good evening good evening so happy to be
here such a lovely audience and can’t wait to
take you back in time to the Fort Monroe of 1901 and this picture starts to give
you a good impression of why we’re looking at Fort Monroe in this time
period because during this time there the whole coastline of Fort Monroe was
taken up by two Grand Resort Hotels and you can see them in the picture here you
have the the second hygeia and the first Chamberlain right here big steamship
Wharf coming out coming out off the coastline between them
at its height had 20 steam ships a day coming in and out of the fort bringing
all sorts of stuff and just if I could go back to any time in the history of
Old Point Comfort I’d go back to right then I think because lots happening this
is really how I I began researching the hotel period the
hotels at Fort Monroe because when you start working at Fort Monroe you start
hearing the first idea the second idea the first Chamberlain the second chain
one is hard to figure out which one was where when and which which were
contemporary with one another and so hopefully you had a chance to kind of
get looking at these but along the top you have decades going from 1820 until
the present and you’ll see that long bar is Fort Monroe fort remember that’s the
whole time Fort Monroe has been there and then you see that the the Sherwood
in the first hygeia the second idea the Chamberlain’s
and then down below I took a look a little bit at the transportation that
was available to get you to Fort Monroe the steamship service the CNO railroad
service and the streetcar service and the thing that that stood out to me is
noted by this little green kind of green shaded column here
that there was a time when all these things coexisted together so thinking
about this presentation why don’t we choose Fortman why don’t we choose 1901
and and that’s one of the reasons that there was a lot going on as far as the
tourism industry at Fort Monroe also referred to as Point Comfort so just to
get our bearings a little bit here’s a map of a little corner of Fort Monroe
and Point Comfort you can see the the outline of the fort here and here’s the
moat and if you’re familiar with Fort Monroe this is where the the Chamberlain
is today the second Chamberlain right on the footprint of the first Chamberlain
and here’s the second hygeia this area today is known as Continental Park big
open space where concerts and weddings and so forth in between those two just
like you saw in the picture here comes the quartermaster’s Wharf also known as
the Baltimore Wharf the steamship Wharf there’s a few other things you can
notice here the purple is the shoreline going along here and this green right
here this is the the railroad bridge railroad had its own bridge coming on to
Fort Monroe and then the lighter green line is the streetcar system so they’re
starting to kind of take shape in your mind you can see how these things are
all located in proximity to one another and it’s ironic I was you know the the
case-mate museum has a great collection of maps of the fort over time and I was
looking for one that had all these things at the same time and it’s
interesting that the one that had them all was a proposed sewerage map
and it’s an interesting because one of the things that and looking through
these many many brochures and advertisements from all the all these
grand hotels is they really pump up the fact that it’s such a healthy location
for a lot of reasons but one you can see the quote up there but there is also
things like the high gia boasts the most perfect system of drainage of any hotel
or public building in the country and to the munificent gifts of nature is added
all the advantage of sanitation by government experts so you have these
things you know these great amenities at Fort Monroe the other reason that I
really picked out this year 1901 to look at is because in addition to the the
many brochures advertisements postcards that we have about the resort life and
the resort time at at Point Comfort we also have a wonderful collection of
six letters and all these letters are written on hygeia hotel stationery and
they’re from a woman named Grace Lula Bickford and they’re to her family
summer to her sister summer to her parents and I don’t know if you can make
it out on the envelope there but as to the the Bickler Bickford family New
Hampton New Hampshire Belknap County and interesting that grace is in Hampton and
writing home to New Hampton and it’s amazing what you know just I typed in
her name and cross my fingers and it turns out that I could find a record of
a grace Bickford and New Hampton at that time period and it turns out that I’m
pretty sure it’s her because she has a sister named ena who she writes to and
speaks about often in the letters and also her parents her father’s a minister
and it also has her birth date which is interesting she is born December 19th 1872 so when she’s at Fort
Monroe she’s 28 she’s actually writing in 1900 and she often complains that
