Cape Henry

The History of Cape Henry
by Bob Perrine, Old Donation Episcopal Church Historian - Dec 2015
You are invited to view “The First 100 Years In Hampton Roads - the 17th Century” @
http://1bob9.blogspot.com/2009/06/first-100-years.html
The two Light Houses at Cape Henry - 
The Old Cape Henry Light (right) was the 1st lighthouse built by the Federal Government.
The historic lands of Cape Henry stretch eleven miles from the boundary between Norfolk and Virginia Beach to the Atlantic Ocean.  Today’s Cape Henry beaches have different names which are (from west to east) Little Creek, Chic’s, Bay Lake, Aeries on the Bay, Water Oaks, Ocean Park, Chesapeake Point (previously Duck Inn), Cape Henry, First Landing, and Fort Story. Longtime residents simply call all of these beaches Chesapeake Beach which incorporates the Norfolk beaches (from west to east) Willoughby Spit, Ocean View and East Beach.

Developments between the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek to First Landing State Park are known as Bayfront Communities.

This road sign is on North Great Neck Rd one fourth mile from the the light at Shore Drive. 

35 Million Years Ago – the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater. A massive meteor hit in the vicinity of Cape Charles, Virginia, punching a deep crater in the ocean floor. At that time the ocean shoreline extended to Richmond. Millions of tons of water, sediment, and shattered rock were cast high into the atmosphere for hundreds of miles along the East Coast. An enormous seismic tsunami engulfed the land and overtopped the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing the reason sea shells can be found high atop the Blue Ridge. 

Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Rim Formed a Shallow Bay along Chesapeake Beaches

“Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater” 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay_impact_crater
The Chesapeake Bay Bolide (Meteor) Impact: A New View of Coastal Plain Evolution
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs49-98
Chesapeake Bay Geology and Sea Level Rise 
http://www.virginiaplaces.org/chesbay/chesgeo.html
“Bay Crater May Extend into Isle of Wight County,” October 24, 2012  

33,000 - 16,000 B.C. - The First Virginians.  From Siberia the First Americans started a journey 35,000 years ago following the kelp-bed ecosystem teeming with fish and marine mammals into the Bering Straits. With the Pacific Ocean being as much as 400 feet lower, this land mass, known as Beringa, now a waterway into the Arctic Ocean, not only provided a land bridge to North America but formed a huge solid ice barrier called the Wisconsin Glaciation. There the First Americans lived for 15,000 years until 20,000 years ago. Even though ice still extended down to present day Denver, the first Americans were able to navigate the glaciers in boats by moving south down the Pacific rim and then spreading out across North America, finally arriving in Cape Henry about 18,000 years ago.  This scenario is the most accepted theory today with the following proofs. DNA of modern Native Americans has been proven by geneticists to have an Asian ancestry. Maritime people in Japan were using sea worthy boats 30,000 (or more) years ago. In 2011 Archaeologist Michael Waters of Texas A&M University announced that he and his team found 15,000 year old artifacts in Texas that resemble artifacts found in waters off Cape Charles and Cape Henry. But the oldest finds were at the Cactus Hill Archaeological Site located 60 miles west of Richmond on the Nottoway River in Sussex County.

“The First Americans,” Jan 2015, National Geographic
"Cactus Hill Archaeological Site on the Nottoway River in Sussex County"
“Spear Points Found in Texas Dial Back Arrival of Humans in America,” Mar 24, 2011
13,000 B.C. – 1605 A.D. Ten thousand years ago the Wisconsin glaciations began to melt rapidly into the Atlantic Ocean which was 130 feet lower and 50 miles east of the present Virginia shoreline. The rising ocean flooded directly over the land depression created by the impact crater and drowned the river valley of the ancient Susquehanna River, becoming the Chesapeake Bay. The rim of the impact crater can be seen today as a shallow bay along Chesapeake beaches with its base around Little Creek. During this ecological change the Chesapeake Native Americans lived a peaceful existence in separate villages around Currituck Sound and the Chesapeake Bay they called "Chesupioc", or “Great Shellfish Bay." The area was packed with wild game, bountiful fish, field grasses and edible plants in a temperate climate. All was serene for thousands of years until the rise of the Powhatan Empire, a collection of tribes which the Chesapeake people feared.


1584-1605 – Cape Henry’s First Englishmen. In 1584 Queen Elizabeth I granted Sir Walter Raleigh a charter for the colonization of North America. An expedition in 1587 led by John White landed at Roanoke Island, North Carolina, 90 miles south of their planned Chesapeake Bay destination. Returning to England in 1587 for supplies, White was not able to return to Roanoke Island for three years because of war with Spain. As the Chesapeake Bay was their original destination, part of the group left behind decided to travel north through Currituck Sound to Cape Henry. Being the first white men to set foot on Cape Henry Beach, they met the friendly Chesapeake Natives and lived with them for almost 20 years.  Not too long before the Jamestown English expedition arrived in 1607, Chief Powhatan had a vision that a nation from the east would destroy his Powhatan Empire, mistaking the Chesapeake tribe for what would eventually be the ruin of his people, the English. He sent his warriors to massacre the entire Chesepian tribe, including the English survivors who had stayed on Roanoke Island.  Captain John Smith wrote in his journal that Chief Powhatan backed up his claim by displaying several iron products produced in England.
Note: To find out the fate of the other half of the Roanoke Colony, the 144 men and boys who founded the first English Colony at Jamestown, and Chief Powhatan and his Powhatan Confederation; read -
First 100 Years in Hampton Roads - the 17th Century” 


1606 -  Bartholomew Gosnold, explorer of Cape Cod in 1602, obtained from King James an exclusive charter for a Virginia Company of London to establish a settlement in the New World. On December 20th, 1606 three ships left England with 144 men and boys. By April 6, 1607, the three ships  arrived at the Spanish colony of Puerto Rico, where they stopped for provisions before continuing their journey.
Reproduction of Godspeed commanded by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1607

1607 – On April 26, 1607, Captain Christopher Newport of the Susan Constant (largest of the three ships), Captain Gosnold the Godspeed, and Captain John Ratcliffe of the Discovery (smallest of three ships) made landfall at Cape Henry. Upon landing the party opened orders from the Virginia Company and found instructions to move fifty miles up the James River for protection against Spanish attack, and also to designate John Smith as one of the leaders of the new colony.  Since Captain Christopher Newport had charged Smith with mutiny during the voyage from England, this was indeed a surprising turn of events for all.  Before heading up to what is now Jamestown, the party lingered at Cape Henry for four days exploring the area.

 Master George Percy
(1580 – 1632) wrote about the first four day events in 1608.

One of the people in the landing party was Master George Percy. He would serve as president of the colony during the “starving time” of 1609-1610 and later as governor of the Virginia Colony. Along with prominent Jamestown leader Captain Gabriel Archer, both were known Catholics, a revelation made in 2015 that has caused historians to modify their understanding of that period when the Virginia Company of London proclaimed the Jamestown mission (besides the exploitation of gold) was to spread Protestantism (the Anglican religion) throughout the New World in competition with Spain's spread of Catholicism.  Even more surprising is the fact that Percy’s two older brothers had been taken captive in 1605 for participating in the Gun Powder Plot, a failed Catholic scheme to blow up Parliament.  Further, in the first years at Jamestown, Catholic sympathizer Edward Wingfield was returned to England, and councilman Captain George Kendall, a suspected Catholic, was executed.  

The following events of the first four days in the New World are excerpts written in 1608 by George Percy.

April 26th, 1607. About four o’clock in the morning [after almost 4 months at sea], we entered into the Bay of Chesupioc [Chesapeake]. There we landed [Cape Henry] and discovered [explored] a little way, but we could find nothing worth the speaking of, but fair meadows and goodly tall Trees, with such Fresh-waters running through the woods, as I was almost ravished at the first sight thereof.  At night, when we were going aboard, there came the Savages creeping upon all fours, from the Hills, like Bears, with their Bows in their mouths, [who] charged us very desperately in the faces, hurt Captain Gabriel Archer in both his hands, and a sailor in two places of the body very dangerous. After they had spent their Arrows, and felt the sharpness of our shot, they retired into the Woods with a great noise, and so left us.

April 27th, 1607. We began to build up our Shallop [small boat]. The Gentle-men and Soldiers marched eight miles up into the land. We could not see a Savage in all that march. We came to a place where they had made a great fire, and had been newly roasting Oysters. When they perceived our coming, they fled away to the mountains, and left many of the Oysters in the fire. We ate some of the Oysters, which were very large and delicate in taste.

April 28th, 1607.  We launched our Shallop
. The Captain [Christopher Newport] and some Gentlemen went in her, and discovered [explored] up the Bay. We went further into the Bay, and saw a plain plot of ground where we went on Land [Fort Monroe, Hampton]. Upon this plot of ground we got good store of Mussels and Oysters. We marched some three or four miles further into the woods, where we saw great smokes of fire. We marched to those smokes and found that the Savages had been there burning down the grass. When it grew to be towards night, we stood back to our Ships. We rowed over to a point of Land, where we found a channel which put us in good comfort. Therefore we named that point of Land Cape Comfort [Fort Monroe, Hampton].
The Jamestown Colonists named that place Cape Henry 
after Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales, (1594 – 1612).


April 29th, 1607. We set up a Cross at Chesupioc Bay, and named that place Cape Henry [after Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales, (1594 – 1612)]. …we came with our ships [under orders from the Virginia Company of London to find a more sheltered area up the James River] to Cape Comfort; and on to Kecoughtan “great town,” commanded by a son of Powhatan.

Full text of Master George Percy’s Narratives of early Virginia, 1606-1625"
A Skeleton, a Catholic Relic, and a Mystery About American Origins,” Jul 28, 2015
Bruno: Jamestown's Catholic Connection,” the Virginian Pilot, July 30, 2015 -
http://hamptonroads.com/2015/07/bruno-jamestowns-catholic-connection
First Landing at Cape Henry,” 1608 by Master George Percy
George Percy,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Percy
Joint Expeditionary Base East (Ft Story)” 
1919 - The Order of Cape Henry 1607 was founded and beginning in April 1920 they held yearly services to commemorate Cape Henry as the birthplace of a Christian English-speaking nation. Celebrated as the "Pilgrimage to the Cross, the event is the oldest, continuous historical observance in Hampton Roads.  Documented in books and journals, gubernatorial papers and in the Congressional Record of the United States, the Order has been named in the proclamations of numerous Virginia governors and mayors, and has been the subject of correspondence from several United States presidents. The Order serves as the umbrella under which all events, participants, sponsors and hosts are organized at Fort Story (today’s Joint Expeditionary Base East) at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.  

July 3, 1930 Colonial National Monument was authorized and established. On June 5, 1936, it was re-designated as Historic Jamestown Colonial National Historic Parks operated by the National Park Service including several sites relating to the Jamestown settlers and historical events in the area that include the site of the first landing at Cape Henry, the first English settlement at Jamestown, the Yorktown battlefield, and a scenic 23-mile Colonial Parkway running through the historic district of Colonial Williamsburg linking Jamestown Island and Yorktown completed in April, 1957. The Cape Henry Memorial Colonial National Historic Park on the grounds of the Joint Expeditionary Base East (Ft Story) include two lighthouses, the granite "Cape Henry Cross," a statute of Admiral deGrasse (provided by the French government for America’s bicentennial and dedicated in October 1976), a granite memorial to the Battle of the Capes dedicated in 1981, a three-panel wayside describing Cape Henry's significance to America, the old Fort Story train station built in 1902, the First Landing Chapel, and a walkway leading to the top of the sand dunes where one can overlook the Atlantic Ocean and the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. 
The three-panel wayside describing Cape Henry's significance to America

The walkway leading to the top of the sand dunes 
where one can overlook the Atlantic Ocean and the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. 

Of significant interest are three museums, two of which are part of the Jamestown Colonial National Historic Parks – one at Jamestown Island the Nathalie P. & Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium Archaeology Museum http://historicjamestowne.org/collections/exhibits/archaearium 
and the other at Yorktown the Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum http://www.historyisfun.org. 
The third one near Jamestown Island is the Virginia State operated Jamestown Settlement Recreation Museum of the 1607 Colony and Native Life http://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement. Unfortunately not one of these museums have much about the First Landing, and one even has it wrong.  The Colonial National Historical Park, Cape Henry Memorial museum states the three ships, “arrived off the coast of Cape Henry on April 6, 1607.” Actually they were in the Spanish colony of Puerto Rico where they stopped for provisions on April 6, 1607.
Colonial National Historical Park, Cape Henry Memorial

1931 - One of the celebrations in 1931 brought more than 10,000 people including President and Mrs. Hoover arriving by train. 
   1931 Pilgrimage to the Cross Ceremony - http://www.americorps.ch/day.php

1935 - On April 26. 1935 the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists donated a granite cross, the "Cape Henry Cross," replacing a wooden cross in the approximate location as the one erected April 29, 1607 by the Jamestown bound colonists. They unveil a plaque at the foot of the cross during the well-attended ceremony which read, “Here at Cape Henry first landed in America, upon 26 April 1607, those English colonists who, upon 13 May 1607, established at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America. Erected by National Society Daughters of the American Colonists April 26, 1935.”
Cape Henry Cross installed 1935 by the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists 

1935 - the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists 
unveil a plaque at the foot of the Cape Henry Cross

1956 - Reproductions of the Godspeed, Susan Constant, and Discovery were featured in the 349th anniversary celebration.

