“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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1113 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach VA 23451, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Virginia Legends Walk (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Neighborhood Alert! (approx. 0.3 miles away); Who's in the neighborhood?
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.
(approx. 0.3 miles away); The War of 1812 / President – Little Belt Affair (approx. 0.8 miles away); The United States Life-Saving Service Stations & Crews (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Wreck of the Dictator and The Norwegian Lady Statue (approx. 0.9 miles away); Naval Air Station Oceana (approx. 0.9 miles away); Naval Aviation Monument Park (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map 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
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.

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 sands".
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."

More. Search the internet for de Witt Cottage.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 20, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 772 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 20, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   4. submitted on July 31, 2013, by Linda Walcroft of Strasburg, Virginia.
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