she’s worried that she’ll be an old maid forever so you can imagine this young
woman at 28 the other interesting thing about her is you know I think of all of
us in this room if we were transported back to you know this luxurious days of
Old Point Comfort probably not a lot of us would be staying at such a fancy
hotel it was really for the elite so what brings this miss Bickford there
well it turns out that she’s actually there to work she’s selling articles
different seems like imports like fans from Japan and China from England and
and she’s selling them at that that the Chamberlain’s Bazaar we don’t have much
more details than that and I haven’t turned up any research about the bazaar
at the Chamberlain but that’s why she’s there she talks about business being
good or bad or slow and so that’s interesting and I think the fun thing
about Grace’s letters and I’ll be reading several excerpts of hers is that
it gives a real voice to these ads which of course are going to be glowing
recommendations of of the hotels and and all their amenities but graces voice
gives a real balance to that and so we’ll we’ll hear from her as we go along
so what were all these people staying why are all these people being drawn to
point Comfort so I pulled out a few testimonials here
I know of no place more exempt from bilious diseases it is on the threshold
of the Southland but the ocean tempers the summer heat
and the winter breezes are robbed of their severity by the Gulf Stream there
is a certain charm and being in the vicinity of an Army post
at no point on the Atlantic coast are there so many points of natural and
historic interest with an easy access as at Old Point Comfort with the geniality
akin to that of southern France these hotels really marketed themselves as you
know we’re just as good as those European resorts but you know these same
things it’s interesting these these things are really what the hotel
promoters are are sharing with the public you know come here for help come
here for the climate come here for the military you can experience all the
interests of being around the the rhythms of an Army Post the history the
same things that we’re we acknowledge about Fort Monroe’s history today
Oh Point Comfort history today John Smith was there Edgar Allen Poe was
stationed there Jefferson Davis was imprisoned there after the Civil War the
tourists of this day were a we’re well aware of all of those things to Fort
Monroe has been a been a great place to visit for a long time
one other sidebar is that regarding the climate there’s some interesting some
interesting brochures that actually talk about it’s you know for all those
travelers that are you know wintering in the south and heading back north it was
almost like a public service announcement that it would really
behoove them to stop for a day or two and point Comfort and let their body
readjust to the climate so as we start to think about visiting Fort Monroe and
Point Comfort resort traveling back in that time coming going to look at three
aspects how would you get there where would you stay and what would you do
while you’re there so open comfort was really connected by steam and by rail
you could get there from anywhere or from there to anywhere one of one
interesting route if you look at this sorry
if you look at this image here this is an ad from the Old Dominion
steamship company and they were a daily steamship line that went directly from I
don’t know if you can see it from there from New York City to Old Point Comfort
every day imagine what a destination you have to be to get it direct you know
direct to New York City to your resort and then this one here this is an
advertisement from the Chamberlain and they’re obviously just showing how easy
it is to get there look at all the all the water routes and you can see the
rail line coming down the peninsula and of course some routes from the south
there’s even a rail line coming down here from the Eastern Shore you can just
take a quick ferry right across so let’s take a look here’s here’s again a little
more detail about though the Old Dominion Line check out their
advertisement featuring Fort Monroe’s main gate it’s the place to go and the
interesting thing well this the way you would ride this line it was overnight
you would you would get on the ship at 3 p.m. in New York City your ticket was
$17 and you would arrive at Old Point Comfort at 9:00 in the morning and you
can see the the grid here it tells you what you’d see the light the the guess
they’re not landmarks but the things that you’d see to know and paste your
progress so you see things like no they would be landmarks so different
lighthouses light ships going from New York to Sandy Hook Chincoteague and all
these things we can kind of picture as we take ourselves down the eastern
seaboard just for a frame of reference $17 you know it’s tricky to calculate
what things were worth in the past but the average salary in 1901 was about
four hundred and thirty-eight dollars a bicycle cost 1675 and a dozen eggs is 23
cents so think about that in terms of a of a ticket price if you use like an
