I've been driving around Northampton Country, the last county before crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the last couple of day. The area is rich in history and goes back to the earliest days of English settlement in North America. I saw a small sign that pointed to "Custis Tomb" that piqued my curiosity so I drove down the side road off of US 13. The road led back to a housing development along one of the Chesapeake Bay creeks. In the middle of the development are 2 above ground tombs surrounded by a brick fence. They are the graves of John Custis and John Custis IV. They are associated with Arlington mansion and the nearby Arlington Archeological Site that contains the Accomack Plantation which was the first English settlement on the Eastern Shore dated to 1619 and a probable tenant or slave quarters dating to the second half of the 18th century. The site also includes the foundations of Arlington mansion marked by some wooden corner posts. The plantation was established about 1670 and demolished in about 1720. Arlington plantation was the ancestral home of the Custis family. Arlington House, former home of Robert E. Lee, at Arlington National Cemetery takes its name from this plantation. It is also know as the Custis-Lee Mansion. The mansion was built by George Washington Parke Custis, the step-grandson and adopted son of George Washington and only grandson of Martha Custis Washington. Martha was married to Daniel Parke Custis until he died in 1757. She married George Washington 2 years later. You just never know where a small sign will lead you.
Camping on the waterfront provides some great views and Tuesday we had an awesome sunset. After the sun slipped below the horizon, the sky and water surface exploded into deep red and orange. It lasted about 20 -30 minutes and I snapped away until the color disappeared.
It seems like one of the crops growing on the lower Eastern Shore is canola. They are plants from three to five feet tall that produce pods from which seeds are harvested and crushed to create canola oil. Canola belongs to the same family as mustard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. In the spring they have a bright yellow flower and large fields are an impressive sight. I stopped by one of the fields and captured what it looks like from above with my drone. I posted the video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cbpyYQLJcQ&t=36s
We been to Cape Charles several times during our stay. It's a town that looks like it's on its way back up. Cape Charles was established in the 1880's by the railroads and steamship companies as a port of entry to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The railroad was extended south to Cape Charles and after the harbor was dredged it provided a transfer point for taking freight and passengers the 30-some miles to Norfolk-Newport News area. The town’s peak period of development was in the early 1900's when as many as 300 cars per day were transported through the harbor. In 1958, the last passenger train left Cape Charles. Even though the railroad is still in operation for commercial and industrial purposes, as it has been continuously since 1884, a lot of the tracks used as sidings for the ferry's are being torn up. With the demise of the railroads after WWII, the town declined. After several decades of decay, the main streets have seen a resurgence with new condos, restaurants, shops, boutique lodging, and a spa, which is transforming Cape Charles back to a charming, seaside town. It's worth a visit if you are traveling along US 13 or as a destination.
We've decided to stay at Cherrystone until Monday, but we are going to change sites to one that is higher and hopefully drier. We're expecting rain on Saturday and Sunday, so it's time to get out of the hole we are in. We're moving off the beach and into the pine trees, but we'll still have a water view.