“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

North Virginia Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

VB Now

Living the Life


— Along the Oceanfront —

VB Now Marker [Center panel] image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
1. VB Now Marker [Center panel]
It is astounding how much progress has been made along the Oceanfront since 1883 when the Virginia Beach Railroad and Improvement Company built a rail line to the oceanfront thus creating the tiny resort town of Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach, is now a year-round resort, and is considered one of the top resort destinations on the Eastern Seaboard. The beautifully landscaped, pedestrian friendly, 3-mil, 26-ft. wide boardwalk and bike path was named as one of the 10 best American Boardwalks by Plus, the beautifully maintained and manicured 300-ft. wide, white sandy beach has helped to create a tourism industry that contributes $1.28 billion into the VB economy each year.

The Oceanfront culture pulsates with a diverse spectrum that spreads throughout our city. Superb dining, fantastic entertainment venues, wonderful museums, exciting sporting events, outstanding shopping as well as numerous statues and sculptures along the oceanfront that relate the legacy of our coastal community. This all takes places in a family friendly atmosphere of community pride and celebration.

Wave riding on a surfboard

VB Now Marker [Left panel] image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
2. VB Now Marker [Left panel]
got its start on the East Coast in Virginia Beach in 1912. Back then, surf riding was a rare event, a spectacle witnessed only by a few curious onlookers. Decades later, during the hollow paddle-board era of the 1930's, surf riding had become somewhat of a localized fad with a small number of participants. "Surfing" grew into a sport in the early 1960's with the introduction of the shorter, lightweight fiberglass "Malibu" style boards. Soon, localized surfing contests began on both coasts, and the sport evolved into a culture with a passionate following. Eventually, surfing and other related watersports became an industry based on an energetic coutdoor, carefree theme. Today, the surfing culture epitomizes the blended imagery of man with nature and has created an enduring worldwide lifestyle.

Neptune Park, on the Boardwalk at 31st Street, is the home of the iconic, 34-ft.-tall, cast-bronze statue of "Neptune, King of the Sea." The project, created by sculptor Paul DiPasquale, was entirely constructed through the generosity of private contributions of time and money. Upon completion in 2005, the colossal statue of King Neptune was donated to the City of Virginia Beach and its citizens. It serves as the centerpiece for most premier outdoor activities along the Oceanfront.

The Blue Angels are the world-famous United States Navy and Marine Corps flight demonstration squadron

VB Now Marker [Right panel] image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
3. VB Now Marker [Right panel]
that has thrilled hundreds of thousands of spectators in the skies over the Oceanfront for more than five decades. In this photo, Blue Angels pilots have maneuvered their six F/A-18 Hornet fighter/attack aircraft into a Delta formation as they execute a flyover at the Virginia Beach Pier at 15th Street.

Kite surfing is a popular year-round water sport.

Norwegian Lady Memorial
When the figurehead from the sunken Norwegian bark Dictator washed up on the beach in 1891, it was placed in a vertical position facing the ocean on the Boardwalk at 16th Street. For more than 60 years it served as a memorial to all who had lost their lives in the shipwreck.

In 1962, this nine-foot bronze replica of the original figurehead was unveiled and presented to the city of Virginia Beach as a gift from the citizens of Moss, Norway, homeport of the Dictator. An exact duplicate of the statue was simultaneously unveiled in Moss, uniting the two cities. Later, in 1974, Virginia Beach and Moss officially became sister cities.

Inscription on the pedestal reads:

"I am the Norwegian Lady.
I stand here, as my sister before me,
to wish all men of the sea
safe return home."

The first Seatack Lifesaving Station was built in 1878 on the oceanfront at 24th Street. In 1903,
VB Now Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 17, 2021
4. VB Now Marker
the original building was replaced by a much larger structure. In 1915, the U.S. Lifesaving Service was reorganized and renamed the United States Coast Guard. After 91 years of service along the Oceanfront, the U.S. Coast Guard Station was decommissioned in 1969. Today, the structure was occupied by The Old Coast Guard Station Museum.

The dewitt Cottage, built in 1895 at 12th Street, is the oldest structure still standing along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The original structure was built by Bernard P. Holland who later became the first mayor of the town of Virginia Beach. In 1908, the house was sold and became the residence of the Cornelius deWitt family. Known simply as The deWitt Cottage until 1988, the structure is listed on the Virginia Landmarks register and now serves as the home of the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceRailroads & StreetcarsSportsWaterways & Vessels.
Location. 36° 51.85′ N, 75° 58.809′ W. Marker is in North Virginia Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Marker is on 36th Street just east of Pacific Avenue (U.S. 60), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 205 36th St, 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. Premier Boardwalk Events (here, next to this marker); The Winds of Change

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(here, next to this marker); The Ash Wednesday Storm (here, next to this marker); Seaside Park Casino / The Cavalier Hotel (a few steps from this marker); A Day at the Beach (a few steps from this marker); The Princess Anne Hotel (a few steps from this marker); The Graveyard of the Atlantic (a few steps from this marker); The Threshold of a New Nation (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in North Virginia Beach.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 20, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Mar. 7, 2021