This building at 876 Main Street was formerly the Peoples Bank of Reedville. It opened in 1910 and was built of the same brick as the Gables across the street (#14). Captain Fisher supervised the construction. During the depression, this was the only rural bank to remain open, due to Captain Fisher who personally loaned the bank $109,000.
Monday & Friday
9:00am - 4:00pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
9:00am - 2:00pm
Next to the bank in what is now the parking lot, used to stand the Dey Building which housed a law office, a milinery shop, a dentist, the Post Office, a bowling alley, a grocery store and a barber shop. It was razed in the 1950s.
In 1906, Isaac Bailey's workshop was on this site, and Sam Butler bought the workshop and set up the first marine railway. Several tools owned by Mr. Bailey are still being used today in building, restoring and conducting maintenance on many area boats. The railway is now being operated by the third generation. George Butler helped the Reedville Fishermans Museum to restore the byboat Elva C.
From Commercial Fishing and Boatbuilding News:
"George Butler of Reedville Marine Railway..., has one of the primary railways on Virginia’s Northern Neck for commercial fishermen. Butler’s railway is hardly ever empty...
"Watermen pay a hauling fee and work on their own boats or they pay to have Butler repair and maintain their boats. The railway holds two boats and in June the Kath-De-O, a 42-foot crab boat and the Joyce, a 36-foot trap boat were on the rails.
"Owen Lawson of Fairport Va. owns the Kath-De-O. Lawson arrived back at his dock after a day working crab pots, only to have his shaft break and his prop fall to the bottom...
"Lawson keeps a spare shaft and Butler will install it. A diver was hired to search the bottom near Lawson’s pier to find the prop. “If he finds that prop, we’ll have him going in no time,” Butler says.
"Pound-net fisherman Tommy Lewis owns the Joyce and the boat was on the rails for routine maintenance. Lewis is going to do his own work. He works out of the Little Wicomico River and fishes pound nets in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.
"Butler is also building a 16-foot deadrise wooden skiff for Bob Martin of White Stone, Va. The skiff will mostly be a pleasure boat, but it is typical of commercial fishing skiffs Butler has built for years. White cedar is used in the bottom and sides; the transom, stem, guardrail and ribs are oak, and the keel and keelson is made of Douglas fir. “It’s a typical Butler skiff,” says the builder. “I always have a skiff going and there’s plenty of demand. I guess there aren’t too many around who build wooden skiffs anymore.”
This is the William Walker house which is the centerpiece of the Reedville Fisherman's Museum. It was built (according to local tradition) in one single day on 17 April, 1875 while Mr. Walker was out oystering.
It was built on land which was purchased from Captain Reed (who came to Reedville the previous year) and is the oldest house still standing in Reedville.
Out in front next to the house is a bronze propellor from a menhaden ship.
The back of the oldest house where it has been 'attached' to the rest of the museum is in the second picture. I think the back porch was there, but the handicapped ramp was not.
It has been restored and furnished with accessories and items that would have been typical of a waterman's home in the late 19th century. The museum docents give a tour of the house which is quite interesting.
The Reedville Historic District begins at Crowder's Lane which is partly visible at the top of the drawing (the dark line). I have not walked up past the church (#2) which is below what is pictured to see the homes in the 300 block because I knew I had to walk all the way back to the marina afterwards.
So I have only the drawing to illustrate the first stop on the walking tour, starting on the west side of the street at #316. There are six Edwardian style homes built between 1910 and 1920 which are referred to as Millionaire's Row.
Across the street at stop #26 on the walking tour is 415 Main Street which was built in the Queen Anne style in 1910. John Jett, the National Football League punter grew up in this house and practiced his skills in many locations around town. There's also a Jett Foto at 617 Main Street - maybe a relative.
Halfway down Reed's Lane (which is now Main Street) the Reed Monument is enclosed by an iron fence. The fence is an example of the iron fences that once enclosed the yards of a number of the houses on Reed Lane aka Main Street. Sometimes these iron fences may have been sold as scrap for the war effort in WW II.
This plot was the site of the internment of Elijah Reed and his wife, family and close friends. Subsequently, they were moved to Roseland Cemetery.
The monument says:
"Elijah W. Reed
"Born November 27, 1827
"Died January 27, 1888
"Founder of Reedville"
Except for the monument itself and the information from the Fisherman's museum, there seems to be nothing on the internet about Elijah Reed.
I'm not exactly sure of the address of this house, but it is next to the Masonic Hall which is position #25. The house at #503 Main Street is the Garrison House, which was built in the Queen Anne style in 1885, and was a boarding house for 25 years. Bob is walking on that side of the street. I took the picture because of the mermaid by the door.
The north wing of this Queen Anne style home was built prior to 1884 to house Elijah Reed's factory workers. In 1886, Isaac Bailey purchased the house and one acre of land. An addition was then built which more than tripled the size of the house.
Isaac Bailey designed and built the "Bailey Skiff" which was a popular open shallow draft fishing boat used in the lower bay region at the turn of the century.