The three Ships, left to right - Discovery, Susan Constant, and Godspeed - http://www.capehenry1607.com/ships.html


1666 - The Lynnhaven River on the below map is outlined in black showing its course before 1667 with its mouth to the Chesapeake at Little Creek with another outlet near Lake Joyce. Since there was no outlet where the Lesner Bridge stands today, Cape Henry Beach extended 11 miles from the mouth of the Atlantic to Little Creek.
(1) 1634 - Adam Thoroughgood built a crude type of wooden house. His wife, Sarah, a widow for the second time, used the old wood house for an ordinary (tavern) from 1645 to about 1647. It was located at what is now 4236 Battery Road in Baylake Pines.
(2) 1639 - Adam Thoroughgood started construction of a brick house which was finished by his wife in 1645 (today’s Adam Thoroughgood House).
(3) 1639 - Adam Thoroughgood built Lynnhaven Parish Church No. 1 at Church Point (consumed by the Lynnhaven River in 1692).
(4) 1636- Adam Keeling built the Adam Keeling House (today a private residence).
(5) 1637 - Thomas Allen built his house (today’s John B. Dey House, a private residence).
(6) 1640 - Henry Woodhouse was a member of the first vestry (1640) and the road around his estate carries his name, but the house has long since perished.
(7) 1638 - The Francis Land Estate. Francis Land II arrived in the area about 1638.
(8) 1667 - Adam Keeling dug a small pilot channel here as a quicker way to the Chesapeake Bay (today’s Lesner Bridge site). A month later on September 6, 1667 the worst hurricane ever to hit the area widened the pilot channel to create the new flow of the river.
(9) According to Benjamin Dey White, in his 1924 book “Gleanings in the History of Princess Anne County,” Lake Joyce formed an inlet from the Lynnhaven River to the Chesapeake Bay. Here legend has it that Black Beard, the Pirate, hid the bulk of his booty.
(10) A map by Gen. Benedict Arnold’s engineers made in 1781 denotes the early flow of the Lynnhaven River to be two miles further west at Little Creek.
(11) 1692 / 1736 - Lynnhaven Parish / Old Donation Church. The second church was built in 1692 and third in 1736 on Cattail Creek (Cattayle Branch on old maps).
(12) 1764 - Pembroke Manor was built by Captain John Saunders I (1726 – 1765). 

1667 - Re-routing of the Lynnhaven River. Adam Keeling (1638 - 1683) organized his neighbors to dig a small pilot channel from the Lynnhaven River through a huge sandbar about a half-mile long to the Chesapeake Bay so boats would not have to make the long two mile journey west to the mouth of the river at Little Creek. Ironically, a month later on September 6, 1667, following on the heels of a nor’easter and twelve days of rain thereafter, the dreadful hurricane of 1667 struck, a storm considered one of the most severe hurricanes to ever strike Virginia. Most of the homes in the area were destroyed.  Area crops, including corn and tobacco, were beat into the ground. Many livestock drowned in area rivers due to the twelve foot storm surge. The foundation of the fort at Point Comfort was swept into the river, and a graveyard of the First Lynnhaven Parish Church tumbled into the Lynnhaven River. This system was blamed for enlarging the small pilot channel dug the month before to the size of an inlet and re-routing the Lynnhaven River permanently. 
The Dreadful Hurricane of 1667,” http://www.hurricanescience.org/history/storms/pre1900s/1667
"History: Virginia Hurricanes," 
http://www.vaemergency.gov/news-local/hurricane-history

1670 – 1690; 17th Century Hardships. Neighboring the Chesapeake Bay, the Lynnhaven Parish English colonists suffered from many hazards including wolves, nor'easters, droughts, hurricanes, floods, and attacks by French, Spanish and Dutch ships. Then there were the pirates. The pirate Capt. Kidd had his rendezvous on Pleasure House Creek, then part of the Lynnhaven River, and the English pirate Edward Teach (1680 –1718), better known as Blackbeard, buried his treasure in the huge sand banks near Cape Henry, dunes that were bulldozed during WWII so German u-boats would not have a beacon into the Chesapeake Bay. However, some folks claim he hid his treasures on an island in Lake Joyce which used to have an inlet from the Chesapeake Bay. In 1684 the English Government furnished a ketch for the protection of the Virginia coast. Lookouts were established along the shore for all suspicious vessels, and all ships coming to Virginia were provided with cannon and men trained to shoot them. 
Edward Teach (1680 –1718), better known as Blackbeard

1600’s – 2000’s - The Pleasure House.  Pleasure House Beach, a strip of beach from Little Creek Amphibious Base to Baylake Beach, was first named for a popular ordinary or tavern - “The Pleasure House” built in the 17th century. It was one of the first places in America where spirits could be had, a popular place for Blackbeard and his men. While there Blackbeard had several men stand lookout for ships to pirate. When spotted they’d dash back to the Pleasure House along a narrow little road, today’s Lookout Road, a block from and parallel to the Chesapeake Bay. Besides Lookout Road there is also Black Beard Road that hugs the east side of Lake Joyce.  As proprietor in the early nineteenth century Mr. Nimmo continued its reputation for gambling and drinking. During the War of 1812 the tavern was occupied on a regular basis by Virginia militia who used the second floor as an observation post to observe British movements in the Bay. The British attacked the house at least two times during the war, setting it on fire and capturing several militiamen.
This 18th century map (above) marks the location of the Pleasure House. The current map (below) shows the rearrangement of lakes. The Pleasure House is on the east side of today’s Lake Bradford and is situated just north of today’s Chub Lake. Lake Joyce was formed from the remnants of the Lynnhaven River when it flowed west to Little Creek prior to 1667.
From “Haunted Virgina Beach,” by Alpheus J. Chewning, page 16
1976 - the abandoned “Pleasure House” at the end of Pleasure House Road 
Photo Credit: The New Tidewater Flashback Group in Facebook

1700’s - Lynnhaven’s Golden Age. The eighteenth century was the Golden Age in Lynnhaven Parish with prestigious families becoming wealthy on tobacco and other crops.  Families such as the Walkes, Keelings, Moseleys, Lands, and Woodhouses would take week-long excursions to Cape Henry Beach having sent servants ahead with tents, furniture and refreshments.  The most famous of these trips was made during the courtship between sixteen year old Elizabeth Walke of the Walke Manor House and thirty-two year old George F. McIntosh of Thalia’s Summerville. Their wedding in 1800, dubbed the “Wedding of the Century,” officiated by the famous Rev Anthony Walke  was a most grand affair at the small Lynnhaven Parish Church with days of celebration at the Walke Manner House and Summerville.

Walke Manor House (1st Ferry Plantation House) built in 1782, destroyed by fire in 1828

1700’s - Today. Harbor pilots first started working in Hampton Roads early in the 18th century. They helped to end the American Revolution in 1781 by guiding the French fleet to the Virginia Capes in time to defeat the British (the Battle of the Capes). During the Civil War, the U.S. frigate Merrimac was escorted by four armed pilot boats to its epic meeting with the Union Navy’s USS Monitor.

In 1866 the Virginia Pilot Association was formed and a seventy-two foot wooden schooner was anchored off Cape Henry to serve as the pilot’s base station for maritime traffic entering the Chesapeake Bay, the last in 1983 being the steel steam cutter, pilot boat Virginia III.  From the Virginia III, sailors would row a yawl close to the Cape Henry shoreline to pick up a waiting pilot who had been carried out twenty or so yards piggyback style by an apprentice pilot so he would not get wet.
Virginia III
From “Guardians of the Capes, a History of Pilots and Piloting in Virginia Waters from 1611 to Present

The above late 1950s picture shows a yawl boat being lowered from 
Virginia III to pick up pilots off the beach at Fort Story.
Picture from “Images of America, Fort Story and Cape Henry,” by Fielding Lewis Tyler, 2005
Capt J.H. Vail is taken ashore piggyback
 in the time-honored way by apprentice Ted Wool.
From “Guardians of the Capes, a History of Pilots 
and Piloting in Virginia Waters from 1611 to Present

This 1909 painting shows a harbor pilot in a perilous moment
as he grabs onto the ships ladder from the pilot’s yawl boat in rough seas.
From Virginia Beach in Vintage Postcards by Alpheus J. Chewning, 2004

The George M. Farwell is shown wrecked as it sits grounded October 1906.  Just barely visible in the background to the left is the Italian schooner Antonia wrecked and grounded March 1906. Both ships tried to navigate past Cape Henry up the Chesapeake without calling for a a harbor pilot.
From Virginia Beach in Vintage Postcards by Alpheus J. Chewning, 2004

After 1983 two high-speed, 51-foot launches replaced the stationary Virginia III.  They were based at the Virginia Pilot Association’s new headquarters just inside the Lynnhaven River. At the same time, a control tower was placed in operation behind the sand dunes close to the Cape Henry Lighthouse, taking over the radar and communications duties formerly conducted on board the Virginia III. 

Today every ship entering and leaving the Port of Hampton Roads, whether destined for a dock in Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News or Baltimore, must have a pilot on board to function as the captain until the ship is either safely docked or safely out into open sea. Almost all harbor pilots make six-figure salaries that can go up to a half-million dollars a year.

Above picture shows pilot boats docked at Lynnhaven Inlet. 

High powered, very quick and durable, a Pilot Boat is built to withstand heavy seas
and bumping against 100,000 ton tanker ships. They are painted a highly visible red.
Images of America, Fort Story and Cape Henry,” by Fielding Lewis Tyler, 2005


Sep 5, 1781, the Battle of the Capes (French on the left and British on the right)


A statue of French Fleet Commander François-Joseph Paul, Marquis de Grasse
is at Fort Story (today’s Joint Expeditionary Base East).

1776 - 1781After the burning of Norfolk by British Royal Navy ships on January 1, 1776 the American Revolutionary War was mostly fought to the south and north of Hampton Roads. By 1780 the British smelled victory after scoring major defeats in both the north and south. After General Lord Cornwallis captured Savannah and Charleston in the summer of 1780, he moved on to Yorktown to provide a protected harbor for the British fleet in the lower Chesapeake Bay. To complete the severing of the norther and southern components of the American Continental Army, Brigadier General Benedict Arnold was dispatched in Jan 1781 with 1,600 men with instructions to destroy army supplies and storage depots. He raided Richmond and cities along the James River; and finally establishing fortifications in Portsmouth. The British now confident victory was at hand could rebuild their American dominance outward from Virginia in both northern and southern directions. Their assumptions were premature. 

In the paragraph below the portrait of Benedict Arnold at the American Revolution Museum 
he was credited for his decisive leadership in the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, 
but because he was not promoted he switched sides to fight for the British in Virginia.  
On March 16, 1781 local residents saw British battle ships anchored at the mouth of the Lynnhaven River. They had arrived that evening after being mauled by a French fleet under the command of Admiral Destouches during the Battle of Cape Henry. Destouches had soundly beaten the English fleet under the Command of  Vice Admiral Arbuthnot and could have completely destroy the British fleet, but instead Destouches sailed to Newport RI, a tactical error leaving the Chesapeake under British control allowing Benedict Arnold’s troops to remain garrisoned in Portsmouth. They would continue raiding up and down the James River cutting off supplies to American patriots fighting in the Carolina's.  
On September 1, 1781, Admiral deGrasse, commander of the French fleet, arrived at the mouth of the Lynnhaven River in a five day wait for the British. Local residents helped the French gather supplies which many were doing when the British fleet arrived at the mouth of the Chesapeake on the afternoon of September 5, 1781. Catching deGrasse  by surprise he had to leave some of his crew behind to sail out to meet the British fleet for a 2-1/2 hour epic battle which took place within visual distance of Cape Henry, perhaps the most significant battle in American history. By holding the British fleet from reaching Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown with vital supplies, this sea battle was critical in securing America's independence from England by assuring General Washington of a victory over Cornwallis at Yorktown. Some or all of the leaders of Princes Anne County helping deGrasse with supplies and then watching the battle at Cape Henry were:
*Parents of three patriots who fought in the War of 1812; twelve year old John Henderson (1769 – 1825), three year old Anthony Walke (1778-1820) and one year old John Brownley (1780-1853).
*Reverend Anthony Walke III (1755 - 1814)
*William Walke (1762 - 1795)
*Captain Thomas Walke IV (1760-1797)
*Colonel Edward Hack Moseley I (1717 - 1783),
*Colonel Edward H. Moseley  Jr. (1743 - 1814)
The Revolutionary War would mark the end of the “Golden Age,” a time of prosperity and economic growth.  Lynnhaven Parish Church served as the “Mother Church” of a rich and aristocratic Princess Anne County exclusively from English ancestry making up almost half the population, with a quarter being slaves and a quarter Native Americans. Although a few people were beginning to steal away to Presbyterian and Baptist churches, the vast majority of Princess Anne County belonged to one church, the Lynnhaven Parish Anglican Church.
Leading up to and during the Revolutionary War (1775–1783) there was heated debate within Lynnhaven Parish Church.  Some were siding with the British as loyalists but most were staunch American patriots. Colonel Edward Hack Moseley (1717 - 1783) was loyal to King George III and remained loyal throughout the war.  His son Lt Col Edward Hack Moseley Jr (1743 – 1814) stood on the opposite side, but this did not affect their relationship.
One member of Lynnhaven Parish Church went further than just talk. Captain Saunders II (1754 - 1834) chose to be a loyalist.  Siding with the British, he joined the Queen's Loyal Virginia Regiment in opposition to his father, Captain Jonathan Saunders I (1726 – 1765) a staunch American patriot. Although he was not in the battle at Yorktown, the congregation assumed he was. His regiment was at Yorktown for the battle against Washington, but he was ordered to Charleston to command the garrison there. 


