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Eastville

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U.S. Business 13
  • Northampton County Courthouse (former)

The county seat of Northampton County since 1677, this small town centers on a complex of buildings on the courthouse green, several of which are maintained by the APVA and serve as museums. On the north side of the green is the former Northampton County Courthouse ( ES5.1) (1731), a pretty brick structure with an entrance on the gable end, erected by John Marshall, a local builder. It served as a courthouse until 1795 and then passed through many uses. In 1913 it was moved to its present location so that a Confederate monument could be erected. The entrance front—Federal in style—dates from this “restoration.” Next door to the west are the former county clerk's office (c. 1725–1750) and the debtors' prison (c. 1814). Along the south side of the green are a row of four frame law offices and a two-story brick store. The “new” Northampton County Courthouse (1899, B. [Bartholomew] F. Smith Fireproof Construction Company), which replaced an “old and dilapidated” 1795 structure, was constructed by an Alexandria firm. It is not imposing and retains the residential scale of the earlier structures. Originally a balcony was over the entrance; the present porch is a later addition which lends a Colonial Revival character. Across from the courthouse complex is the Eastville Inn (c. 1780, 1928), a rambling frame structure with an impressive porch which for years served as the social hub of the town. Plans are currently underway to rehabilitate the inn as a Heritage Trail Center. Eastville has a number of other structures of importance. U.S. Business 13 (Court House Road) bisects the town; on the south side of town on Court House Road stands Cessford, a large, five-bay brick house (1832) built for John Kerr, a relative of the family that built Kerr Place in Onancock. In spite of its date, Cessford is largely Federal in style, indicating the conservatism of the Eastern Shore in the mid-nineteenth century. North about 400 yards from the courthouse green is Christ Episcopal Church (1828), brick, with a substantial Greek Revival portico; the steeple is a later addition, and the chancel has been extended.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Richard Guy Wilson et al.
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Citation

Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Eastville", [Cape Charles, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-01-ES5.

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