At first, they didn’t notice the land. Maybe a gray fog masked the terrain that day in April 1607. But the next morning the sun shone, and across the blue water, Captain Christopher Newport saw the outline of the land that he would name Cape Charles in honor of King James’ second son. And the ground that would eventually become Bay Creek first entered into written record.
More would follow. Debedeavon, the great ‘Laughing King’ of the Nusswattocks, ruled his tribe here in the first half of the seventeenth century. John Smith, who became famous at Jamestown, first surveyed the land. The first duel in America was fought here, forts were built, generations of farmers and waterman came and settled. The land was owned by a senator and then a railroad man, as Cape Charles became both a ferry town and a railroad town. Fleet-footed quarterhorses raced across the fields. Even President Grover Cleveland turned up to drink mint juleps.
Then came Richard “Dickie” Foster. He was 17 in 1961, working as a day laborer on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. He saw a historic town that had fallen on hard times with the passing of the ferry and the railroad business. But he also saw spirit. He saw beautiful farmland and tall pines; he saw beautiful marshes and wide open beaches. And he saw how one day, he could create a community that would honor the legacy of the land.