Captain John Saunders II (1754 - 1834) 

Photo from the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Virginia

Colonel Adam Thoroughgood (1755 – 1782), a 7th generation descendant of Adam Thoroughgood, was there as an officer in George Washington’s army. He was wounded and died shortly after the battle. While Adam was off fighting, the British overran Adam’s plantation estate and commandeered it for a British headquarters. The British told Adam’s wife, Sarah, that they would pardon her husband if he stopped fighting and came home. In the tradition of Thoroughgood wives, Sarah replied with rebellious indignation, “I would rather see him dead.”

Note: The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown which opened in March 2017 is not for you if you want to learn about Revolutionary War activities in Hampton Roads. For example, under the portrait of Benedict Arnold, the paragraph ends by just saying that after he switched sides he went on to fight for the British in Virginia. That’s all!  And as for Captain Saunders II (1754 - 1834) there is just a portrait of him.
"Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum" - http://www.historyisfun.org .
"American Revolution Museum at Yorktown"
http://www.historyisfun.org/yorktown-victory-center/new-yorktown-museum
Admiral Comte deGrasse” - https://www.nps.gov/came/admiral-comte-degrasse.htm
Battle of the Capes” - 
https://www.nps.gov/york/learn/historyculture/battle-of-the-capes.htm

1812-1815. The War of 1812. Three American sailors were captured in 1806 and forced into British Royal Navy duty. Escaping from the British they enlisted on the U.S. frigate Chesapeake, but when the Chesapeake cleared Cape Henry June 22, 1807, the British commandeered the ship and recaptured the Americans. This news of yet another violation of American sovereignty along with British attempts to restrict U.S. trade and block American westward expansion led the young nation to declare war against England on June 18, 1812 (war of 1812).  Less than a month later on July 8, 1812, just off Cape Henry, on the topsail schooner Dash, members of the Princess Ann County Militia, including Sgt. Brownley, Pvt. Henderson and Pvt. Walke captured the British sloop, HMS Whiting, the first ship captured in the war. All three men are buried in the Old Donation Cemetery. They were honored as patriots by the War of 1812 Society, DAR and SAR on May 17th, 2014. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Whiting_(1805)

Not being part of the American Navy; nonetheless, private armed vessels 
such as the Dash were authorized to seize enemy vessels. 

Half a year later on the Dash the Princess Ann County Militia took a crew of 24 men prisoner.  Soon after several initial humiliating defeats, the British sent a strong naval flotilla that would seize hundreds of American vessels and raid towns up and down the James River attacking Norfolk and burning Hampton to the ground. Despite the British strength, the Princess Ann County Militia continued skirmishes with British landing parties along Chesapeake beaches throughout the war which lasted until the Treaty of Gent was ratified by the U.S. Senate on February 18, 1815. 



1789 – 1964. The Two Lighthouses are located at Cape Henry within the Joint Expeditionary Base East (Ft Story).  Congress approved legislation to establish and support lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers on Aug. 7, 1789, and being the first lighthouse authorized by the U.S. government, the original Cape Henry Lighthouse was built in 1792 and has long been important for the large amount of ocean-going shipping traffic headed for the harbors within the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Willis A. Hodges, an African American and first lighthouse keeper had to carry drums of whale oil up the slippery steps. Hodges became an influential black leader in Princess Anne County being the county's first black elected representative.  During the Civil War, to keep it operational for Union ships, black troops from Fort Monroe were sent to guard it from Confederate attack.  The newer, and still standing lighthouse, was completed November 1881, 350 feet away from the first one. Supplies for its construction, were transported on a seven-mile railroad spur built from the Lynnhaven inlet. This spur line would be replaced 21 years later by the Chesapeake Transit Company’s electrified trolley rail line. On January 29, 1964 the old lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark open to the public. In 1989, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the act and the commissioning of the first federal lighthouse at Cape Henry, Congress designated Aug. 7 as National Lighthouse Day.
Cape Henry Lighthouse Get Its Day in the Spotlight,  Virginian Pilot, Aug 6, 2015 http://hamptonroads.com/2015/08/cape-henry-lighthouse-get-its-day-spotlight
National Lighthouse Day Weekend

1902 – 1948 Train Transportation. In 1902 the Chesapeake Transit Company opened an electrified trolley rail line. Taken over by Norfolk & Southern (N&S) in 1904 the line ran east across Lake Smith on a trestle bridge and another across the Lynnhaven River inlet on a rolling lift drawbridge, with stations at the Ocean Park Casino and Amusement Park (1926) just west of the Lynnhaven inlet, Cape Henry (1903) and south to Seaside Park Casino (1912) between 30th and 33rd streets at the Ocean Front.  In 1926 the open spaces on the surface of the bridge were planted over so that N&S Bus Company could carry passengers to Cape Henry.  The electrified trolleys were replaced by gasoline-powered trains in 1935, with services ending in 1950 with the trestle bridge torn down. The train station at Fort Story was restored and used at one time as an educational facility by the Navy. Today it is unused, and with talk of restoration, hopefully this historic landmark will be preserved.

The N&S electrified trolley #4 on the Cape Henry & VA Beach line in 1904.
                             From Virginia Beach in Vintage Postcards by Alpheus J. Chewning, 2004


Old Train Station at Fort Story with the 
two lighthouses in the background (Picture from Dave Burnette)

Ocean Park History Project, Virginia Beach, Virginia Early 1700’s – 1906
http://www.oceanparkhistory.org/Ocean_Park_History/Early_1700s-1906.html
Brief History of the First Norfolk Southern Railroad” 
http://www.norfolksouthernhs.org/briefNShistory.html
"Lighting the Path to Local History"
http://cdm15419.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/searchterm/train!trains/field/all!all/mode/all!all/conn/or!and/order/nosort
"Transportation in Virginia Beach"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_in_Virginia_Beach 

1909. The 104 men who sailed from England on the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery on April 27th, 1607 found natives roasting oysters on Broad Bay and found them to be delicious. In 1909 O’Keefe’s Restaurant and Casino made them famous after President Taft’s visit; he later had them delivered to the White House. By singing their praises Taft gave Lynnhaven Oysters national attention and paved the way for wholesalers to ship them all over the east coast. By 1912 Slade, C. M. Barnett (early 20th century owner of the Ferry Farm Plantation Home) was shipping them to New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Grand Central Station.  Today Cape Henry’s oyster roasts have become a local tradition for churches and civic organizations. Little did those Jamestown settlers known that the discovery of Native Americans roasting oysters would initiate a famous tradition and thriving industry for Cape Henry. 
From Virginia Beach in Vintage Postcards by Alpheus J. Chewning, 2004
1909 - Famous Original Oyster Roast at Cape Henry’s O’keefe’s Restaurant and Casino



1909 - One of many Oyster Roasts held by Charles and Stella Barnett 
at their Ferry Farm Plantation Home facing the Lynnhaven River.

1914 - Fort Story.  Originally used to protect the Chesapeake Bay, the Virginia General Assembly officially turned over nearly 345 acres of pristine bay and ocean front property to the federal government for a military installation, naming it for Gen. John Patton Story, a noted coast artilleryman of his day. After World War I, the fort was the headquarters for the Harbor Defense Command which was replaced by the Transportation Command post-WWII.  Even into the 2000’s bathers could enjoy the beach on the Atlantic side, but trash left by inconsiderate bathers caused even this part to be closed to the public. 
Maj. Gen. John Patten Story, former chief of artillery, died one year before
the Fort Story ground breaking. His distinguished career lasted 40 years.
Picture from “Images of America, Fort Story and Cape Henry,” by Fielding Lewis Tyler, 2005
1922 – 1975 Y.W.C.A. Camp Owasia. John B. Dey, for whom Broad Bay Manor / John B. Dey House, Dey Cove Drive and John B. Dey Elementary School were named, had extensive holdings in the area. In 1918 he allowed 25 girls from the Y.W.C.A. camp at Broad Bay Farm to use his property on Cape Henry Beach for camping, crabbing, fishing, and boating. Later in 1922, the Girl’s Work Committee purchased a cottage at Chesapeake Beach and accepted two adjacent lots as gifts from the Norfolk Lot Corp where Water Oaks and Aeries now exist.  Named Camp Owasia (a Native American name meaning “camp of happiness”) it operated for nearly 20 years until World War II when the U.S. Army took over the land and used it for training special forces.  After the war, the YWCA sold the property and purchased nearby Camp Lynnhaven, originally Camp Robert Hunt, which had been owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. Unable to pay for the high operating costs the camp closed in 1975, and in 1976 retirement community Westminster Canterbury bought the land. 
Y.W.C.A. Women Return from a Swim in the Chesapeake Bay at Camp Owaissa

“About the YWCA South Hampton Roads: Highlights from 1911 -1961”
Fun at Camp Owaissa – 1952
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.638165729587429.1073741949.176507505753256&type=1


1920’s – 1978 Ocean Park History
 1940 Map of Ocean Park just west of the Lynnhaven Inlet

                          From Virginia Beach in Vintage Postcards by Alpheus J. Chewning, 2004


The post card (above) was taken from “Virginia Beach in Vintage Postcards,” by Alpheus J. Chewning, 2004. It says, “People used to gather at Lynnhaven Inlet in the 20’s to go bathing as well as so see and be seen.  Sundays were busy days and probably some came right from church.  This picture shows a popular spot at Ocean Park. The train brought most folks. The Lesner Bridge was not built at this time, but the train did cross Lynnhaven Inlet and went on to Cape Henry and Virginia Beach. The slide and the beach house were located just south of the train tracks on the west side of the inlet” (where Lynnhaven Boat ramp and Beach Facility stands today).

The Ocean Park Casino and Amusement Park featured a merry-go-round, sky ride, dance hall and bowling. A fire destroyed it in 1929. After rebuilding, a notorious August 1933 hurricane completely destroyed the amusement park and washed away both sides of the Lesner Bridge roadway. Again after rebuilding, it operated until 1940 when it went into court-appointed receivership.

1927 – 1975 Seaview Beach was once called the largest and best "Negro Beach Resort in America." In 1927, the Hygeia Club built a 300 foot two-story frame building with a ballroom dance hall for whites only.  In 1936, the building was sold and renamed Club 500. Big name bands were brought in and its popularity soared. The building was later sold to the Shriners of Virginia Beach and renamed the Templar Club. In 1945 the property, to include a 50-acre beach front tract, was acquired by 21 local black business and professional men. It opened on May 30, 1945 as Seaview Beach, the largest and best African American resort on the East Coast.  A ballroom rocked with the sounds of Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday.  Outside the starlight plaza was lined with colorful umbrellas and lighting for dancing under the stars.  In 1947 amusements were added which included a Ferris wheel, merry go-round, auto scooter and swing carousel. Next door was Parker’s Beach Motel and Restaurant for overnight guests.  When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation, folks left Seaview Beach for the Oceanfront’s Seaside Park, causing Seaview to close in 1964 and make way for the 1975 construction of Seagate Colony Condominium. At first the high-rise attracted few buyers as beach front properties had been single family bungalows up until that time.

Seaview Beach on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach and Sunset Lake in Chesapeake, Virginia
http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~howardlake/amusement12/seaviewbeachva.html
"Our heritage : Black history : Princess Anne County, Virginia Beach,Virginia  

1928 - Lesner Bridge crosses the Lynnhaven Inlet at the mouth the Chesapeake Bay. The first bridge for automobiles, a draw-bridge was constructed in 1928 next to the train trestle, replaced in 1958 by what are now the eastbound lanes of a dual Lesner span.  Westbound lanes were constructed as a parallel span in 1967. The Lesner Bridge was named after John A. Lesner, a Democratic Virginia State Senator who represented Norfolk City and then served on the State Highway Commission beginning in 1908. 
The new Lesner Bridge opened to traffic on May 30, 1958. The older draw span is visible to the left of the new bridge.  From Virginia Beach in Vintage Postcards by Alpheus J. Chewning, 2004


1933 – Ocean Breeze Beach and Amusement Park (what is now Baylake Pines Beach just north of Lake Joyce) was opened on 75 acres along the Chesapeake Bay alongside Lake Joyce for African Americans during this time of southern segregation laws. W.W. Consolvo, John C. Davis and Joseph Nelson (all white), opened Ocean Breeze May 30,1933. The 75 -acre tract had bath houses and a dance pavilion between a dozen concessions selling ice cream, pop, hot dogs and hamburgers.  Rustic furniture was located in shady spots affording a perfect setting for picnics. The Norfolk Southern Bus Company ran a frequent schedule from Norfolk to Breeze Beach for the very low fare of 35 cents round trip. 