inflation calculator 17 dollars comes out to about 600 in today’s money
so when you think about when you think about you know what would it cost to
take a flight somewhere could could correlate so you see the picture of the
steamer there that particular one that’s the Monroe it had 150 in first class
which would have sleeping quarters as well as 78 in steerage 53 for deck
passengers which would be more like a chair situation 82 crew and when you
think about it you know supply and demand things that they did
just made economic sense they also had hammocks on the deck for Navy Yard
workers to get between the Navy yard’s here and in New York so they had a
little collateral space for those those workers so just to give you a sense
there was a ton of Steamship Lines this one merchants and miners went from
Boston and Providence to Old Point Comfort of course you have the Norfolk
and Washington lots of lots of steamers coming from Washington because of course
Washington was also a big railroad hub so take the railroad to Washington and
steam on down to old point as well as Baltimore was a big big destination and
connection as well so you could also get to both two point comfort by rail and I
wish this was still here lovely little rail Depot right near where the marina
is today and if you ever go to Fort Monroe there’s this little white post
sticking up kind of near where the marina the dead rise restaurant is it
says mile post zero and that’s exactly what it was it was the end of the line
for the CNO Railroad the the fact that the railroad came to Fort Monroe was the
brain wave of Harrison phoebus and you probably you probably recognized that
name Phoebus for the little town that’s just outside of Fort Monroe he worked
his way up at he was a union veteran of the Civil War he worked his way up and
the Adams Express Company The Daily Press reporter Park rouse he called he
called Phoebus a one-man industry he was old points
master notary public US Commissioner insurance agent and representative of
shipping companies pretty pretty busy guy he also in 1876 took major interests
over 50% interest in the second hygeia and he made it his business to make it
compete with any any hotel in the country and he he learns that a guy
named Collis Huntington is bringing the railroad down the peninsula from
Richmond to help help get his cold support and phoebus talks Huntington
into bringing his bringing this a rail spur over to Point Comfort not only to
supply the fort but also to bring passengers to his hotel if you were to
take the train from DC to Point Comfort it would take you about five and a half
hours that’s faster than it is sometimes with traffic and you would depart around
11 a.m. and get there around 4:30 one other transportation if you’ll humor me
here this you know if you’re starting to think about how would I get to point
comfort this is the way I would take this was actually the New York
Philadelphia and Norfolk railroad and why P&N and this was also the the
efforts of a coal magnate from Erie Pennsylvania he was looking for a way
just like we do nowadays to get around the DC corridor and so he used the
Eastern Shore it was also called the Cape Charles route and you would take up
this rail route had a night train and a day train twice a day five days a week
and you’d come down Cape Charles and then you have a little ferry that took
you over to Point Comfort and then on to Norfolk so that route would take about
11 to 12 hours including the including the ferry ride so I think that would be
nice scenic scenic route so starting to get a sense hopefully of how you can get
to point Comfort there’s lots of ways lots of routes let’s start thinking
about where you’ll stay and now on our map and the timeline we
we saw those three major hotels let’s take a closer look at those so the
oldest of those three that we that are that are standing on the point that in
this period is the hygeia the second hygeia the the first one was actually
torn down during the Civil War the tourists were a nuisance to the soldiers
there and plus the the hotel got in the way of the fort’s guns so the high G is
built shortly after the Civil War and it expands and expands and expands and
especially under that 1876 to 1886 period with Harrison Phoebus really
really grows it’s a three-story building in the style of the second empire with
open verandas on all levels it could accommodate a thousand guests
and here’s a here’s a quote from Harrison Phoebus highlighting his hotel
he says the modest building which had had at first offered ample
accommodations required successive enlargements and additions until at the
present time a mammoth Edison edifice fronts the bay
covering over two acres requiring nearly nearly five acres of carpets with more
than 90 miles of steamed water drain ventilating and gas pipes and over 19
acres of painted surface fitted with every luxury which modern ingenuity has
devised to add to the comfort of hotel life so quite grant and take a take a
notice of this pose that they have here I think I’ve seen about at least three
