One Mason Ave, Cape Charles Virginia
Now the luxurious Northampton Hotel
|Northampton Hotel as it looks today|
|Cape Charles Original Town Plat Map|
|Sea Cottage Addition|
The plat map for this tract was not recorded until April 10, 1911, with it was recorded the purchase of 10 lots by the Cape Charles Real Estate Corporation.
|Sea Cottage Addition Lot Survey|
Richard Dallam Lee Fletcher, son of Spencer Drummond and Roberta Lee Fletcher, born Dec. 9, 1857 at Low Wood, Accomack Co. Va. spent his early manhood in Texas. Possibly, located around Uvalde, where his sister was living with her husband, Thomas Sutherland Evans, brother to his wife Elise Evans.
Fletcher was a long time assistant manager of the Hollywood Farm, a truck farm which was the owned by the estate of William L. Scott, President of NYP&N Railroad and founder of Cape Charles. R.D.L. Fletcher was president of the Cape Charles Bank in the 1920s, instrumental in chartering the Cape Charles Real Estate Corporation in 1910 and served on the town council for many years.
Fletcher is listed in "Colonial Families of The United States of America" through his Mother`s family, the Lees of Maryland.
R.D.L. Fletcher is a descendant of Henry Fletcher who in 1779 was appointed by Gov. Patrick Henry of Virginia, High Sheriff for Accomack County to collect revenue for carrying on the war. Henry was born in England and died in 1799 in Accomack County.
|1920 Cape Charles Census|
Accomac County Court Dec. 1883: Richard D. L. Fletcher qualified as assistant for Spencer D. Fletcher (his Father), commissioner of revenue for district No. 1.
Feb. 1887, RDL Fletcher was elected Vice President of Accomac and Northampton Agriculural Society.
"The Cape Charles Ice and Lumber Company was organized about 1887 and is composed of W. B. Wilson, R. D. L. Fletcher and J. W. Waples. It is the largest dealer in lumber, building materials, ship chandlery, ice and coal, hardware, etc., in the country. It has the entire trade in its line in Cape Charles, besides supplying the lower end of the peninsula with its wares, including a portion of Accomac county." Every court day R.D. L. Fletcher would be in Accomac taking orders.
In 1901, Cape Charles Ice and Lumber Company was moved from its location on the south side of the harbor (Bloodfield) to lot numbers 063, 066 and 067 in block #001 near Pine St. on Mason Ave and renamed Cape Charles Sash and Lumber Co. until 1905 when W. B. Wilson dissolved the partnership with Flecther and Waples. Wilson renamed it Cape Charles Hardware Company and moved it to the 200 block of Mason Ave. Presently, this business operates under the name of Watson`s Hardware in the 200 block of Mason Ave.
|1898 Sanborn Map Cape Charles Ice & Lumber Co.|
In December 1888, Fletcher married Elise Marie Evans of New Brunswick, New Jersey. Her Father & family members were Engineers & attorneys involved in building complex railroad projects in Chile and elsewhere.
Mrs. Fletcher held Daughters of the American Revolution meetings in their residence at One Mason Ave. and in 1920, she held the office of Corresponding Secretary.
According to the Peninsula Enterprise newspaper January 17, 1903, the management of the Peninsula Telephone Company had been transferred to Cape Charles Va,. Mr. R. D. L. Fletcher had been elected general manager.
HISTORIC RESIDENCE BECOMES
Mr. & Mrs. J. A. Mister, recent managers of Roosevelt Hotel, bought the R.D.L. Fletcher house from the estate in early 1938 and remodeled it adding a west wing and opened it as the Northampton Hotel. A Feb. 1938 newspaper article boasted the hotel had 30 bedrooms all with running water, 13 of which have private baths and a dining room that seats 22, but can accomodate 40 more. "With opening here of the Northampton Hotel by Mr. and Mrs. John A. Mister, owners and operators, Cape Charles will have as near an up to the minute transient hotel as will be found south of Salisbury if not Wilmington Del. Situated on the beachfront at the corner of Bay Avenue and Mason Ave, known as the R.D.L. Fletcher residenceand considered one of the finer homes of Cape Charles during its time, this building has been remodeled with an additional west wing and refurnished throughout. The entire building is heated by a well regulated hot water system."
|post card ca. 1940s with hotel annex (center) on Bay Ave.|
|Northampton Hotel as it looked ca. 1950 frrom post card photo|
|Before historic renovation|
In the 1940s, Cape Charles was a bustling town with a harbor accomodating three types of passenger and freight transportation.
Not much is known about the history of the hotel from the late 1950s through the 1980s. In May 1950, the Virginia Ferry Corporation moved its Eastern Shore terminal from the harbor at Cape Charles to the new ferry terminal at Kiptpeke, which hurt the town financially. On April 15, 1964, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel opened and changed transportation forever on the Eastern Shore.
|old business card ca. 1970s|
HISTORIC RENOVATION BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO NORTHAMPTON HOTEL
The Walker/Humphrey family of the Eastern Shore of Va, with the help of their brother`s architectural firm, The Patina Group of Richmond Va, put their hearts and souls into a three year historic renovation of Northampton Hotel. It opened in May 2018, restored beyond its former glory. The historical architecture is intact and the hotel offers modern ammenities that make for a one of a kind experience. There is also a restaurant and gift shop on the first floor. All rooms have a water view.
|Northampton Hotel Renovation began in 2015|
|Northampton Hotel renovation completed 2018|
|Dining on front porch or inside in two Tea Rooms|
|As seen from the pier at Cape Charles Public Beach|
|Four views from the Widow`s Watch atop the Northampton Hotel|
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