1933 – Work on First Landing State Park (originally Seashore State Park) was begun in 1933 by mostly African American workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program, part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.  The park opened on June 15, 1936. There are a number of replicas of Native American huts along a one mile stretch of the Cape Henry Trail.  First- time tourists are surprised to find Spanish moss covering Bald Cypress trees, the farthest north this ecosystem exits. Local legend tells about Blackbeard hiding in the Narrows (the waterway called Long Creek leading into Broad Bay). During the War of 1812, its Cypress swamps were a source of fresh water for merchant mariners, pirates and military ships.  During the Civil War the interior waterways served as landing sites for Union and Confederate patrols and blockade-runners. Now, as Virginia's most-visited state park, the Trail Center, opened in 2012, has a display conveying conditions during the First Landing in 1607. 

Northern Most Ecosystem of Spanish Moss Covered Bald Cypress

First Landing State Park's Trail Center

First Landing State Park's trail center at the south entrance off of Shore Drive is the main hub for accessing the park trails (the secondary access route for the trails is the 64th street entrance to the park). Inside the trail center displays showcase local wildlife and area history plus a meeting room for up to 45 people. For information call 757-412-2320. 

Near the trail center on April 26, 1997 the City of Virginia Beach properly returned the last 64 souls of Great Neck Point’s Chesepioc Chesapeake Indian tribe to their rightful burial ground. A brief but solemn ceremony, officiated by then Mayor Meyera Oberndorf, marked the occasion with a plaque to watch over their spirits and guarantee remembrance of the area’s last-known victims of genocide.




“City Commission Invites Public to Explore Preserving History of ‘America’s Cape’,” the American Standard, July 2015 https://amercorps.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/cape-history/comment-page-1
“Bald Cypress”  
First Landing State Park's Trails”  
http://www.first-landing-state-park.org/first_landing_trails.html

1933 – 1964 Ferry Service Across the Chesapeake Bay. The Virginia Ferry Corporation, a privately owned public service company, began purchasing vessels that could be used to carry both passengers and vehicles between the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia) Peninsula and Virginia Beach, a 15 mile wide expanse of the Chesapeake Bay five miles from the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. During its peak, the Virginia Ferry Corporation operated 90 one-way trips each day from Cape Charles to Little Creek with seven vessels, i.e.,
*S.S. Accomac built in 1928, 
*S.S. Princess Anne built in 1932, 
*S.S. Delmarva built in 1933,
*S.S. Pocahontas built in 1941,
*Virginia Beach built in 1944,
*Old Point Comfort built in 1945, and
*Northampton purchased in 1948. 

In particular Princess Anne passengers danced in the spacious ballroom or visited the snack-bar on Fridays and Saturdays while traveling to Cape Charles as if on a cruise line. The S.S. Princess Anne, white with a cobalt-blue streamlined funnel, frosted windows and golden initials, would become a model for styling future ocean liners and cruise ships. Upon arriving at Cape Charles, passengers caroused on Mason Avenue lined with shops, eateries, wares, novelty stores, and the elegant Palace Theatre with productions that included Annie and the Wizard of Oz.  In 1951 the Cape Charles terminus was moved seven miles south to a new pier at Kiptopeke which shortened the 85 minute crossing by 20 minutes. This began a downturn for Cape Charles. Finally the 1964 opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel brought an end to the use of ferries and added more recession to Cape Charles City which became an off-the-beaten-path town several miles from the main north-south highway. But the city experienced a rebirth in the 21st century. The town’s cultural elements and beautiful scenery, combined with a laid back, small town atmosphere, has encouraged an artist community to blossom with an influx of day and overnight visitors with two Inns and three B&B’s. 
The above picture of the S.S. Pocahontas is typical of the other six ferries. At one time, the Pocahontas, in honor of her name, carried a flask containing earth taken from the grave of the Indian Princess Pocahontas in Saint George's Churchyard in Gravesend, England. 
Passengers enjoyed the dazzling success of that new ferry "Princess Anne" and danced or visited the snack-bar.
Chesapeake Bay Ferries - http://www.esva.net/~rwest/ferries.html
The History of Cape Charles
Historic Palace Theater
http://www.capecharlesbythebay.com/business/historic-palace-theatre

1949 – 1978. The 300 seat Serlich’s Restaurant in Ocean Park, is shown here in 1949 on the north side of Shore Drive at the west end of the Lesner Bridge (where Ocean Park Casino and Amusement Park once stood). In 1963 it was remodeled and named it the 7 Seas. The property was sold in 1978 for the “3556 On the Bay” high-rise condominium.


                              From Virginia Beach in Vintage Postcards by Alpheus J. Chewning, 2004

1982 - Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay was opened and today is a 627-unit not-for-profit retirement community sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia and the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia. Designed for active people age 62 and over with independent living, it also provides assisted living and nursing care at a stable cost. To honor the church's original mission, in 1992 Westminster-Canterbury established the Westminster-Canterbury Foundation Fellowship Assistance Fund to a certain number of qualified individuals such as people who have dedicated their lives to Hampton Roads and cannot otherwise afford the initial move-in cost and monthly fees, both at the top price range for this type of luxurious facility.
Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay http://www.wcbay.com 
  Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay is viewed from the air looking north  

The Westminster Calendar Girls. Inspired by the 2003 film Calendar Girls, six Westminster Canterbury women, ages 73 to 83, decided to make a 2009 calendar by baring just enough skin to raise an eyebrow or two. The calendar became a big seller raising more than $13,000 for the Westminster-Canterbury Fellowship Assistance Fund.
Westminster-Canterbury Calendar Girls Remain Young at Heart,”  The Virginian-Pilot © Aug 19, 2008 http://hamptonroads.com/2008/08/westminstercanterbury-calendar-girls-remain-young-heart

Westminster Canterbury Notables

* Nancy Hoy, widow of president of Norfolk Hoy Construction Harold "Hap" Hoy, donated one million dollars to help  people financially unable to live in the retirement community. The assisted-living wing is named after her.

$1 Million Donated to Westminster-Canterbury Retirement Facility,” the Virginian Pilot April 1, 2006  http://hamptonroads.com/node/85211

* Isabel Marie Andrews (1916 - 2003) felt the least she could do was organize 15 or so of her friends to help greet Navy ships from the seawall in front of Westminster Canterbury as they returned to the Norfolk Naval Station.  She knew when they would be coming from secret connections. Even when her eyesight faded, she continued welcoming returning Navy ships with her American flag waving. 
Isabel Andrews welcomed countless ships returning from deployment for eight years.

92-Year-Old Virginia Beach Woman Gives Homecoming Troops the Welcome They Deserve

* Dr. Robert J. Stewart (1912 - 2014), a retired podiatrist, led a productive, successful and happy life in spite of having diabetes for 66 years. In his retirement at Westminster-Canterbury he won five Gold Medals and set two world records in the Senior Olympics. He promoted health and wholeness to residents, encouraging them to become more active and eat right.

Robert J. Stewart (1912 - 2014)
Taking Control of Your Diabetes: A Practical Approach to Exercising For Life with Diabetes

1940’s - Fish Nets. Along Cape Henry are about six fish net fences that lead fish into a holding area. Once a week the owners of the nets gather the fish not harvested by the pelicans. No longer permitted, these nets have been grandfathered, and once the fishermen die, that will be the end of the nets. 


                               Mariners Mark (right) and Ocean Beach Resort Hotel (left) in the background
                                         The holding area where pelicans leisurely fill their bills


Pelican Rescues @ Cape Henry Beach

The above picture (2012) shows the rescue of a pelican trapped in the above fish nets. After exhaustive struggle to get free, the pelican offered little resistance. It was placed on the kayak and paddled to shore for the wildlife rescue folks.


The above picture shows a Virginia Beach SPCA wildlife rescue operation of a young pelican at Cape Henry Beach. After being netted, the pelican was wrapped in the blanket shown here and carried to a van where it was caged for the ride to the rescue center. (Sep 2016). 

1952 - 2016 - The Duck-In, a classic Virginia Beach seafood restaurant, was founded in 1952 when Bill Miller bought the property. From its early beginnings it was a bait shack with a to-go window where fishermen stopped to get tackle and breakfast sandwiches. Over the years the little Duck-In grew and when Shore Drive was widened, Miller moved the Duck-In 150 feet. Dredging of the inlet deposited more sand onto the Duck-In beach, and by 1961, Miller owned more than 7 acres. His son, Bill, renovated the building in the ‘80s to become a fully functioning restaurant. The gazebo was a cornerstone in Cape Henry Beach, the center piece of weekly beach parties, where literally hundreds of revelers began their weekend festivities.  Bands played for the party-goers and diners.
In 2004 talk started about Duck-In closing. The property had become too valuable for Bill to keep flipping hamburgers. There was also talk about moving the party to the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel, but that never materialized when local resident around the hotel protested.  In 2005 Bill closed the place, had it demolished, and moved to Florida. The 7.6 acre lot sold in 2006 for an estimated $15 million. Citing community concerns, developer, Tuck Bowie, downsized initial plans. In reality Bowie feared similar delays from local protests over a nearby 122 acre development (now Pleasure House Point Natural Area) that was going to turn wetlands into 1,063 homes, all nicely packed in.
Named Point Chesapeake Point on the Bay, five 4 story 3 bedroom beach front condominiums containing 40 units with a clubhouse for all is under construction to be completed sometime in 2017. 

One remnant of the Duck-In would live on. The gazebo, built in the late 1980s, would be renovated. Bowie was sensitive to the fact that it should remain a silent sentinel to what once was. Adding to the sensitivity of the area Bowie's plans called for a public pathway under the Lesner Bridge to Vista Circle with places to sit and watch boats go by; a place for art displays at the scenic overlook on the southwest side of the bridge; and an art feature at the intersection of Shore Drive and Cherry Tree Place.

Timing was bad for the planned 2008 start of Chesapeake Point. The real estate market tanked, and plans were put on hold for eight years until late 2015 when a $1.5 million sea wall was constructed, and in March 2016 construction started. 


The last Duck Inn beach party was Aug 12, 2005.
Shortly after, the building was destroyed (above) making way for Chesapeake Point.

Point Chesapeake -  rendering of the 5 four story (40 units) 3 bedroom beach front condominiums 
(priced between $0.8 and $1 million), and Beach Pavilion (on the right almost under the bridge) 
with existing gazebo on Cape Henry Beach (in front) to be restored 

Point Chesapeake condos will be shielded from busy Lesner Bridge by Overture Point Chesapeake with the apartment units facing the bridge only 18 feet away built specifically to limit noise featuring thicker walls, double insulation and sound-dampening windowsThe 171 unit complex consists of one and two bedroom apartments for senior citizens (55+). They feature a pool, a rooftop lounge, a yoga studio, theater room, gym, resident garden beds, hair and nail salon, bocce ball courts, a coffee bar and bistro, salon, business center, and a kitchen used for cooking demonstrations. The complex will also offer daily activities, which could include small club meetings, wine tastings or movie events. Rents start at $2,210 and go up to $3,655. Units will be ready July 2017.
"Living Near the Lesner: New Virginia Beach Apartments Are Next To Reconstructed Bridge,"
the Virginian-Pilot, April 23, 2017
http://pilotonline.com/news/local/living-near-the-lesner-new-virginia-beach-apartments-are-next/article_59ea9c37-9b3f-5125-bbc3-7d3913a67544.html
Condos, Apartments Going Up Where Duck-In Parties Were Held in Virginia Beach,” the Virginian-Pilot
Mar 25, 2016 http://pilotonline.com/business/real-estate/condos-apartments-going-up-where-duck-in-parties-were-held/article_a6e44095-4839-50b9-8ce3-edea9db7839a.html
Chesapeake Point on the Bay, Latest News,” 10 Nov 2016 http://pointchesapeakeonthebay.com
“Condos, Apartments Going Up Where Duck-In Parties Were Held in Virginia Beach,” Mar 25, 2016
 “Project for Duck-In Site is Back on the Drawing Board,” The Virginian-Pilot, May 11, 2014
http://hamptonroads.com/2014/05/project-duckin-site-back-drawing-board
“Virginia Beach Connections - Duck-Inn History
http://www.virginia-beach-connections.com/Online-Catalog.html 

1956 – The 1480 foot Lynnhaven Fishing Pier on Cape Henry Beach was built in 1956 and remains family- owned and operated.  At first only snacks were offered. In 1978 this was expanded to a full restaurant, the Lynnhaven Fish House and the outdoor awning covered Pier Café. 
The 1480 foot Lynnhaven Fishing Pier Extends Past the Pier Café (right)

1963. This 1963 map of Virginia Beach shows features that have changed since. Ocean Shore Ave. ran 9 miles from the Lesner Bridge through Fort Story and south down to the Ocean Front. Today it runs only just a little over a mile through Chesapeake Bay Shores to First Land State Park but is chopped into a dozen pieces within neighborhoods. North Great Neck Road was London Bridge Road and swung behind the John B. Dey school and down what is now Thomas Bishop Lane. At Bay Lake Pines, Lake Joyce was much smaller. Apparently Rt 755 ran through First Land State Park (now a bike trail), and Fort Story had no gate and traffic could go through. Non-existent were the Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge Tunnel (opened for traffic April 1964) and Northampton Blvd which replaced much of old Shell Rd as the main route to the bridge/tunnel. The intersection of First Court Road and Pleasure House Road was called Robins Corner. 