or four with sort of a similar pose so here we have three three boys and do you
notice the difference between the hotel here and here and take a look at the
quote they’re a summer resort or cold-weather sanitarium has during the
cold weather over 15,000 square feet of spacious verandas encased in glass
enabling the most delicate invalid to enjoy the sunshine and fine water
without the slightest exposure a year-round resort
makes sense to market yourself that way right especially when you have the
accommodating and salubrious climate of Old Point Comfort so what does the
hygeia have to offer ballroom game room seaside dining love this quote up here noting the canvas back duct which
feeding upon a vegetation peculiar to the neighborhood gives them exquisite
flavor so the the Ducks have some good good good eats as well here’s where we
begin to hear from from grace Bickford she’s running to her sister ena and she
says I wonder if you would care to know what I had for dinner tonight would you
like to know I will try to remember so I can tell you my waiters name is Robert
and he is just as nice as he can be first course raw oysters crackers and
mix sweet pickle second course apple fritters green goose sweet corn mashed
potatoes and spinach third course coconut custard pie chocolate ice cream
ladyfingers and mixed cakes figs and a small cup of coffee or as we call it a
small coffee it sounds like a good deal when it is told over but I really ate a
very light dinner for I only tasted several of the articles and did not even
taste the spinach the potatoes and coffee were the only dishes I cleared I
have a very good living down here before I eat in the main hall sounds pretty good right the hygeia ii
hygeia was actually raised and i’ve seen two accounts of what happened to it one
is that the army ordered it torn down and that they were planning to build
something on that site the thing they were planning to build never
materialized it was seated over and became
Continental Park I’ve also seen things that said that the owners of the
Chamberlain bought the hygeia and kind of tipped towards its demise so maybe a
combination of both of those things let’s take a look at the Chamberlain the
Chamberlain is newer it is 754 feet long it’s the first
resort entirely illuminated by galactic lights first resort in the country it’s
six stories it has 554 rooms and can accommodate a thousand guests while
Greece is there she makes two friends one is miss Barnett who is like a young
mother from well-to-do family she’s there with her two children and her maid
and her husband’s away there they’re kind of enjoying this the the spring and
she also meets a lady named mrs. Malouf who’s older and she’s very determined as
grace puts it on keeping her an old maid so you’ll hear these names I just wanted
to give you a little bit of context but in Grayson talking with with about mrs.
Barnett and mrs. Malouf we learn a little bit about the Chamberlain she
writes last evening mrs. Barnett wanted me to come in and take a salt sea bath
in her bathtub I was only too glad to accept and I enjoyed the bath immensely
it is so invigorating there is both hot and cold sea water and hot and cold
fresh water in all the bathtubs mrs. Malouf says I may use her bathroom
anytime I like so if I don’t take sea baths it won’t be because I don’t get
the chance and it’s really gratifying in a way to
hear grace talk about the hot and cold fresh and the hot and cold sea water and
then you know you see it in the hotel advertisements as advertised so
interesting to hear that and take a look at this postcard image here what do you
think they’re trying to show off in this postcard the electricity right I mean
just look all the is glowing and note graces comment she says six o’clock and
the sunset Gunn has just been fired and the electric lights turned on I mean
just imagine that that day and age that was an event the lights turning on no we
take it so so for granted today but that was the case grace gives us a little
description of Miss Barnett to which I’ll share with you because I think it
it kind of helps us understand what type of guests were staying at the at the
Chamberlain you will wonder who mrs. Barnett is she is the wife of aw Barnett
of Philadelphia who is engaged in the manufacture of files they must be paying
about two hundred a week for the privileges of the hotel they have two
sleeping rooms a bathroom and a private dining room and only mrs. Barnett the
two children and a maid are here she’s full of fun and not knowing anyone here
and being very lonely she came to me for comfort and consolation and yesterday
was good enough to devote to me taking me about to see these places of interest using our handy Inflation Calculator
$200 would be about five thousand nine hundred dollars today or eight hundred
and sixty dollars a night so not a perfect apples to apples but
gives you it gives you an idea now what does the Chamberlain have to offer yeah
postcard here dining dancing and hopefully you can
