Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cricket Hill; Revolutionary War Earthworks Hiding in Plain Sight

Revolutionary War earthworks–genuine ones that haven’t been touched up or reconstructed–are hard to come by anymore. They’ve been fending off the elements and growth for getting on two-and-a-half centuries. That’s why it’s so remarkable that a rural Virginia county contains the well-preserved remains of an earthen fort built by hardscrabble colonists in 1776. You have … Continue reading

Posted in Bay Islands, Earthworks | Leave a comment

Historically African American Beaches; Vanished Relics of an Uncomfortable Past

The shorelines are indistinguishable from ones adjacent. They’re stretches of sand lapped by the Chesapeake Bay’s waves, full of life and memory, ceding ground as the sea level rises. These beaches are small slivers of the Bay’s 11,684 miles of waterfront. They always were, even when a segregated society set them apart and deemed them … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Ghost towns | 16 Comments

The Cavalier Hotel; A Fabulous Past, An Uncertain Future

Update: The City of Virginia Beach has promised local hotelier Bruce Thompson $18 million to help preserve the Cavalier. Thompson’s entire redevelopment will cost more than a quarter billion dollars, and will include the construction of 100 homes nearby, but the grand old structure is safe for now. City Council’s decision to provide money for this project has elicited a … Continue reading

Posted in Industry | 2 Comments

Kiptopeke’s Concrete Ships; A Long Journey to Obscurity

Concrete floats. Well, a concrete hull does, anyway. Form the material to make a vessel that displaces water and–voila–just like steel, concrete is buoyant. Go figure. I knew writing a book about the Chesapeake Bay’s abandoned history would lead me to Kiptopeke State Park‘s concrete ships, which I’ve held in curious esteem since I first … Continue reading

Posted in Boat Graveyards, Military | 14 Comments