1933 Hurricane, Rowing to the Post Office

Cape Charles Post Office in 1933, the year it opened and the year of the hurricanes. (Kirk C. Mariner Collection)

Cape Charles Post Office in 1933, the year it opened and the year of the hurricanes. (Kirk C. Mariner Collection)

May 27, 2014

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Cape Charles Historical Society has for more than a decade been recording oral histories of the area’s earlier days.  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.)

1990 Interview of Virginia Fitzhugh conducted by Virginia Savage


VIRGINIA SAVAGE:  I am talking to Virginia Fitzhugh, who was born and raised in Cape Charles.  Virginia, Who was May Beth’s mother and father?

Mr. and Mrs. Taylor.  They had the drugstore down on Front Street where Jack MacMath later had a drugstore.  Mallory Taylor, that was her mother and father.  She was much older than me. She would have been in her hundreds.

The house next to the Miller house, coming east, was built by Mr. Wilkins and that’s Elliott Wilkins’ grandfather?

Yes.  He was Tucker Wilkins’ father.  Old Man Wilkins lived there and Mandy Tate, because we rented from them.  I lived where Joe Restein lived for five or six years [1 Randolph Ave].  After we were married.  We wanted to buy it, but Old Man Wilkins wouldn’t sell it to us.

Now let’s come down this side of the street and that side, too.  There was another Wilkins built that house and the next house, the Leatherburys were living in it when I came over here.  And then Ray Hickman bought it, and Bonny owns that now.  Did Leatherburys build that house, do you know?


Cross over the street, and the house that you are talking about, Joe Restein’s, the Aubrey Nottinghams lived there before that.  Now take me back in that house.

We lived there.  Now, who lived there in the beginning, I can’t say.

Now, somewhere along the line Edna Bounds’ mother lived there because Edna told me her mother built that house.  Elliott said no way.

No, ma’am.  Elliott’s grandfather built that house. He built that house, the house next door to it. Ruth Kerr lived in it.  And when we wanted to buy that from Mr. Wilkins, he said that he had made a house for each one of his children.  And he was leaving the houses to his children.  And what they did after he passed away, that was up to them.  But that was the only legacy that he had to leave to them.  So this house was to go to one of his children and the one next door and, of course, the one they lived in.

We lived there for five or six years, and I guess we would have kept on living there if it hadn’t been that Daddy died.  And Mother, she didn’t know how to do one thing, so we had to move back in with Mother.  But we did want to buy that house real bad, because we had done a lot of things to it.  We loved the beach and where it was.  We lived there when the first hurricane came.  We went to bed that night and we thought it was a Nor’easter.  We slept like babies!  And slept through it.  Edie Jean was small and they were in a room facing the beach and they had twin beds in there.  And I always went in to look at them before I went downstairs to get breakfast.  And I looked out the window and I said, “Everybody get up quick!  We’re in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay!”  See that’s when the water went all the way up to the Post Office.  And there was a man named Sterling and he rowed a rowboat from his house right up to the Post Office. [Read more…]

Summer Recreation Programs at Town Civic Center

May 27, 2014

Cape Charles Recreation Department Summer Programs will take place at the Town Civic Center (the old library), 500 Tazewell Avenue, unless otherwise noted. For more information call Recreation Director Jen Lewis at 757-331-3259 x18.

Summer Rec Pgms

Harold Richardson, 68, Oyster Native, Waterman

richardson200May 27, 2014

Harold Clayton Richardson, 68, husband of the late Arlene A. Richardson and a resident of Eastville, passed away Sunday, May 25, at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News.

A graveside service will be conducted 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Capeville Masonic Cemetery with Reverend Jack D. Pruitt officiating. Family will join friends at Wilkins-Doughty Funeral Home on Tuesday evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

A native of Oyster, Mr. Richardson was the son of the late David Richardson and the late Irene Wilgus Richardson. He was a retired waterman and loved fishing and working on boats.

[Read more…]

TUESDAY 6/3: Community Art Walk Public Input Meeting

As part of the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town project, Cape Charles is planning an “Art Walk” to link outdoor performance venues. A public input meeting will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at the Palace Theatre to obtain input on: [Read more…]

WEDNESDAY 6/4: Banquet Honors County’s Outstanding Teachers

The Northampton County Education Foundation (NCEF) invites the Northampton County School District’s community of friends and supporters to celebrate teaching excellence on Wednesday, June 4.  At its annual Teacher Recognition Banquet, the District’s Teacher of the Year, other outstanding teachers, and 2014 retirees will be honored.  In addition, a resolution will be presented to the family of the late Mr. Calvin Brickhouse in recognition of his service to the Northampton County School District. [Read more…]

Send a LOVE Letter to Help Build Permanent LOVE Art Display

The Cape Charles Business Association is raising funds for a permanent LOVE installation for Cape Charles. Construction costs are approximately $5,000 and we also want to start a fund for long-term maintenance and repairs. We have raised just over $1,400 so far from our LOVE Train! on May 3, as well as from LOVE drink and food specials several restaurants offered that day.  [Read more…]

SATURDAY 6/7: CBES Pig Roast Tickets on Sale Now

Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore will hold the 26th Annual CBES Pig Roast Saturday, June 7 — a NEW DATE but still the same down on the farm fun to include kiddie games, hayrides, live band (the Folkibarts) and BBQ with all the fixings. Limited tickets are on sale through May 31 at both Rayfield’s locations, The Book Bin in Onley, and H.W. Drummund in Belle Haven as well as at Music & Art on the Farm at the Barrier Islands Center, Machipongo. [Read more…]