1963 Map of Northern Portion of Virginia Beach” 
http://cdm15419.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15419coll1/id/456/rec/5


1960 – The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Forty-two months after construction began, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) opened to traffic April 15, 1964 replacing ferry services and becoming one of the seven modern engineering marvels of the world. The CBBT is 23 miles long, crossing at an angle to the 15 mile width of the Chesapeake Bay, 4 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Lucius Kellam Jr. (1911–1995), a civic leader, worked for the CBBT development and operation.  As an Eastern Shore native, businessman, and civic leader, Kellam brought the multi-million-dollar bridge-tunnel project from a dream to reality.  After completion Kellam became chairman of the CBBT holding the post for 39 years.  In 1987 the bridge-tunnel was officially named the Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge but few people know that and call it only by its long name, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, unlike  the nearby Lesner Bridge named that in 1928 when a draw-bridge was constructed over the Lynnhaven River.
The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 destroyed some of the completed bridge work along with a major piece of custom-built pile driver barge called "The Big D.”  On a few occasions portions of the bridge have been damaged by vessels. The bridge claimed 7 workers during construction and since 9 Feb 2016 there have been 79 traffic fatalities, with only 2 resulting from 15 vehicles, mostly tractor-trailers, being blown off the bridge in high wind, fatalities held to a minimum by wind restrictions to various vehicles and closed altogether when the winds exceed 65 mph. When a parallel bridge was opened in 1999 to separate northbound and southbound travelers, head-on collisions fatality rates fell. Opposing traffic still passes each other closely in the two tunnels.
In July 2016, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Commission awarded a $756 million contract to Dragados USA for a parallel tunnel tube to the Thimble Shoals tunnel. Construction is expected to begin in October 2017 and take five years. Expansion of the second underwater section in the Chesapeake Channel is tentatively slated for 2040 or later.
Dragados Awarded $756 Million Contract for New Tube of Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel,
Thursday's (Feb 9, 2017) Fatal Truck Crash Brings Death Toll on Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to 79,” Feb 10, 2017 -  http://pilotonline.com/news/local/transportation/thursday-s-fatal-truck-crash-brings-death-toll-on-chesapeake/article_db56819a-f2c6-5476-80ea-6452efb6851a.html
"Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel and Lucius Kellam Jr."


1970’s - Cape Henry Trail. The old railroad right-of-way became a trail (Cape Henry Trail) for walkers and sometime in the 70’s was paved for bikers. From its west starting access at Jade Street it runs 1.5 miles to First Landing State Park. At Hatton Street (mile 1.3) Lesley Harlow built an eclectic garden in the early 60’s complete with a Norfolk Mermaid, ten foot skeleton and suspended Dark Knight.


Crossing Kendall Street the trail enters First Landing State Park and follows the rail line for another 0.4 miles of asphalt pavement before it diverges off the old rail line following old Rte 343 / 755 for 5.5 miles to 64th Street (the southern park entrance).  From there Cape Henry Trail uses old Rte 343 for a 1.5 mile mountain bike experience with lots of sand and patchy surfaces. It's a rewarding little trek, with small hills, water views, and bird-watching. It ends at the swimming and recreation area at the Narrows, a link of water between Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay. The VA Pilot dubbed it a Secluded Beach Secret.

                                                  Trail Map of First Landing State Park 

“First Landing State Park Is A Secluded Beach Secret,”  July 17,2009


1977 – The Sea Wall. The 1.8 miles of Cape Henry Beach (from the Lesner Bridge east to First Landing State Park) are split approximately in the middle by an 0.8 mile sea wall built in 1977.  On both sides of the sea wall, communities are protected from hurricanes by sand dunes which require setbacks from the beach and, in most cases, obstruct bay view from the first floor.  Communities behind the sea wall have a grand view of the bay and access directly to the beach. These communities and businesses include (from west to east) Lesner Point East Condominiums, Lynnhaven Beach Condominiums, Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, Casa Del Playa Condominiums, Lynnhaven Fish House/Pier Cafe and Pier, Ocean Shore Condominiums, Ships Watch Town Homes, Chesapeake Bay Shores Town Homes, and Sea Gate Colony High Rise Condominiums. Cape Henry Beach has a total of 22 public access paths. The seven that step down from the sea wall are paved and afford lots of free parking along Ocean Shore Avenue and three cul-de-sacs in Chesapeake Bay Shores. Those 15 access points on either side of the sea wall have very limited parking with one concrete (partial) and three plank paths, one of which is a handicapped access (at the end of Sandalwood Road). The others are sand. The three high rise condominiums are Harbour Gate and Cape Henry Towers near the Lesner Bridge and Sea Gate Colony just west of Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center.  Ships Watch and Chesapeake Bay Shores are the only town homes. The sea wall is composed of 3 x 15 foot tongue and groove precast reinforced concrete sections with a 1 x 1.5 foot concrete lip. Sections were anchored 8 feet into the sand using water jetting, a method of sinking wall sections with high pressure water.
One of 24 Chesapeake Bay Shores town homes situated behind the sea wall

                    with a grand view of the bay and direct access to the beach


1978 – Low Rent Regatta. In mid-July at a Hobie 32 Fleet meeting (catamaran sailors), the Chesapeake Beach crew was chastised because they could not afford to participate in an upcoming regatta. An offhand comment noting their “low-rent district” ignited what would become a 20-year inexpensive fewer-rule Low Rent Regatta with proceeds of nearly $250,000 given back to the community. The Labor Day event saw hundreds of Hobie Cat entries, and wind-surfing and volleyball tournaments - all hosted by the Fort Story Officers Club on their beachfront for the last 15 years of the event.  With the waning popularity of catamarans in the early 1990’s, the 1998 Labor Day weekend was the final race coupled with a final party celebration. The Low Rent Regatta was one of the largest and longest-running catamaran races ever held and left lasting friendships among communities up and down the Chesapeake beaches.
 
The "Low Rent Regatta" off Fort Story Beach 1990's 
(Picture from "Gone but not Forgotten,VA Beach,"
by Jordan Shepherd and James Jordan IV, 2008)

1986 – the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center (VBRH&CC) at 2800 Shore Drive opened in 1986, the only hotel on Cape Henry Beach. VBRH&CC provides sunset views from 295 suites.  Featured are the Tradewinds Restaurant, in & outdoor pools, a fitness center and coupons to play tennis at nearby Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club.  A summer concession in front of the hotel rents various non-motorized water craft.  A Segway outlet featuring rides on Cape Henry Trail has since been discontinued. The hotel provides an option for young groups that need a place away from the hustle and bustle of the beach front with calmer waters.  
From left to right on the ground floor – outdoor pool, indoor pool, patio bar, Tradewinds Restaurant with deck under the striped awning and the Sunset Ballroom under the sloped roof.

The hotel’s biggest moneymaker is hosting wedding ceremonies on the beach along with  receptions, rehearsal dinners, luncheons and room rentals. 
Typical setup for a wedding out in front of the hotel

Hotel ratings have been a mixed bag from “an unforgettable stay” to “a miserable experience.”
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center Reviews,”
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g58277-d225060-Reviews-Virginia_Beach_Resort_Hotel_and_Conference_Center-Virginia_Beach_Virginia.html

Not long after its opening the hotel spent $1 million renovating Tradewinds Restaurant and building a ballroom. Ballroom plans showed a flat roof so that next door Mariner's Mark Condominiums would not have an obstructed view of the beach. But a sloped roof was built instead which obstructed the view for several of Mariner's Mark units. This began an unfriendly association with local neighbors. Next up were plans to build a 980-square-foot gazebo on Cape Henry Beach. Included in the zoning petition was license for bands which were playing at Duck Inn (soon to closed).  Residents came out in large numbers to a hearing on the hotel’s proposals in January 2005. With strong opposition the hotel put off plans for the band and gazebo. 
Many Neighbors of the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel Oppose the Beach Expansion,” January 24, 2005 – http://insidebiz.com/news/many-neighbors-virginia-beach-resort-hotel-oppose-beach-expansion

For years a summer concession of the VBRH&CC Hotel rented out jet skis. They were noisy and dangerous to swimmers, just one more hotel operation creating sour relations with neighbors. The jet ski controversy was finally brought to a head in 2007 by local resident Ray McDaniels who cited various code violations. He was instrumental in having them banned from the beach. 
Do Beach Hotel's Jet Ski Rentals Skim over Parts of City Code?” Virginian Pilot September 11, 2007 - http://hamptonroads.com/node/325351).

Ray McDaniels led the fight to get jet skis banned from Cape Henry Beach

1990’s – Cape Henry Beach has always had its colorful characters being a beach free of  police enforcement, a place where dogs can run free and kids don’t have to worry about the huge ocean waves.

Louis Perna II (Lu) lived in a cardboard box on Cape Henry Trail near North Great Neck for approximately 5 years in the 90’s taking walks with his dog on Cape Henry Beach. 

Goad: 'He Chose The Life He Wanted To Live'”

Beach Bill took walks in the 90’s for many hours every day along the shores of Cape Henry Beach – always with his wide brim hat and a can of beer in his hand.  
Beach Bill, Salon Marketing - http://www.beachbill.com   
                                         Beach Bill’s Daily Stroll on Cape Henry Beach



2002 - Lesner Bridge Replacement.
In the early stages of planning, the city asked residents to vote on two possible alignments. Since most residents live on the north side of Shore Drive, the overwhelming choice was a right-of-way calling for the bridge to be built in two steps, first a new east bound bridge south of the existing bridge and then demolition of the entire bridge so the west bound lanes could be built in the footprint of the old bridge. This construction allowed for four lanes to remain open during construction since the single new 40 foot wide bridge could temporarily handle four traffic lanes. Dimitri Hionis (owner of Bubba's Restaurant, the Lesner Inn and a shellfish company) worried about losing parking space and the Maryland and Virginia Pilot Association worried about traffic noise for the pilot boat employees’ sleeping quarters which would end up closer to the new bridge. With these two arguments the City Council agreed in early May 2009 to shift the design so the west bound lane bridge would be the first built, bringing the northern alignment 16 feet closer to the new Chesapeake Point development and 3556 Condominium.  Dorinda Ennis, a condo owner said, "The northern alignment takes a premier building, ours, and squishes it near the bridge. It was very disappointing." 
With 21,104 bridges and large culverts in Virginia there are 1,209 structurally deficient and 3,429 functionally obsolete. “Structurally deficient" means the bridge must be monitored, inspected and maintained but is not likely to collapse or that it is unsafe. A major problem remains with the federal government doling out highway funds to states with no restrictions on how they spend the money. The Lesner Bridge is a shining example. The 1,575 ft bridge over the Lynnhaven inlet features twin replacement bridges each with a 53 foot-8 inch wide deck to accommodate two lanes of traffic, appropriate shoulders on each side and a multi-use path in each direction. This 84,530 SF bridge at $115 million (or $1,360 per square foot) is much in excess of equivalent bridge costs.

In 2002 the bridge was designated structurally deficient and knowing that repair would disrupt traffic for up to a year, the city opted for replacement. Cape Henry ended up getting a “Cadillac” bridge (at the expense of other sorely needed bridge replacements in Virginia) to include raising the new bridge 15 feet and doubling the width of each span with the post-tensioned precast concrete super-structure construction the slowest and most costly. Using prestressed concrete or steel I-beams could have saved time and money.  Then there's another problem with the design. If a ship runs into the bridge or a truck overturns on the bridge loaded with heavy material damaging the outer flange of just one the monolithic post-tensioned segments, it cannot easily be replaced as it's tied in to other segments with post-tensioning tendons. The bridge would have to be entirely shut down until costly repairs could be made. If it were a series of I-beams, as in highway overpasses, one lane could be shut down while another I-beam was lowered into place, a relatively easy fix compared to a monolithic post-tensioned superstructure.
In 2012 a Charette (planning meeting) was supposed to present various plans to citizens, from Spartan to luxurious. But instead, the designers had practically finished the design of a luxurious replacement bridge. The meeting was simply to ask citizens what railing and lamp posts they liked best. Attending the meeting were local citizens who were enthusiastic about their future “Cadillac” bridge.
As things turned out the city got burned by the engineering consultant, Clark Nexsen International Architecture and Engineering Consultants “that botched its estimate” and its $89 million cost estimate ended up at $115 million.  Since the state and feds refused to kick in additional money, the city had to pony up the additional $26 million.
Construction started Jul 2014 and the two spans were originally scheduled to be fully operational June 2017, but that date keeps slipping. The estimate is for the west bound bridge to receive traffic Sep 2016. That’s 2 years and 2 months for the construction of the west bound bridge. With current bridge demolition, that pushes a possible project completion to early 2019, 2-1/2 years behind schedule.

