Water: A Way of Life
Before railways and highways, the waterways of the Eastern Shore of Virginia were the primary mode of transportation of people and goods. Thus, the Town of Onancock, founded in 1680, grew and flourished. Despite the move to rail and then automobile, Onancock has continued to serve as a cultural and trade center for the region. Through the years, agricultural practices have improved to better protect water quality, and traditional fishing has been expanded to include aquaculture of clams and oysters. Both industries continue to drive the economy and the way of life on the Eastern Shore.
To learn more, visit the Watermen's Museum in the Historic Onancock School, take a stroll through history at historic Ker Place, and see the Hopkins & Bro. Exhibit in the entrance to Mallards at the Wharf Restaurant.
Follow Captain John Smith's Lead: Get Out on the Water!
Enjoy a guided experience by kayak, sailboat, or motorboat with a certified Virginia Ecotour Guide to see the area that Capt. John Smith called "the Gem of the Eastern Shore" as he did in the 1600s — by water! More information about guides and water
Agriculture has long been a primary economic driver on the Eastern Shore. This scene features the shipping of sweet potatoes. Hayman sweet potatoes are still an Eastern Shore specialty!
Taken from west of the southern branch of Onancock Creek, the wharf and Hopkins & Bro. Store can be seen. The grassy neck on the upper right of this historic photograph is now a lovely residential area and part of the incorporated Town.
Taken in the 1930s, the extent of the active wharf area can be seen. During this time, the entire area was simply called Hopkins Wharf, as the Hopkins firm maintained the dock and additional buildings.
View from the water, steamer at Hopkins Wharf.
Erected by Virginia Water Trails; Virginia Ecotour Guide.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Animals • Colonial Era • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1680.
Location. 37° 42.698′ N, 75° 45.311′ W. Marker is in Onancock, Virginia, in Accomack County. Marker is on Market Street, 0.1 miles west of Mt. Prospect Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Market St, Onancock VA 23417, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least
Credits. This page was last revised on January 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 197 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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