Model Revealed for Waterman’s Memorial at Town Harbor

Memorial would be in parking lot in front of Shanty Restaurant

Memorial would be in parking lot in front of Shanty Restaurant. After the above model was built, the format was changed to be circular rather than a rectangle.


January 2, 2014

The model depicted above of a Waterman’s Memorial proposed for the parking lot in front of the Shanty Restaurant at the Town Harbor has been submitted to Town authorities. After the model was built, plans were modified from a rectangular layout to a circular one.

According to Virginia Waterman’s Memorial President Edward L. Lewis, the memorial will contain three elements inside a 38-foot diameter circle:

— A bronze statue of a young boy standing beside an empty pair of boots;

— A 16-foot-tall replica of the Cape Charles Lighthouse; and

— A three-section black granite wall displaying the name of the memorial and, on the back side, the names of all lost watermen from the State of Virginia.

The Cape Charles Harbor Area Review Board meets today (January 2) at 6 p.m. at Town Hall to decide whether to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for the plans. The meeting is open to the public, but there is no provision for comments.


Cape Charles Town Council granted an easement December 19 allowing the memorial to be located in the Shanty parking. The Town owns the restaurant land and parking lot.

The Friends of Virginia Waterman’s Memorial on the Eastern Shore was incorporated in 2006. Until a little more than a year ago, the memorial was planned to be erected in the seaside village of Oyster. But with the increased popularity of the Town Harbor (including construction of The Shanty), the organization decided to place the memorial where many more people would see it. The rectangular model originally planned for Oyster is being modified to a circular one better adapted to the Shanty parking lot.

No request has been made for funds. According to Lewis, the memorial will be fully funded by the Friends of Virginia Waterman’s Memorial.

The memorial will not be the only one of its kind in Virginia, as a Chincoteague group is concurrently planning to construct a bronze statue with granite base in Robert Reed Downtown Park called The Chincoteague Island Waterman’s Memorial.

Further north, the Maryland Waterman’s Monument was erected about 10 years ago on Kent Island.



3 Responses to “Model Revealed for Waterman’s Memorial at Town Harbor”

  1. Wayne Creed on January 2nd, 2014 10:20 am

    In Onancock, they have taken the step to create a true Waterman’s museum ( inside the Historic Onancock School which is focused on oystering, crabbing, clamming, and other topics that truly venerate those that work on the water. The mission of the museum is preservation, education, and celebration. Compare that to the Town of Cape Charles which gave away our old school for $10. Rather than preserving our public space to celebrate, preserve, and teach our heritage, the Mayor tosses away the 100-year-old school whose labs and classrooms should be serving as a center for Maritime History and Marine and Estuarine research. What are our priorities?

    Do the folks on Madison, Jefferson, Monroe, and Washington really benefit from the waste of their taxes on the Harbor? In terms of class, one group has the classrooms, 100-year-old stage, and basketball courts stolen from them, and then the Town takes their tax money in order to allow rich boaters to achieve a reduced rate on slip fees. If you take away recreational and educational opportunities from the ordinary people, why should they be expected offer up their taxes just to fund the lifestyle of rich people? A proper monument for Cape Charles would just be a 150-foot-tall dollar sign ($).

  2. Geneva Smith on January 3rd, 2014 8:54 am

    Where will people using the marina and patrons of The Shanty park?

  3. David Gay on January 3rd, 2014 9:32 am

    Good question Geneva! Well maybe the town can fix the Shanty parking lot when they erect the new Waterman’s Memorial. I was there over the weekend and the pot holes are like a mine field. Also the post and rope barriers seen in the photograph of the Shanty expansion article are thrown about making the place look more derelict. Maybe that is the intention but it seems the town could do a better job of keeping up appearances for the tourists and high end yachtspersons whom they want to attract.