Bridges in Virginia, 2016 http://www.virginiadot.org/info/bridge.asp
Beach Can't Close Gap over Site for New Lesner Bridge
Lesner Bridge Low Bidder Wants Out after $20M Mistake - January 8, 2014 
Beach Is Finally Ready to Build New Lesner Bridge


What’s in a name? The Lesner Bridge (named for State Senator John A. Lesner’s State Highway Commission service) was named the Lynnhaven Bridge when it was a draw bridge before 1958. Now that the Lesner Bridge is being replaced by twin bridges the city believed the time had come for a new name, but citizens were generally opposed and voted to retain the current name. Later in 1987 the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT) was named the Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge (name didn’t stick).  Sea Shore State Park was renamed the First Landing State Park in 1999 (name has stuck but not for old timers in the area). And just recently Fort Story (named for Gen. John Patton Story, a noted coast artilleryman of his day) has been renamed Joint Expeditionary Base East (fat chance that name will stick). 
Rendering of the Lesner Bridge Structure to be Completed in 2017


Three of the 14 segments for the first bridge span
One of the new twin bridge spans,  53 feet in width, will temporarily accommodate four vehicle lanes (two each way), while the old twin bridges are demolished, making way for the east-bound new bridge. Each new span features two 12-foot traffic lanes, a 6-foot inner shoulder and a 10-foot outer shoulder, wide enough for 3 lanes, but wait! Shore Drive is a four lane highway, but for how long?

2005 - Present - Crabbing. Beginning about ten years ago mostly Fillipino crabbers started catching blue crabs at Cape Henry Beach from May through September using chicken necks as bait and scooping the crabs up in nets. 


2006 - 2014 - Cape Henry Kiteborading. In the late 1990’s in Oregon Cory Roeseler developed an inflatable tube kite harnessed to a rider on a small surfboard - the kite propelling the rider across the water.  If the kite dropped down to the water it would easily bounce back into the air. Corey’s invention, called kiteboarding or kitesurfing,  took off in the Columbia River Gorge in Hood River, Oregon, where wind conditions were favorable most of the time. Not until 2006 were one or two kiteboarders seen on windy days off Cape Henry Beach, but by 2014 dozens Cape Henry kiteboarders were jumping waves.
The History of Kiteboarding & Launch of a New Sport http://www.inmotionkitesurfing.com/2013/history-of-kiteboarding

2006 - First time kiteboarder trying out in calmer waves. 
The Lynnhaven Fishing Pier in the background.
2014 - dozens of Cape Henry kiteboarders jumping turbulent waves.
                                        Looking east toward First Landing State Park Beach

October 1, 2009, the Army Transportation Corps (of Fort Eustis) and the Navy’s Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base joined together to become the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEBLC-FS), the first joint base in the Hampton Roads, VA area. Their primary mission is to transport US Marines to trouble spots around the world on Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ships, each housing two air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC) (hover crafts) which can deploy to the beach 180 troops or an M-1 Abrams tank. Beside personnel and equipment delivery, LCAC have proven to be very useful in supporting non-hostile amphibious operations and were vital in delivering life-saving equipment, food, water, and medical supplies in humanitarian relief efforts after disastrous floods in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan and the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Four of the eight Landing Platform Dock’s (LPD), now operational (one still under construction) are based at Norfolk Naval Base. They conduct training operations off Ft Story where locals are more than aware when they train due to the high volume of noise LCAC’s generate. 
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=600&ct=4


USS San Antonio (LPD-17)


 An LCAC aboard the USS San Antonio (LPD-17)

 Marines exit the LCAC during an exercise

An LCAC skimming along at 40 knots using an average of 1000 gallons per hour, a real bargain considering that an F-16 fighter jet uses 1,680 gallons of fuel per hour.


2009 – Cape Henry Beach Sand. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers first became involved with Lynnhaven Inlet in the early 1960's. Every four years 160,000 cubic yards of dredged sand was trucked to the beach front until 2001 when Ocean Park Beach (just west of the Lesner Bridge) and Cape Henry Beach (just east of the Lesner Bridge) starting receiving the dredged sand on an alternate four year cycle through large hoses laid along the beach. During the November 2009 sand replenishment project along Cape Henry, a four day nor’easter played havoc on the beach, damaging the Lynnhaven Pier, steps to the beach, and owners’ decks; and leaving a trench in front of the 0.8 mile sea wall from Seagate Colony high-rise to Westminster Canterbury retirement complex. The city then trucked an additional 50,000 cubic yards of sand all the way down to First Landing State Park to complete the project . 
Damage steps down to Cape Henry Beach
Rebuilding Lynnhaven Pier Cost $500,000
"Virginia Marine Resources Commission Approves Truck-Hauling of Sand to Finish Cape Henry Beach Replenishment” February 5, 2010 - 
http://sdcc.info/2010/02/05/vmrc-approves-truckhauling-of-sand-to-finish-cape-henry-beach-replenishment


Sand replenishment may have been stopped had Lynnhaven Dunes Condominium Association prevailed in court. They claimed their deeds showed that the beach belongs to them, but they were willing to give up their riparian (property) rights for $1.5 million. The court allowed the association to pursue their case while clearing the legal way for the Corps of Engineers to continue with sand pumping on Cape Henry Beach. On October 15th, 2013, a jury of the Supreme Court of Virginia decided the condominium association's water-access rights were worth nothing and the city should not have to reimburse the owners, a battle that cost the association a quarter of a million dollars.
Va. Beach in Court over Cape Henry Beach Access
http://hamptonroads.com/2009/03/va-beach-court-over-cape-henry-beach-access
Jurors Side with City in Virginia Beach Sand Lawsuit

May 19, 2011 - Paddleboard Mileage Record. Mike Simpson and Will Rich of Rhode Island left Virginia Beach on their stand-up paddeboards on their 1,600 mile journey from Key West, Florida to Portland, Maine to raise awareness and money for the SUP Clean-Up and Wounded Warrior Project charities. About a dozen folks were on hand to see them off.  Coming into Virginia Beach on Monday, May 16th, they encountered giant swells as they attempted to cross the mouth of the Chesapeake.  They reached the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and found a boater willing to take them back to shore. The boat dropped them off at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center where they stayed for three nights. On June 30, 2011, 42 days after leaving Virginia Beach, they arrived at their final destination, Portland, Maine. Their 1,600 mile journey will surely be the folklore of paddleborders in years to come.
Arriving in Portland Maine June 30, 2011, Just after Paddling Through Dense Fog.
“Chesapeake Bay Challenges Philanthropic Paddlers”
Another couple on their stand-up paddleboards, attempting a bit shorter route, arrived in Virginia Beach Nov 17th, 2015 from New York on their way to Florida. Called “Atlantic Supergirls” – LouAnne Harris, 28, and Julieta Gismondi, 30 started their trip Oct 12th,  paddling to raise money for Mission Blue, an ocean-conservation organization, and First Descents, a program that provides outdoor adventures for young adults affected by cancer. 
http://www.pilotonline.com/life/wildlife-nature/paddleboarders-glide-through-virginia-beach-on-trek-from-n-y/article_bab492ba-05fc-51f2-ba9a-2237a4715caa.html

June 7, 2012 OpSail 2012Tall ships rendezvous at Lynnhaven Anchorage, making ready to sail into Norfolk the next morning for the Parade of Sail OpSail 2012. The ships’ masts were lit up, making a spectacular night time view off Cape Henry Beach.
Dozens of Tall Ships, with lights strung from bow to stern at the Lynnhaven Anchorage, 
just off Cape Henry Beach, make a grand nighttime display.

Tall ships from around the globe sail from Virginia Beach to downtown Norfolk to kick off a weekend of festivals.
http://hamptonroads.com/2012/06/photo-gallery-opsail-2012-virginia-parade-sail#861071000.jpg 


2012 - Indigo Dunes Becomes Pleasure House Point Natural Area. Local citizens have long spearheaded efforts to raise funds for purchase of undeveloped waterfront property on the Lynnhaven River known as Indigo Dunes. The property is located on the north side of Pleasure House Creek and Crab Creek.  It is 122 acres of beautiful undeveloped coastal property encompassing oyster beds, wetlands and a maritime forest. In 2007 L.M. Sandler & Sons bought the land for $30 million. They proceeded to get approvals to build 1,063 homes on the land, offering to trade these wetlands for land they owned in Florida, but the housing market bottomed out in 2009 and Sandler defaulted on the loan. This opened the way for a purchase in July 2012 of the property for a bargain basement $13 million with help from the Trust for Public Land, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the community. 
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) help in the purchase of Pleasure House Point allowed it to place one building near the north side property line out of the way of the natural area. The building is a state of the art CBF regional headquarters and education center, promoting preservation and sustainability to teachers and students. There are rooms for local conservation groups and community organizations. Opening on January 5, 2015 the Brock Environmental Center is named in honor of Joan and Macon Brock of Virginia Beach, who generously donated $3.6 million toward the $21 million project. The 10,000-square foot building was the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified building in Virginia, a green building rating system. Its natural brown wood siding sitting on pylons allows natural sand to flow under it to blend with the natural surroundings.
On May 13, 2016, the center was honored for becoming one of the first 11 projects to meet all of the criteria required under the “Living Building Challenge” by the International Living Future Institute,
considered by many to be the highest honor in the world for green building projects. The Brock Center is the first building in the South to earn it. Among the center’s distinctions is the first-ever system in a U.S. commercial building for making all drinking water from rainwater. It generates all of its own electricity from solar panels and two wind turbines.
Virginia Beach's Brock Center One of the First Buildings in the World to Earn Elite Green Honor,
The Virginian-Pilot, May 12, 2016
Indigo Dunes Becomes Pleasure House Point Natural Area
Treasure at Pleasure House Point – The Virginian Pilot, July 12, 2013 http://hamptonroads.com/2013/07/treasure-pleasure-house-point
Brock Environmental Center
Pleasure House Point


 Indigo Dunes Becomes Pleasure House Point Natural Area



Pleasure House Point, Brock Environmental Center

April 13, 2014 - Lynnhaven Beach Condominiums caught fire right next to Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay.  All 22 residents escaped except Benjamin and Patricia Joyce (April 23, 1929 - April 13, 2012) who were born on the same day and would die on the same day. They had been married 62 years. Their children’s advice to move to assisted living facilities went unheeded as they loved where they were, looking out at Cape Henry Beach each morning.
Two Seniors Dead in Condo Fire in Virginia Beach,” April 14,2012
http://hamptonroads.com/2012/04/two-seniors-dead-condo-fire-virginia-beach

From the Old Donation Episcopal Church 2009 Picture Book

Outdoor Gas Barbecue Pit Fire Destroys Two Buildings at Lynnhaven Condos April 13, 2012


April 16, 2014 - Grounded Cargo Ship. Wind gusts of more than 70 mph ripped cargo ship Ornak’s anchor from the seafloor at the Lynnhaven anchorage and caused it to run aground just a few hundred feet from Seagate Colony at Cape Henry Beach. Before becoming mired in the sand the Ornak ripped apart a fish net structure (see above). 
“Port Captain Talks about Freeing Grounded Cargo Ship”

The Lynnhaven Anchorage is located directly in front of Cape Henry Beach, a holding area for foreign colliers (coal ships) and cargo ships waiting for their turn at Portsmouth, Norfolk and Newport News docks for loading. Hampton Roads exports more coal than any other U.S. port.  Most of what the colliers load is metallurgical, or "met," coal, a raw ingredient for making steel.  Unlike the old days when foreign seamen were a fixture in Hampton Roads, only those with U.S. visas can venture ashore when their ship docks to load.  Companies chartering each ship pay about $17,000 a day. Some colliers must wait as long as a month for their cargo to arrive, and when global coal demands are high, twenty or more colliers can be seen at Lynnhaven Anchorage waiting for their port call. Those colliers, tall ships, an occasional aircraft carrier, and the night lights along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge) make the view from Cape Henry Beach more than just a horizon, all that is seen from the ocean front.
Colliers waiting at the Lynnhaven Anchorage 
“Coal Ships Create a Traffic Jam on Hampton Roads Waters,” Feb 21,2011 
http://hamptonroads.com/2011/02/coal-ships-create-sight-hampton-roads-waters
“Freighters - Floating Foreign Islands - Wait off Virginia Beach”
http://hamptonroads.com/2011/07/freighters-floating-foreign-islands-wait-virginia-beach 


Sand, Sand Everywhere, 
but Not a Grain of Sand to Spare for Chic’s Beach
Lynnhaven Inlet sand never reached as far as Chic’s Beach (running from "Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek Beach" east to "Aeries on the Bay Beach Park") and year after year residents watched storm after storm whittle away at their beloved shoreline with some stretches as narrow as 10 feet at high tide or no beach at all.  Then in 2014 since Cape Henry Beach waterfront property owners had already gone through "public beach" releases and Chic’s Beach had not, the Lesner Bridge contractor found a ready-made home for that 60,000 cubic yards of sand on Cape Henry Beach. 
"Public Works Schedules Sand Replenishment for Cape Henry Beach," May 02, 2014
In Nov 2015 Chic's Beach residents stood in dismay at the southern edge of their diminished beach watching as Norfolk's Chesapeake beaches from the edge of Chic's Beach seven miles to Willoughby Spit were widened by 60 feet with 1.2 million cubic yards of sand worth $18.4 million and a promise from the federal government to replace washed away sand every nine years for the next 50 years using 70% of federal funds, all thanks to Hurricane Sandy’s federal money that flowed after that 2012 disaster. And again, to add insult to injury, in May 2016 Chic's Beach was left high and dry once again as trucks hauled 30,000 cubic yards of sand to areas from Westminster Canterbury to the Lesner Bridge. Missing out on these golden opportunities for sand, Chic’s Beach continued to be straddled with several beach front property owners still refusing to give permission to place sand in from of their properties on beaches they claimed to be “private property.”  Bruce Mills and Bill Page used old planning documents that attested to the fact Chic’s Beach was never meant to be public, but then Mills and Page never complained about free trash pickups or beach patrols on their “private” beach.
“Chic's Beach Sand Replenishment Inches Ahead” Nov 29, 2014
Then on May 25, 2016, a judge ruled that Chic’s Beach was public, just like every other beach along the Chesapeake Bay. This ruling made way for a replenishment project, a path forward for rebuilding a beach that badly needed it. The Department of Public Works estimated the sand replenishment program will cost about four million dollars, but it’s unlikely new sand will arrive until 2017, that is if funding is made available. The hold-out land owners were not happy and worried about non-residents, strangers, and other undesirables using what they had long assumed was their “private” beach.  Of course Mills was upset and told TV 10 WAVY News that “The city’s overreach is a violation of fundamental constitutional rights,” rights Mills and his supporters were willing to give up for more than $1 million. Paul Dimeck was also dismayed at the ruling and said it would bring more people and more cars. He told TV 10 WAVY News, “Where do they go to the bathroom?” worrying that the city might take the next step and install public toilets.
Perhaps Chic’s Beach might now slid back to the funky place it used to be when Luther "Chic" Ledington ran a hot dog stand and super cool bungalows used to dot the landscape. Perhaps Chic’s Beach could take a lesson from the North End residents on the Ocean Front fed up with boxy, three-story duplexes towering over their beach cottages. In April 2016 they succeeded in changing a zoning law to preserve the neighborhood’s character and discourage large three story  tract mansions. The Ocean Front new design guide stated, “porch lined streetscapes promote interest at the street level and community interaction,” designs now lost in the race to build more and more square footage on postage size Chic’s Beach lots, those three story abutting McMansions snuffing out the beach view for others with little concern for better property values and lower insurance rates from wider beaches.
End of Bayview Ave where three-story duplexes tower over Chic's Beach on the other side.

