We are so excited that Memorial Day is right around the corner!
On the Eastern Shore, we love to celebrate our history and remember those that paved the way for us today! This Memorial Day, in between chilling on the beach and checking out your favorite restaurants and shops, be sure to stop in at these historical military sites!
WWII Bunker and Cannon Barrel at the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge
Originally, this national wildlife refuge was Fort John Custis, then the Cape Charles Air Force Station, until the refuge came to be in 1984. You can catch a glimpse of the area’s military history when you visit the Bunker Overlook with WWII Gun Barrel.
Originally a rich man’s club, Mockhorn Island was taken over during the time of WWII by the US Military as a sportman’s retreat for high-ranking officers. The island held a mansion, a working farm, and several observation tours. You can access the island by boat and it is open year-round to the public for bird watching, photography, primitive camping, rail and waterfowl hunting and trapping. Please be careful as you explore the island!
Coast Guard Assateague Lighthouse
This 142 foot red and white striped lighthouse is located on the Virginia side of Assateague Island on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Built in 1867, the light was originally kept lit with oil. The keeper of the lighthouse would have to climb all 172 steps to the top of the light every hour to keep the light lit for those at sea. In 1933, the lighthouse was converted to electric in 1933. The light is comprised of two rotating lights that can be seen for 19 miles out at sea. Now the lighthouse still aids those at sea but is open to the public to explore, giving way to a gorgeous panoramic view of Assateague Island. The lighthouse is open every weekend from April-November from 9am-3pm.
Read more about it on the National Wildlife Refuge site.
Kiptopeke’s Concrete Ships
With a history shrouded in obscurity, the concrete ships at Kiptopeke are definitely a must-stop for any history lover. Constructed during WWII due to a shortage of plate steel, they were among two dozen of these unique boats built to haul goods and weapons. They were sunk here to create a protective barrier for the shoreline. Read more about the history of these impressive ships on the Abandoned Country blog.
When you get back from your adventures, be sure to tag us in your photos! Use the hashtags #visitesva and #off13.