Historic Sites



The original log cabin was built in 1869 to serve as a school for children of former slaves. It also served as Antioch Baptist Church until the present building was erected. A separate school building was erected c. 1927 across from the church. This is now the L. W. Wales Center and houses an African-American exhibit. Route 604, 110 Antioch Rd., Susan (804) 725-3558
The principal Anglican parish church serving the area that became Mathews County is believed to have been located on this site since the early 18th century. In ruins by 1841, the church was restored and later rebuilt in 1904. Reverend Giles Buckner Cooke, a member of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s staff, served as rector from 1904-1915. Route 614, 320 Williams Wharf Rd.
Cricket Hill
At this site in 1776, General Andrew Lewis, commanding the Virginia forces, was successful in driving Governor Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor of Virginia, from Gwynn’s Island. Route 223.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Fort Nonsense, originally Smart's Mill or North End fortification, "was intended to block Union forces from advancing westward from the Chesapeake Bay through Mathews and Gloucester Counties toward the capital in Richmond." The fortification was never used and became known locally as Fort Nonsense. Route 14, North. [Virutal Tour]
Since 1795 the square has been the site of the Courthouse and other county offices. Historic buildings such as the Debtors’ Jail, which now serves as the Animal Control Office. A monument erected in 1928 by the Daughters of the American Revolution stands in front of the Courthouse near a memorial honoring Confederate soldiers. Route 611, Mathews Village. [Civil War Trail Marker]
This building was originally Sibley’s General Store which opened in 1898. With more than 100 years of service, it was the oldest existing business in the village. 239 Main St., Village.
New Point Beach - Army Barracks; Summer Colony (present day Chesapeake Shores)
During the last year of World War II, the U. S. Army had an anti-aircraft training camp at New Point Beach; complete with firing range, barracks, mess halls and fire house. At the end of the war, the site was abandoned.
In 1950, J. W. McKibbon of Chesterfield County acquired part of the property known as “the firing range” for a “Summer Colony”. The property, which was divided into lots, stretched “across the peninsula from the Bayshore Beach to and including Harper’s Creek boat harbor, which makes in from Mobjack Bay. He named it Bavon Beach.” Today the property is known as Chesapeake Shores. Route 600, New Point.
The third oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay, New Point was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1804. The 55-foot octagonal sandstone lighthouse, separated from the mainland by a 1933 storm, can be viewed by boat or from the New Point Comfort Preserve Observation Walkway. Route 600, New Point.
This circa 1815 one-story, frame and weatherboard building is one of the oldest structures in the village. The Mathews County Historical Society, Inc. is currently in the process of researching and preserving the structure. 239 Maple Ave., Mathews Village. [VDHR Slide show]
Thomas Hunter School opened in October 1927, serving the African American community until 1969, when it was incorporated in the Mathews County school district following racial integration. Route 611, 387 Church St., Mathews.
Headquarters of the Mathews County Historical Society and a museum, the building is one of the oldest frame structures in the Courthouse area. Located on Brickbat Road, the cottage houses a county historical exhibit and three rooms furnished in the style of a typical small dwelling of the 1800’s. Route 1001, 27 Brickbat Rd., Mathews Village. [Virtual Tour]
This historic boatyard and steamship landing provides public access for small, engine-less watercraft to Mathews’ picturesque East River. Route 614, 1039 Williams Wharf Rd.
A familiar aid to navigation, Wolf Trap lies three miles offshore in the Chesapeake Bay, roughly midway between Milford Haven and New Point Comfort Lighthouse.