 Three homes on Ocean View Ave at Chic's Beach have practically no beach in front

From the late 17th century when Chic’s Beach was known as Pleasure House Beach with an ordinary or tavern, the Pleasure House, that gave the beach its name to the 20th century when Luther "Chic" Ledington’s popular hot dog stand gave the beach a new name, this strip of beach was identified as an eclectic funky backwater from pirates to a melting pot mix of cafés and cottages. One such place was Tom Treesh’s house that looked like a boat. Treesh spent 20 years converting his home on Lauderdale Ave (a block away from the beach) to look like a boat. Then in 2013 Treesh’s ordeal with new neighbors helped mark the end of those bygone nostalgic days. When property values started soaring, those quaint cottages were replaced with three story condos with little to no character.  People moving into these sleek air conditioned homes started complaining about Treesh’s home.  Their complaints found their way to the city zoning board that had left Treesh alone for 20 years. By the end of 2013 he had it all torn down by order of the city, and by their doing so tore down one more piece of old Chic’s Beach.
 
 Tom Treesh who spent 20 years converting his home to look like a boat,
had to tear it down in 2013 after he failed to get correct permits.

 “What's in a name? Chic's Beach,” the Virginian-Pilot, September 14, 2009
http://hamptonroads.com/2009/09/whats-name-chics-beach
 “Man who spent 20 years converting home to look like a BOAT faces having to tear it down after he failed to get correct permits,” The Daily Mail, 19 May 2013
“Chic's Beach Sand Replenishment Inches Ahead,” Nov 29, 2014
“More sand Coming to Ocean View Beaches,” the Virginian Pilot, Mar 31, 2015
“Virginia Beach Plans Emergency Replenishment for Cape Henry,” the Virginian-Pilot, April 7, 2016
http://pilotonline.com/news/local/environment/virginia-beach-plans-emergency-replenishment-for-cape-henry/article_6033bff0-582b-5b04-a833-9f526f635494.html
Virginia Beach Neighborhoods Move to Restore Signature Beach Cottages,” The Virginian-Pilot,  
 “Judge Rules in Favor of Va. Beach in Chic’s Beach Restoration Case,” TV10 WAVY News, May 25, 2016 



April 2015. Coal Colliers Move to Cape Charles. Ships waiting for a berth at Norfolk Southern’s Pier 6 terminal, Lamberts Point Norfolk (one of the largest coal-export complexes in the world), Kinder Morgan’s Pier IX Newport News, or Dominion Terminal Associates’ facility Newport News, are now required to be anchored off Cape Charles as of April 2015, causing an extra 30 mile, three- hour trip up the Chesapeake, and then an extra 30 mile, three- hour trip back to load coal. This has made a significant increase in expense for the coal colliers and the pilot boats. Why the change? Capt. Christopher Keane, who in June 2015 became commander of the Coast Guard’s Hampton Roads sector and the port captain, looked into federal regulations written in the late 1940s giving him discretion to permit merchant vessels to anchor at the Lynnhaven Anchorage. Even though current training is consistent with historical norms for off-shore exercises at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, East -Fort Story and even though there has never been any incident with colliers parked at the adjacent Lynnhaven Anchorage, Capt. Keane decided that ships in close proximity to naval exercises would impact the safety and security of his military people.

Merchant vessels must now check with the commanding officer of Little Creek-Fort Story before parking at the Lynnhaven Anchorage and may be required to move to Cape Charles on a moment’s notice, driving up the costs by requiring additional pilot services, more fuel and other expenses. Between April and May 2015 there has been only one collier allowed to park at the Lynnhaven Anchorage.

Now with coal exports down due to a massive coal oversupply in East Asia, Hampton Roads’ chilling reception of coal colliers could not have come at a worst time with its competition vying for increased coal export among ports in New York, Baltimore, Savannah, Ga., Mississippi and Camden, N.J plus ports along the Gulf Coast.


CAPT Christopher S. Keane

"Navy Training Moves Coal Ships to Cape Charles," the Virginian-Pilot, May 2, 2015      
http://hamptonroads.com/2015/05/navy-training-moves-coal-ships-cape-charles
"Coal Exports' Weak Start Locally Could Signal Trend,” The Virginian-Pilot, May 11, 2015        
http://hamptonroads.com/2015/05/coal-exports-weak-start-locally-could-signal-trend

April 20, 2017 - Flags fly along Shore Drive after their absence during winter months.

2016 - An expenditure of roughly $104,000 in the city budget saw the erection of five sets of four flagpoles with colorful banners marking the entrance to the Bayfront Communities along Shore Drive and North Great Neck Road. This was part of efforts to beautify the area. The project was part of funds earmarked for Shore Drive improvements to sidewalks, drainage and traffic.
The Cost of Pretty Flags, by Kerry Dougherty, The Virginian-Pilot, Jul 15, 2016
http://pilotonline.com/news/local/columnist/kerry-dougherty/dougherty-the-cost-of-pretty-flags/article_c62b209b-398d-5d31-a78a-2fe52bd384f0.html

The Canoes at Lesner Bridge in Ocean Park
This water color is looking east over the new Lesner Bridge (Mar 2018).
July 2017 -  In the heart of the Bayfront Communities is a new aluminum sculpture created by Donald Lipski, a 26' wide by 46' tall starburst of ten canoes with LED lighting that provides an inviting evening atmosphere. Lipski’s idea for the canoes came from the first type boats to cross through the Lynnhaven Inlet. Adam Keeling, whose plantation was situated east of today’s Lesner Bridge, in August 1667 organized a group of people to dig a small pilot channel from the Lynnhaven River through a huge sandbar about a half-mile long to the Chesapeake Bay so boats would not have to make the long journey west to the mouth of the river which at that time was at Little Creek where today’s Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek is located. The trench dug was wide enough for a small boat (Lipski’s visualization was of a canoe) to paddle through the channel. A month later on September 6, 1667, the dreadful hurricane of 1667 struck, a storm considered one of the most severe hurricanes to ever strike Virginia. It forever changed the course of the river widening the little pilot channel to the Chesapeake.
Installation is not expected to be in the way of ongoing bridge construction. 
Delicate, but strong: New canoe sculpture will rise from Lesner Bridge in Virginia Beach, The Virginian Pilot, 23 April, 2017 


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Vacation at One of Chesapeake Beaches 
Little Creek (military only), Chic’s, Bay Lake, Aeries on the Bay Park, Water Oaks, Ocean Park, Chesapeake Point, Cape Henry, First Landing, and Fort Story (military only). 

The city of Virginia Beach is now promoting “Three Beaches, One Vacation” - the Resort Area Beach, Sandbridge Beach and Chesapeake Beach; but besides gentler waves, good restaurants, the two light houses and First Landing Sate Park, the city is not offering much enticement to come to the Chesapeake beaches.
Here’s what they’re missing……for starters there's a few things the Chesapeake Beaches have over the Ocean Front - no sharks; no long trip over 400 feet of hot sand; no long waits at some of the best VA Beach restaurants; great kayak launch; warmer waters late into October; more interesting views out into container and military ship traffic lanes; close-by grocery, drug and hardware stores; a beach away from the riffraff and much more.


 Sunrise over Ft Story as seen from Cape Henry Beach 
 
Sunset over the Lynnhaven Fishing Pier as seen from Cape Henry Becah
Sun up - Sun Down – Since Chesapeake beaches are facing north, one can see the sunrise and sunset in the summer time, a big plus that the Resort Area and Sandbridge Beaches don’t have. Vacationers flock to Mallory Square in Key West, Florida, to celebrate the sunset and up in Maine, they drive up Cadillac Mountain to see the nation's first sunrise. Chesapeake beaches have both and they’re usually gorgeous.
Dog Beach – All along the Chesapeake beaches dogs don't need to be on a leash, but they do need to be under control, licensed and up to date on their rabies vaccinations; however, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, they are banned between 10 am and 6 pm (the sand’s too hot anyway) according to the city code.
“Dogs on Cape Henry Beach Don't Need to Be on a Leash,” July 5, 2012
"Carolina Dog" - http://1bob1.blogspot.com/2010/04/carolina-dog.html


Kid Beach. Because of the gentle waves and  water depths not over four feet until around 40 feet out into the bay, it’s the perfect beach for kids.

Family Beach.  There are many reasons families are discovering Cape Henry Beach compared to the Ocean Front – less hassle, free parking, gentle waves, shallow waters,  easy access (especially for rubber ducky and paddle boards), and no beach patrols around to hand out tickets for what you’re wearing or not wearing or what’s in your cup.  When it’s time to leave the beach that never closes, there’s fun and eats for the whole family at very reasonably priced family establishments like McDonalds, Dunkin' Donuts, Guadalajara Bar And Grill,  Plaza Azteca, Subway, Zero's Subs, 7-Eleven, No. 1 Chinese Restaurant(carryout),  Foon's Chinese (carryout), Famous Uncle Al's (hotdogs), Tropical Smoothie Café, Tini's Frozen Yogurt Bar and the most popular of them all for old and young alike - ShoreBreak Pizza and Billiards with the best pizza and burger in town, tons of games for the kids and wall- to -wall big screen TV’s tuned to every imaginable sports show on the air. They’ll even bring the food to you on the beach (just tell them the street name of the public access).
ShoreBreak Pizza and Billiards – 2941 Shore Dr (757) 481-9393 http://www.shorebreakvb.com  

Free Parking with a short walk to the beach. If you are spending the day, there are no public restrooms except at First Landing State Park Beach ($4 per vehicle on weekdays and $5 on weekends).  Folks at Cape Henry Beach have found restroom access at the Lynnhaven Fishing Pier, McDonald's and the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel (for patrons only but un-patrolled). Pull in to one of these establishments (free parking), have a drink and then enjoy Cape Henry Beach.


July 4th Celebration at Cape Henry Beach, a yearly celebration the evening of the 3rd on the sand in front of Whaler Court featuring a top local band for the benefit of the Wounded Warrior Foundation and, of course, porta-potties.

Dolphin Watch Sunset Cruise. Experience life like never before with dolphin-watching trips from Dockside Seafood Ramp in Virginia Beach. Sunset cruises on Virginia Beach last approximately an hour and a half and depart nightly, except Monday nights at 6:30pm beginning Memorial Day thru Labor Day.  http://www.fishingvabeach.com/dolphin


Lynnhaven Fishing Pier, 2350 Starfish Road, call 24/7 at 757-481-7071  - offering recreational sport fishing from a 20-foot wide pier extending 1,480 feet into the Chesapeake Bay. The Pier is open seasonally beginning in mid-May ($10, $6 for 6-11 year olds and free under 6).  
 http://www.lynnhavenfishingpier.com


Two Premium Restaurants featured in the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
- Leaping Lizard Café, 4408 Shore Dr, (757) 460-5327 
(best homemade cookies) 
-  Citrus, 2265 W Great Neck Rd, (757) 227-3333 
(best breakfast) 
http://www.tvfoodmaps.com/restaurant/VA/Virginia-Beach/Citrus

Restaurants on the Water (there are more but these are the best)
Surf Rider (picture above) - 
Pier Café - 
Dockside - 
http://www.vbbound.com/dockside-restaurant-and-marina


Simple Eats (picture above).  If you want fresh food (veggies, fruits, fish and meat) fixed unique ways (tacos, salads, and sandwiches on sourdough bread) featuring local "farm to table" dishes, locally roasted coffee and various local beers and wines from the across the state of Virginia, then this is the place for you. Bright and cheery décor and staff serving breakfast from 7 a.m., lunch, and early dinner until 8 p.m.