make out that Center image they had a 50-foot waterslide in their pool which
was indoor and a little description of the pool as is worth reading the
swimming pool is for those who bathe for pleasure as well as those who seek the
well-known medicinal properties of seawater bathing this magnificent
swimming pool is furnished in ceramic mosaic tile and the water surface forty
by seventy feet is radiant with sunlight from the enormous skylight above which
covers almost the entire pool all the delight and benefit of an ocean swim are
provided indoors for the pool is filled with filtered sea water constantly
pouring in from the bay that fronts the hotel of course in cold weather this is
heated to the proper temperature while the aerial waterslide pitched 50 feet in
the air provides a stunt sufficiently exciting for the exhilarating and
exhilarating for the expert and the daring footnote to that there’s also
daily exhibitions in life-saving expert swimming and fancy diving in case you
wanted to check out any of those this displays the Chamberlain the first
Chamberlain lovely wooden building burned down in 1920 and when you think
about just the grandness of this hotel it was a total loss no lives were lost
but wow what a what a treasure and jewel that was and great expense that was that
was lost then so I would say that the hygeia
and the Chamberlain are the fanciest of the hotels but you also had another very
good option which was the Sherwood in the Sherwood in was within two minutes
walk of the steamship Wharf the electric trains stopped at the door and the
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad station is within a block of the hotel very
accessible and if you have you check out your map
it’s it’s right by the water it is indeed right by all those
transportation hubs and very very convenient and it’s not bad to look at
either you remember the quote about I know of no other place more exempt from
bilious diseases well the person who said that was dr. Robert Archer and the
Sherwood and started out as his house and he was the post position eventually
was sold enlarged and became became the Sherwood in Sherwood could hold about
300 guests at highest capacity and here’s some interior views here they’re
boasting their excellent cuisine it’s also well known that the soldiers at the
fort would often take their meals at the hotel’s
for whatever reason the the army had work worked out this deal where the
soldiers could take meals there and the Sherwood didn’t had the nickname among
the soldiers as the shy of food in apparently they didn’t think that the
cuisine was as excellent as as advertised we thought a little bit about
how you get to point Comfort where you could stay once you arrived but what
will you do when you’re there and one of the big things that that the
hotels advertise and boast of is the health and recreation especially the
health it was a big thing that considered very healthy doctors would
often recommend sunshine saltwater and sea air and the chamber linen hygeia
made it their business to have these wonderful open open verandas and you can
see folks sitting out there observing the bay grace says the air is delicious
it is warm and balmy but not too warm for people to wear their furs even down
here but they wrapped themselves and outdoors where they can watch the waves
and the boats you’ll notice too that the quote here says in the pavilion one may
bask in the Sun for the entire day and breathe the ozone late late in air that
was a big thing another source states the winds are soot
are abundantly laden with ozone which the ocean breezes always contain a super
abundance lots of ozone very good for you so in addition to just the general
therapies of you know swimming in the saltwater pool taking the salt water
baths breathing in the ozone blade and air the the hotel’s both offered special
baths and these baths required a prescription this was as a remedial
agency fast supplanting medicine if you can believe it and you’ll see this kind
of wordy piece here this is the frontispiece of a little booklet with
the title bathing for health and pleasure a little talk about baths in
general and those at the chamberlain in particular so this little booklet that
tells you about all the treatments listed here electric hydro therapeutic
and light paths that you can take with under the doctor’s prescription and
prepare yourself for this next slide so here are some of the hydro light and
electro therapeutic bath options that you can have at the hotel chamberlain
you’ll notice the the picture on the left is the douche room and when i turn
the page to this picture i just burst out laughing because it’s it just looks
like you know a soda soda jerk or something Seltzer bottle gag or
something but you would pay to get this treatment and what they said was by
changing the temperature and the pressure of the water it
different thermal and mechanical irritations from the mildest to the most
destructive and these these variations these mechanical and thermal irritations
would serve to help the absorption of abnormal deposits and help remove
