“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

de Witt Cottage

Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum


—Home of Back Bay Wildfowl Guild, Inc. —

de Witt Cottage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 20, 2010
1. de Witt Cottage Marker
Inscription. The de Witt Cottage, built in 1895 by B. P. Holland, Virginia Beach's first mayor, was the first brick structure built at the oceanfront. With 14" thick outside walls and a sturdy foundation, the building has survivied many northeasters and hurricanes. In 1909, Cornelius de Witt purchased the house and moved his family there. The family remained in the house until 1990 when it was purchased by the City of Virginia Beach.

Restoration of the house was undertaken in 1994 by the Virginia Beach Foundation and the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild. The cottage is on the National register of Historic Places, and is now a wildfowl museum.
Location. 36° 50.43′ N, 75° 58.332′ W. Marker is in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and 12th Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1113 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach VA 23451, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Virginia Legends Walk (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Neptune (approx. 1.4 miles away); Atlantic Parkway (approx. 2.2 miles away); Eastern Shore Chapel (approx.
The de Witt Cottage image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 20, 2010
2. The de Witt Cottage
An identical marker is on the railing only a few feet away.
2.5 miles away); The Flame of Hope (approx. 2.5 miles away); Flame Of Hope (approx. 2.6 miles away); Peace Monument (approx. 3.6 miles away); Historic Cayce Hospital Building (approx. 3.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Virginia Beach.
Regarding de Witt Cottage. Picture captions, clockwise, starting from the upper right:
After their parent's death and during the Great Depression, the de Witt children rented rooms to visitors vacationing in Virginia Beach.

The de Witt cottage cupoloa was and still is a distinctive landmark. In the earlier days, it was taller than many of the buildings nearby.

Cornelius de Witt used the cupola as a lookout spot for ducks and/or geese on Lake Holly, which can be seen today at 13th and Pacific Avenue.

The de Witt Cottage and Gardens.

The 22 room cottage had ample rooms for Cornelius and Cecile de Witt and their 10 children.

The de Witts kept ponies as well as cows, chickens, and rabbits on land they owned west of the cottage where The Raven Restaurant now stands.

The de Witt family named their home "Wittenzand", Dutch for "white
The de Witt Cottage image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 20, 2010
3. The de Witt Cottage
The de Witt Cottage Marker is immediately inside the gate to the left in this picture.
Also see . . .  The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum web site. (Submitted on July 20, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Categories. Notable BuildingsSettlements & Settlers
Sign on Boardwalk Side of House image. Click for full size.
By Linda Walcroft, July 9, 2013
4. Sign on Boardwalk Side of House
Facing the beach and boardwalk, this sign is part of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Tour. It says "Atlantic Wildfowl Museum — The days of skies darkened by flight of ducks and geese may be gone, but memories of those days are preserved through the works of art and preserved artifacts."
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 674 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on November 2, 2016.
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