Discover Eastern Shore Military History this Memorial Day

We are so excited that Memorial Day is right around the corner!

On the Eastern Shore, we love to celebrate our history and remember those that paved the way for us today! This Memorial Day, in between chilling on the beach and checking out your favorite restaurants and shops, be sure to stop in at these historical military sites!

WWII Bunker and Cannon Barrel at the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge

Originally, this national wildlife refuge was Fort John Custis, then the Cape Charles Air Force Station, until the refuge came to be in 1984. You can catch a glimpse of the area’s military history when you visit the Bunker Overlook with WWII Gun Barrel.

Read more about it on the National Wildlife Refuge site and the Eastern Shore VA blog.

Scott Hall Cemetery

Located in the historic town of Onancock, Scott Hall Cemetery is the final resting place of Maryland’s Commodore Whaley who was killed in the Battle of the Barges just outside of the mouth of Onancock Creek in 1782. The battle was the last naval action of the Revolutionary War.

Mockhorn Island

Originally a rich man’s club, Mockhorn Island was taken over during the time of WWII by the US Military as a sportman’s retreat for high-ranking officers. The island held a mansion, a working farm, and several observation tours. You can access the island by boat and it is open year-round to the public for bird watching, photography, primitive camping, rail and waterfowl hunting and trapping. Please be careful as you explore the island!

Assateague Light by Natures Notes Photography

Coast Guard Assateague Lighthouse

Built in 1867, the light was originally kept lit with oil but was converted to electric in 1933. The lighthouse is now open for tours. You can access it on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge at the end of a short hike through the woods.

Read more about it on the National Wildlife Refuge site.

Bayside Studios Photography

Kiptopeke’s Concrete Ships

With a history shrouded in obscurity, the concrete ships at Kiptopeke are definitely a must-stop for any history lover. Constructed during WWII due to a shortage of plate steel, they were among two dozen of these unique boats built to haul goods and weapons. They were sunk here to create a protective barrier for the shore line. Read more about the history of these impressive ships on the Abandoned Country blog.

For a comprehensive list of our museums and historic sites, check out this map! And be sure to stay up to date on historical events and tours on our Events page.

When you get back from your adventures, be sure to tag us in your photos! Use the hashtags #visitesva and #off13.

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