congestion z’ of the deep seated organs so pretty fascinating the second picture
you see there is the application of FinCEN rays
FinCEN rays fi and sen apparently is the guy who invented it and the vibrations
of blue red orange and ultraviolet rays possess a great germicidal power they
also had something called light bass which these were they noted that these
are featured by Edward the seventh favored by Edward the seventh and
installed in Buckingham Palace and remember our hotel visitors sitting out
on the veranda and joining the Sun well what if your doctor said you need a
month of that but but you only have a couple days you only have a week
well don’t worry these light bass will actually use parabolic mirrors to
concentrate the sun rays and provide an efficient and controllable substitute
for sunshine a means of concentrating the net value of months of rest into a
few days or weeks of treatment so you can just smush all that sunshine into
this light bath and you’ll be you’ll be good to go
visitors were also very pleased that the Chamberlain had at least according to
the Chamberlain that they had installed a new cabinet system which ensured that
guests were no longer be obliged to enter a room filled with the exhalations
from the bodies of other persons it’s a relief because nobody wants that these
baths this give you a list of the maladies that they purported to baths
and treatments that they purported to alleviate
sciatica lumbago Bright’s disease diabetes that national stomachache
dyspepsia neurasthenia gout rheumatism debility insomnia chronic inflammation
neuralgia and general nervousness chronic diseases of the kidney liver and
bladder and diseases of the heart and blood vessels so you don’t want to turn
these down I know what you’re probably thinking though wouldn’t be a pain to go
down to the bath and and get these treatments you have to leave your room don’t worry there is the bath
perambulator and it’s kind of long but I think it’s worth just reading this whole
thing because it’s fascinating another feature which marks the establishment at
the Chamberlain is that anyone may be taken from his apartments directly to
the bass without the trouble and annoyance of having to dress for this
purpose enclosed wheelchairs are provided as well as a special elevator
thus one may have a chair brought to one’s apartments and entering it be
wheeled to the especially provided elevator used for no other purpose and
conveyed directly to the bath establishment at the completion of his
bath can be taken back to his rooms without having had the annoyance of
dressing or just roaming at all to those who have experienced the annoyance and
trouble of having to arrange a toilet once or twice for the purpose of taking
a bath this is a convenience which cannot fail appreciation the bath
perambulator so in addition to these healthy amenities that you can take
advantage of doctors were also frequently prescribing recreation and
sport and there was no lack of these at the Chamberlain you’ll note from the
advertisements here tennis bathing fishing
I don’t know if you can see on the map here but the Chamberlain actually had a
ten thousand acre hunting preserve right up here be in the area about Charles
City and James City counties about an hour from the Chamberlain and here’s one
of the things that they say about their hunting preserve all strictly preserved
under the charge of a gamekeeper in his staff men who know how you will not even
need you gunners to bring your dogs the hotel Chamberlain will provide them
quite an offering the hotel Chamberlain actually at first used Hamptons golf
course but then built their own which is now still operating today as the
woodlands and you see we have our our lady golfer here arm-in-arm with both
both both arms of the service at Fort Monroe and that kind of brings us to the
the next amenity that we’ll talk about the hotel’s really pumped up the fact
that they were on an Army Post and the guests can if he wishes rise at revelry
and retire at taps I don’t know if you can make out this image here but it says
a fair charge and you have a lady sitting on the cannon here of course
guests down here watching the the dress parade on the parade field and grace
writes to her to her sister I was wishing as I passed the fort today that
you and Annie might be here to see the cannon large and small and the balls and
right by those things I saw two or three rabbits nibbling away on the grass it
was quite a picture like peace and war United now as you look back on the
resort history of Fort Monroe is this kind of funny coexistence of a fort and
resort together at the same place and there are a lot of accounts of
commanding officers at the fort complaining about the distraction that
you know things like soldiers moonlighting as bouncers and things like
this but visitors are very much an audience for the military as as they’re
doing their thing the military band got a lot of attention you know grace talks
about them saying I did not wonder that the men were willing to rush into battle
