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VA 639

A poignant reminder of the fishing industry, Oyster has escaped modernization and remains almost untouched. Home to about 250 people, it dates from c. 1900 and is composed of about fifty buildings, including the usual house types, a dock, B. L. Bell and Son Packing House (currently not in use), other smaller packing sheds, and a small Methodist church (Travis Chapel By-the-Sea). Some of the houses and the post office were ferried over from barrier island communities when they were abandoned c. 1900. The process continues; in May 1998 an abandoned U.S. Coast Guard Lifeboat Station (1936) from Cobb Island, weighing 200 tons, was ferried over by the Nature Conservancy to be used as a tourist lodge. The town of Willis Wharf (Virginia 639), also on the ocean side of the Eastern Shore and about twenty-nine miles north, is similar, though more altered.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Oyster", [Cape Charles, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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