going to tell you, you’ll have to visualize. We had an apartment and when we were in the living room we looked out and saw the ferry traffic. We saw the steamers. We saw the ferries’ comings and goings. [Read more...]
By DORIE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
November 19, 2013
Three local cat lovers have formed a new spay/neuter organization after a previous service lost its non-profit status. ESSO, short for Eastern Shore Spay Organization, aims to humanely control the Cape Charles cat population.
Sharyl Cline, Pete Bauman, and Sandy Mayer are well known to residents of the Historic District for their cat rescue efforts. Now they are formalizing their work with a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. And fortunately for the group (and the Town), Mayer’s husband, “Dr. Hank,” has the financial expertise to file the required paperwork.
An ESSO benefit at the Mayers’ Bed & Breakfast, Chesapeake Bay View, raised $1,600 last Sunday to help folks with cats in need of fixing. The first project is the area around the old trailer park on Madison Avenue. Although most of the trailers were removed earlier this year, the trailer cats stayed behind.
Cline said the trio use a method called TNR — trap, neuter, and return. The adult trailer park cats are what Cline calls “hard strays.” “I don’t like to use the term feral cats, but rather hard strays. Hard strays are cats that will only come to someone who feeds them,” she said. [Read more...]
Gull Hummock takes first place, in the Wave’s judgment, for best decorated storefront.
Hook-U-Up earns second place. (Pumpkin pizza, anyone?)
And garnering a “Special Mention” is a laced-up proprietor of Watson’s Hardware. (Stop by to find out which one.)
Happy Halloween, Cape Charles!