or anywhere else with that music it was grand the American resorts magazine said
the military band from Fort Monroe would awaken the rhythmic instincts in the
feet of a mummy I mean isn’t that just a great scene I looks like New Orleans or
something you got the marching band in the street you got the cable car in the
background and see I go too fast there yeah right there there’s the the
Chamberlain the steamship Worf going off behind him so quite a picture the other
thing that you could do at the fort was excursions there was a lot right within
striking distance for instance you know thinking about grace and her father
being a minister she often talks about going to service at st. John’s Church
the old st. John’s which is still there in downtown Hampton and the brochures
talked about visiting the soldiers home and visiting the Hampton and normal
normal and agricultural Institute the soldiers home now being the VA hospital
and Hampton normal Hampton normal school being Hampton University grace gives an
interesting account of visiting Hampton Normal and agricultural Institute she
says about three o’clock mrs. Barnett and I started for Hampton again this
time to visit the Institute for African and Indian students at half after 3:00
all the boys formed in companies the band played they marched encounter
marched until they formed a double line diagonally across the campus and then
were inspected after inspection they marched into the chapel building
everyone passing under flags at the door it was a fine sight to
see those Indian and Negro boys and girls in the chapel I really could not
form any idea of the number I wish you could have heard the singing there was
no organ or piano or other instrument to lead but there were over 30 voices in
the chorus and the music was grand oh I enjoyed it so much six girls and two
boys were baptized and joined the church so this is a type of thing that hotel
visitors would do they would go witness these activities going on in Hampton now
one other excursion save this for last for you guys is that you could go to
Norfolk for a touch of the city life with its shops and theaters Norfolk one
of the most flourishing of the Atlantic seaboard cities is within an hour’s run
by ferry with boats every hour now for this part I’d like you to take a look I
had a handout of one of the full transcript of one of Graces letters and
I like to read the part to you about when she visits Norfolk and when I
listen to this in my mind I like to picture her route Oh what if there was a
ferry still today and that went from 0.22 ocean view and let’s hear what she
says after service mrs. B and I hustled home and got our lunch and at 2 o’clock
we started for Norfolk our soldier boy mr. Jolliffe took that trip with us we
went across the channel on the ferryboat and then took the trolley to Norfolk we
first took a ride through the residential part of the city then walked
past the city hall and to the ferry for Portsmouth there we tried to get into
the Navy Yard but they did not allow visitors on Sunday so we went back home
I mean to Norfolk then home the right across the channel on the ocean view was
delightful it takes about 20 minutes it was just after sundown
and the stars how is it silently one-by-one and the infinite meadows of
heaven blossom the lovely stars the forget-me-nots of the angels I also
counted four or five lighthouses and buoys along the channel I stood outside
and watched it alone for a while then I thought how selfish I was and went back
into the cabin and got mrs. B and mr. Jolliffe we reached the hygeia about
seven o’clock tired but happy we did have such a jolly time of course mrs. B
and I had our furs on and I wish you could have seen the people look at us it
would not have tracked it any more if mr. J had worn his uniform but we seem
to be the cynosure of all eyes I had dinner as I did lunch with mrs. Barnett
in her dining room and mr. Jolliffe came over and spent a few hours with us in
the parlor on the whole it was a delightful day for me it seems like
getting out of prison every time I get out of this hotel so I hope that you can
imagine this heyday of the Old Point Comfort Resort a little better than you
could when when we started this evening I think it’s powerful touching that know
the same things that tourists were coming to to visit at Fort Monroe are
still there today the salubrious climate and sea air all the wonderful history is
still there so maybe this too will spark sparking you a little give you a little
spark to come come visit Fort Monroe and stop by and see us at the case-mate
Museum I would I would just say this is a quote from Harrison Phoebus and it’s a
good one to end with when evening falls around you once again if you be it all
romantically inclined and can secure a fitting companion let me whisper in your
ear that there are a few places more adapted for a romantic moonlight stroll
than the turf covered ramparts of Fortress Monroe
with that the present writer leaves you to your own devices and bid you lovingly
adieu you