3152 Shore Drive – 277-2102 http://www.simpleeatsvb.com 


The Lobster Stand - Taste of Maine. Eat in the parking lot (picture above) or carry-out. Why bother going to Maine when  "Lobster2u - http://abiteofmaine.com" brings fresh live lobsters ready for your lobster pot.  Melisa Textor and Wayne Sughrin get lobster from a refrigerated truck that arrives hear from Kennebunk, ME. early Friday mornings with just caught fish and lobsters. One would think they'd set up somewhere closer to Maine, but they've got friends and relatives here, making VA Beach blessed.  They also have an outlet on the Ocean Front, but no checkered-cloth tables that are here at Cape Henry waiting for your mouthwatering lobster rolls. They’re setup from Friday lunch through Sunday dinner in the parking lot of Marina Shores Shoppes, 2861 Lynnhaven Drive. 
Call 352-0268 to order ahead and beat the line.  
http://www.lobsters2u.com  

Shore Drive Parasail - Dockside Fishing Center - 3311 Shore Drive - 359-8442

McDonald's, 2876 Shore Dr (757) 481-4578 – a block away from one of Cape Henry Beach’s public access walks. What could be better than breakfast on the beach while watching the sun come up or for an evening snack watching the sun go down - parking and restrooms provided – “I’m lovin’ it.”

Restaurants. Here is a list of my picks for the better restaurants near Cape Henry Beach (in no particular order)
*Citrus (breakfast and lunch), 2263 West Great Neck Rd - 227-3333
*Surf Rider Grill, (opens in May), 2100 Marina Shores Dr - 481-5646 
*The Lobster Stand, Taste of Maine, Marina Shores Shoppes, 2861 Lynnhaven Drive - 352-0268  
*IL Giardino Ristorante, 2105 W Great Neck Rd - 412-0203
*Hot Tuna, 2817 Shore Drive  -481-2888
*Carib Shack, 2272 W Great Neck Rd #2242, 692-6851
*ShoreBreak, 2941 Shore Dr - 481-9393
*Lynnhaven Pier Café (opens in May), 2350 Starfish Rd 481-5950 
*Lynnhaven Fish House Restaurant, 2350 Starfish Rd - 481-0003
*Famaous Uncle Al's Hot Dog & Fries, 3045 Shore Dr - 481-2718
*Simple Eats, 3152 Shore Drive - 962-3676
*Bay Local Eatery (breakfast and lunch), 2917 Shore Dr - 227-4389
*Milton’s Bay Café, 2253 West Great Neck Rd - 481-1793
*OBS Oyster Bar and Steaks, 2947 Shore Dr - 227-3516
*Agave Bar & Taqueria, 2957 Shore Dr - 995-2957
*Guadalajara Bar and Grill, 2916 Shore Dr - 481-2918
*Sakura Japanese Restaurant, Lynnhaven Colony Shoppes, 2973 Shore Dr - 412-2200
*Fujyama Sushi Bar, Marina Shores Shoppes, 2861 Lynnhaven Dr -  496-5858
*CP Shuckers, 3232 Shore Dr - 412-2929
*Dockside Restaurant, 3311 Shore Dr - 481-0372
*Taste (sandwich and deli), 4097 Shore Dr - 464-1566
*Leaping Lizard Café, 4408 Shore Drive - 460-5327
*Tropical Smoothie Café, 4701 Shore Dr - 460-3350
*Tropical Smoothie Café, Marina Shores Shoppes, 2865 Lynnhaven Dr - 965-6965
*Miss Saigon Sandwiches & Noodles, 4701 Shore Dr #105 - 318-6690
*Croakers Neighborhood Grill, 3629 Shore Dr – 363-2490
*Froggie's 3656, Shore Drive -  216-3300
*Bucketheads Beach Grill, 3657 Shore Dr - 318-7263
*Bayside Laundry & Grill, Chic's Beach Shopping Center, 4865 Shore Dr - 464-1356
*Rita's (ice cream), 4640 Shore Dr - 390-4890
*Restaurante Ole,'  5191 Shore Dr - 460-0555

Switching Gears Bicycle Shop, 2248 Seashore Shoppes, 965-2555. Right on the Cape Henry bike trail and conveniently located across the street from Virginia Beach Resort Hotel. Ride past the northern most ecosystem of Spanish Moss covered Bald Cypress, a real sight (see above articles on "1933 - Work on First Landing State Park" and "Cape Henry Trail").


Virginia Beach Resort Hotel offers a fully-equipped health club featuring weight-training equipment, stationery bikes, treadmills, sauna, whirlpool, HydroSonic Infrasound Relaxation System,  professional massage, in-door/outdoor pool  and rights to the Virginia Beach Tennis Club (http://www.vbtcc.com).
http://www.virginiabeachresort.com

Condo Rentals - less expensive than the Ocean Front, Outer Banks or Sandbridge and right on Cape Henry Beach, a real bargain for three collective families. 
- 2411 Spinnaker Court, 4 bedrooms, sleeps 12 (there's a room with bunk beds for six kids), 3 bathrooms. Peak season mid-June- Sept 5 @ $2800/wk. Rent through owner - Dana MC Gee (757) 478-7921. 
- 2411 Ketch Court, 5 bedrooms, sleeps 10, 3 bathrooms - in season - Jun 15, 2013 Aug 16, 2013 @ $2800/wk, Atkinson Realty ERA Inc. (757) 769-8148 –
http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g58277-d1241431-Ketch_Court_2411-Virginia_Beach_Virginia.html

Church Point Manor Historic Bed & Breakfast is a sumptuously restored 1860's farmhouse boasting an enchanting venue quintessential for a first class stay. Tucked in the heart of the affluent Church Point neighborhood in Virginia Beach, the property is home to an idyllic front lawn, wrap-around-porch, veranda, pool, tennis court, and a meandering path to a private dock on Lynnhaven Inlet and another to the Adam Thoroughgood House. There are eleven elegant guest rooms, two guest suites, a piano room, tearoom, formal dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, and floor-to-ceiling windowed Solarium. Stroll past our chef's garden and down into The Cellars fine dining restaurant. Modern amenities include Wi-Fi access. Chesapeake Beaches are only one mile away.

Camping and Cabin Rentals in First Landing State Park - price from $94 to $139 per night. 


Bayville Farms Park, 4132 First Ct Rd - 20-hole disc golf course, horseshoe pits, basketball and tennis courts (lighted until 11 pm), shuffleboard courts, volleyball courts, walking trails, vending machines, picnic shelters, restrooms, diaper changing areas, and two dog parks (separate fenced areas for small and large dogs) - all free. 
http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-recreation/parks-trails/city-parks/Pages/bayville-farms-park.aspx

Two Rec Centers -
-Great Neck Recreation Center, 2521 Shorehaven Dr - Cardio equipment, circuit training, and free weights; indoor pool with lap lanes, diving board; locker rooms and showers; multipurpose gymnasium, racquetball courts, pool tables, ping pong; and kids play area with an indoor play structure 
http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-recreation/recreation-centers/Pages/great-neck.aspx
-Bayside Recreation Center, 4500 First Court Rd (same as Great Neck Rec Center) 
http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-recreation/recreation-centers/Pages/bayside.aspx

Pleasure House Point Natural Area - located just west of the Lesner Bridge and south of the Chesapeake Bay is 118 acres of water, tidal marsh, sandy shores and maritime forest. Nice walking trails. Bring a picnic and sit out on the porch of the Brock Environmental Center (see above January 5, 2015 - Brock Environmental Center).

The Farm Market  is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at 2961 Shore Drive in the Lynnhaven Square Shopping Center parking lot, providing regional, fresh vegetables and meat. While just opening in June 2015, it has the prospect of becoming a big tourist attraction like Seattle’s Pike Place Market and New Orleans’ French Market. 


Chic’s Beach Annual Art Show, 3rd Saturday in June, 10–4 pm (info (757) 468-1193) with live entertainment, local artists, food and free parking under the oaks next to Hell’s Kitchen Restaurant on the corner of Lookout Road and Fentress Ave near the Bay. Find some good buys here.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chics-Beach-Art-Show/201750809950610
Right next to the art show is Hell’s Kitchen, in my opinion the best restaurant at Chic’s Beach  (757) 605-3022
Happy Winds Watersports – includes the only certified kiteboarding school in the Hampton Roads area - 
http://hwkiteboarding.com

The Adam Thoroughgood House (a National Historic Landmark) 1636 Parish Road, (757) 460-7588 built between 1639 and 1645 but re-dated to around 1719 by the City of Virginia Beach after purchasing it from the City of Norfolk in 2003.  Ask the docent to point out the different brick styles (the last wall completed in 1645), the letters “Adt 39” on a chimney tile (the year Adam started construction) and the claim by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources the house is “a fine example of the central-hall plan house of the 17th century.” 

Thoroughgood House Loses Claim to Fame,” 17 March 2011
http://hamptonroads.com/2011/03/thoroughgood-house-loses-claim-fame
Old Homes” http://1bob9.blogspot.com/2009/06/old-homes.html


Fort StoryThe Cape Henry Memorial Colonial National Historic Park on the grounds of the Joint Expeditionary Base East (Ft Story). Climb the lighthouse and see a breathtaking view of the mouth of Chesapeake. A bit further up the road is a parking area at the Cape Henry Memorial Park. Here is the First Landing Cross dedicated to the Jamestown settlers who landed there on April 26, 1607.  Across a lawn is a memorial dedicated to the Battle of the Capes and a statue of French Fleet Commander de Grasse who led the French Fleet in blocking the English from re-supplying the English at Yorktown during the Revolutionary War.  There’s also a nice boardwalk leading to a view of the ocean.
“Shining the Light on Fort Story, VA”- http://www.virginiawind.com/virginia_travel/fort_story.asp

Nearby - 

Kayak Access Sites Chesapeake Bay, Lynnhaven River and Broad Bay.
If you have your kayak or rent one, here’s where you can launch – most are free.
Note: "Google Maps" the address to see exactly where each site is located.
*Lynnhaven River, Western Branch - 1625 Spring House Trail.
*Boat Channel to Broad Bay - Adam Keeling Rd and North Great Neck Rd.
* Lynnhaven River, Eastern Branch - Great Neck Park.
* Lake Joyce - 4300 Shore Dr (Baylake United Methodist Church, Virginia Beach, VA).
*Lake Joyce - 400 Indian Hill Road.
*Lake Joyce - 2341 Bayville Road.
*Chesapeake Bay - 2410 Whaler Court.
*Chesapeake Bay - Billy B. Post, LCSW, Bayview Avenue.
*Nearby Lake Smith - 5397 Shell Rd (Lake Smith Fishing Station).
* Lynnhaven River, Western Branch - Lynnhaven Boat Ramp & Beach Facility, Piedmont Circle.
For more information visit 
VA Beach / Norfolk Kayak Launch @ http://1bob3.blogspot.com/2008/06/kayak-launch-va-bch-norfolk.html
and Virginia Beach and Norfolk Free Kayak Launch Sites  @
http://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-recreation/beach-boat-facilities/Pages/waterway-access-sites.aspx

Botanical Garden, 441-5830 ext. 324 (front desk), 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk 
http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/visit
- World of Wonders: A Children’s Adventure Garden is a three-acre garden is dedicated to families and children. World of Wonders has several distinct areas, each offering different interactive lessons, but all offering excitement, enrichment and entertainment. Come prepared to get wet. Shoes are required.
http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/explore/wow-childrens-garden

- Butterfly House, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm  June 14 – September 21, 2014. The enclosed house provides an unbelievable opportunity to observe butterflies as they circle and land on their favorite nectar flowers providing guaranteed amazement and educational opportunities. It’s the perfect compliment to the 2.5 acre Bristow Butterfly Garden and the giant Butterfly Maze. 
http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/explore/all-gardens/bristow-butterfly-garden/butterfly-house
- Boat and Tram Tours - (May 1 to October 15) at 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 5pm daily and Tram (10 am  – 4 pm)  hourly during the week and every 1/2 hour on weekends (May 23-September 7)
http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/visit/tickets-and-tours
- Bike Nights: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm  Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 2 – October 15, 2014 - 12 miles of pedestrian pathways are open to bikers!
http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/events/bike-nights-2-2015-04-20


Ocean View Beach Park: end of Granby Street at Ocean View Avenue, Big Bands on the Bay Concert Series every Sunday during the summer months from 7-9 pm. There is a large green lawn where kids run and play during the music.  Bring beach chairs and grab some of the best fried or baked chicken at Pollard’s Chicken @ 8370 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk.  Every Sunday evening you can go back in time to the era of big bands and real dancing.  
Day Trip across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge) 

Cape Charles -
http://www.capecharles.org

Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/eastern_shore_of_virginia

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p.s. If you have an interest in the old homes in VA Beach, read 
Old Homes - Lynnhaven Parish Parishioners as Viewed through their Historical Homes,” @ http://1bob9.blogspot.com/2009/06/old-homes.html

Thanks for reading “Cape Henry.” Your comments and suggestions are always welcome!

Bob Perrine - t1mperlake@yahoo.com (it’s “t” then number “1”)
2416 Whaler Ct
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Old Donation Episcopal Church Historian



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