In 1899, the house was sold to Dr. L.E. Cockrell, who had his office next door at 791 Main Street (stop #17).
On this lot there was originally the Blundon and Hinton store building - a grocery and department store. Behind the store was the Blundon and Hinton Cannery. Later it was the Reedville Market.
In 2001 at our visit, this was Elijah's Restaurant (named after Elijah Reed the town founder). In 2004, the name had been changed to Tommy's Restaurant.
This building is uninhabited and appeared to be abandoned on both of our visits. The inset was taken from the restaurant (then Elijah's - now Tommy's) of the back of the building in 2001. The front was taken in 2004.
The building was purchased from the Chesapeake Oil and Guano Company in 1884 by Captain John Hinton as a family home. Later it was called Reedville House and was used as a hotel with a livery stable in the rear.
This house was built in 1890. The first house here was built in 1876, but was burned down in 1888. (Loss by fire was quite common in wooden homes.) The story goes that after the fire, the family took out the pot of beans that had been cooking in the oven.and had them for dinner. The building appears to have some later non-authentic architectural additions (like the porch and the iron porch railings).
The house at 691 Main Street was built by Isaac Bailey after he sold his house to Dr. Cockrell (see stop #16). The house burned. To the left of this house stood an automobile agency, the Reedville Motor Company, which burned down in 1925.
The Dey family ordered a pre-cut building from Sears and Roebuck and had the present house at 691 erected in 1926. This would be an interesting building to see, but I don't have a picture of it.
This house was built in 1909 with ships ballast bricks brought in from Baltimore in 1902 and stacked on site. They were periodically restacked so they would weather uniformly.
Captain James C. Fisher aligned the roof with a compass. He erected the wooden mast of his schooner, the "John B. Adams" through the top two stories
Building the Gables took eight years because what was built one day, Capt. Fisher was likely to have torn down and rebuilt the next. Local historian, Miriam Haynie writes, "Finally, it was finished [in 1914] and stood in all its gabled Queen Anne glory -- with a fountain in front, a coach house on the side and a handsome wrought-iron fence to enclose it all."
From the B&B website: "The brick arcadia wraps around three sides of the house with double doors opening into marble floored vestibules at each end of the wide center hall. The grand quarter- sawn oak staircase with hand carved “waves of the sea” and original parquet “sunrise” landings, sweeps up to the third floor. Opposite the stairwell are the antique filled parlors separated by massive oak pocket doors. Across from them is the formal dining room with its exquisite Venetian chandelier.
"On the second floor, French doors open into the marble floored vestibules leading to the wicker filled sun porches on each end of the center hall...
"The third floor was the Captain’s billiard room. It is an octagonal room with the main cabin mast from the ship as the center support. It runs from the 3rd floor through the 4th floor and the massive slate roof is hung from the top of the mast on the compass rose. Small bell shaped rooms finished in double planking tongue and groove wood are located off the billiard room on the cardinal points of the compass.. ... The fourth floor is a virtual museum area, essentially unchanged since the Captain had it built. The mast continues to the top of the roof. The walls are all varnished double planking tongue and groove. All of the construction is mortise and tenon and was done by shipwrights. "
The private residence at 607 Main Street was built in 1890, and over the years has been the Crowther Meat Shop and the Miersch Barbar Shop.
The home at 585 Main Street was built in 1884 for Captain Croswell, one of the last schooner captains of the Chesapeake.
Reed's Wharf is the original site of the Reed factory, and later the Chesapeake Oil and Guano Company factory. The area was the business hub of the community, and steamships bringing supplies to Reedville landed here.
Many of the buildings that were here were destroyed by fire in 1925. Currently at this location is the Virginia Seafood Products plant for processing fish (which also sells bait and tackle and possibly fish), as well as Reedville Marina and the Crazy Crab restaurant.
Captain Albert Morris and his wife built this three story Queen Anne styled Victorian house in 1895. It is one of the centerpieces of Reedville architecture. For instance, it is featured by the Reedville Museum in the Christmas lighting season.
It is now a bed and breakfast. The elegant lower floor features "a tiled entrance hall and formal living and dining rooms that typify the wealth of the late 19th and early 20th century" industralist/entrepreneur. Captain Morris, along with his brother-in-law James Fisher, owned and operated the Morris-Fisher Menhaden Factory.
According to their site: "The Morris House offers spectacular water views, a private dock, spacious suites, Jacuzzi's, fireplaces, antique collections,full breakfasts and more. A seperate, two bedroom cottage is available daily or weekly!"
This is the second oldest house still standing in Reedville. It was built in 1875 by Gamalian T. Robinson. In 1935, Harold Haynie and his wife Miriam bought the house . Miriam was a noted artist and she founded the Reedville Art League. She was also the authori of a number of books about Reedville and the Northern Neck. These include: "The Stronghold," "A Kingdom by the Sea" and "Reedville: 1874-1974." These books (and others) are available in the Reedville Fisherman's Museum Gift Shop