The Eastern Shore of Virginia

Settled just a few years after Capt. John Smith landed at Jamestown in 1607, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is a narrow peninsula situated between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. This year’s tour features 6 properties within close proximity to each other, including Eyre Hall, and is focused on the community of Cape Charles. The Eastern Shore lies between two marvels: a link to the mainland by one of the longest bridge-tunnels in the world to the south, and a link to outer space via a NASA rocket pad to the north. In between is a land known for the warmth of its residents, the serenity of its waterfronts, the richness of its land and, most especially, the charm of its homes – exemplifying the fine maritime, railway and agricultural heritage of the Eastern Shore. 


3215 Eyre Hall Drive, Cheriton, va 23316

Recently honored as a National Historic Landmark, this acclaimed ancestral property offers a rare picture of colonial plantation life.  The key to Eyre Hall’s remarkable preservation lies in its descent through eight generations of the same family. The gambrel-roofed manor was completed in 1758 by Littleton Eyre, who lavished his home with expansive spaces, superlative woodwork and handsome furnishings. Before the end of the century, Littleton’s son and grandson had, in their turn, inherited his masterwork, adding an eastern wing and laying out a grand rear garden. Happily for historians, the three early owners were succeeded by stewards who declined to gild their classic legacy with the passing fancies of later eras.

Today, Eyre Hall visitors are delighted to find that the refined but soft-spoken style of its creators remains wonderfully in place. The past also lives in the garden, where venerable crepe myrtles tower above parterres enclosed by ancient boxwood and set off by colorful mixed borders. On the west, the recently stabilized remaining walls of an early orangery add a hint of romance to the garden scene. Beyond the house and garden, broad stretches of open fields and long views over Cherrystone Creek complete the placid panorama awaiting visitors to this perennial centerpiece of the Eastern Shore tour.  H. Furlong Baldwin, owner.



245 Mason Avenue, Cape Charles VA 23310

In the center of a town reborn sits a building more than a century old, now enjoying its own renaissance. While Cape Charles was a bustling railroad town, the original Wilson’s Department Store was the tallest building on the Shore. Today this brick structure houses galleries and shops at the street level, and spacious loft condominiums above. Distinctive brickwork patterns and balconies distinguish each level. Visitors to this fourth floor home, named “Maçon Fraise” by the owners’ daughter due to the location at the corner of Mason and Strawberry Streets, will be impressed by the expansive view of street life below and marina and bay views beyond.


In the level terrain of the Eastern Shore, little elevation is needed to reveal this panorama. The present owners renovated in 2014. Favorite family furnishings from the 18th and 19th centuries are mixed with new works by local Eastern Shore chair makers, wood carvers and mosaic tile artists. Tall ceilings, fresh shiplap paneling and exposed brick walls add light and warmth to this unique home. Open for the first time. Dr. and Mrs. Earnest Coalter, owners.  

The Wilson's Building Eastern Shore 2018


6 Tazewell Avenue, Cape Charles VA 23310

Located steps from the beach, this residence was built in 1912 by W.H. Lambertson who is credited with constructing more than half the homes in the town of Cape Charles from the 1880s through the 1940s. Rich in town history and known to locals as the “Dodd House,” the home was occupied by the Horner/Dodd family across multiple generations for an impressive 84 years. With views of the Chesapeake Bay, proximity to the water and town plays a role in the home’s history. In the 1930s, the third floor was rented by a tugboat captain and his family. Visitors with a keen eye for historical detail will admire the unique original hitching post, one of the last remaining in the town.

The large, curved, wrap-around porch sets this property apart from other homes in town while complementing the interior and creating space for a welcoming front room window seat. Hardwood floors, paneling in the entryway and a traditional back staircase are original to this white frame home.  In 2011 it underwent a significant renovation directed by the current homeowners, transforming this century-old home to a comfortable setting for modern family living. Open for the first time. Mr.and Mrs. Will Jones, owners.

6 Tazewell Eastern Shore 2018 6 Tazewell kitchen.jpg


306 Bay Avenue, Cape Charles VA 23310

This grand neo-classic style house was built in Cape Charles, a town which can trace its importance to an era dominated by the railroad industry, in 1914. The home’s location reveals an interesting segment of the town’s growth when dredging its harbor at the turn of the 20th century created a new expanse of land known as “sea cottage.” The house occupies an imposing position overlooking the Chesapeake Bay through 100-year-old ash trees. Its colorfully planted town garden shares a quaint back alley with its neighbors.


Designed to capture the bay’s breezes, Bayholme has a generous 900-square-foot columned porch which wraps around three sides of the first floor and balconies on each of the second and third floors. An updated kitchen shares an open counter with the family room, and the third floor has been remodeled to provide a home entertainment area. Spacious rooms are enhanced by a heterogeneous art collection including works by renowned nonobjective artist Nancy Rooney, a 2,000-year-old Greek amphora, and an exquisite petit point portrayal of a Japanese dancer. Mr. and Mrs. William A. Walker, owners. 



125 Creekside Lane, Cape Charles VA 23310

Situated on historic Old Plantation Creek in Cape Charles’ Bay Creek community, this grand brick home was built in 2014. The arched entry of an open foyer leads to living spaces highlighted by collections and pieces curated from the homeowners’ extensive world travels. Highlights are the dining room niche wall, vaulted beams of lime-washed Pecky Cypress in the family room and variety of special finishes throughout the home. Woodwork, such as the paneling in the study, originated from trees milled on-site.

Faux marbling on the baseboards and decorative wall finishes were painted by the owner. Works by local Eastern Shore artists are displayed throughout the home. Outside, a pierced wall serves as a framework for informal gardens designed to include an optimal number of Eastern Shore native plants, thus creating a welcoming habitat for migrating species. A herringbone brick path leads the way through a sitting garden brimming with lilies, roses and hydrangea. Open for the first time. Mr. and Mrs. William Girtman, owners.

Tides Pointe Eastern Shore 2018 courtyard


155 Heron Pointe Drive, Cape Charles VA 23310

The numerous porches and patios of this contemporary English manor home provide scenic vistas of the Chesapeake Bay. Situated amidst tall pine trees on a golf course in the Bay Creek Community on land first surveyed by Capt. John Smith, the home was built in 2015. Old and new converge at this location rich in Virginia history. The home looks out onto the mouth of Old Plantation Creek, a site that played a significant role in Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. Bay Creek was developed on land belonging to Littleton Waller Tazewell, the 26th governor of Virginia (1834-1836).


Inside the home, a dramatic spiral staircase is the first of many outstanding architectural features guests will experience. Each room of the contemporary interior is styled differently from the next. The light-filled open floor plan is offset by striking color and fabric choices and custom woodwork. Azalea, hydrangea and rhododendron highlight the grounds with color. Adirondack chairs surround a fire pit on the back patio, inviting guests to enjoy the pines, hollies and Eastern Shore native plants that collectively frame the serene water views. Open for the first time. Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Nelson, owners.