Welcome to the new KerryDougherty.com. Fresh content most weekdays, and best of all: it's free. 

Subscribe, leave a comment, tell your friends.

And come back often. 

Way Back When: Virginia Beach

Way Back When: Virginia Beach

GreetingsFromVirginiaBeach

It’s Labor Day weekend. The official end of the tourist season, although it will feel like summer in Southeastern Virginia for at least another six weeks.

Did I ever mention I collect vintage postcards of Virginia Beach? Well, I do. And this seems like the perfect occasion to break out a few. These date from the late-1930s to the 1940s, when oceanfront hotels were graceful two- and three-story inns with wraparound porches. Without air conditioning.  

Eventually the low-slung family-owned hotels would be demolished to make way for high rises that blotted out the afternoon sun on the boardwalk. But at least the big blocky hotels have AC.

It was also a time when the Cavalier Hotel sat on 60 acres, surrounded by sunken gardens and an elegant grand lawn.

You can’t stop progress, but many correspondents back in the day seemed to think it was a swell time to be in the city by the sea.

 The Chalfonte Hotel (sometimes called the Trafton-Chalfonte) was located at 28th Street and the oceanfront. It was destroyed by fire in 1960. Wonder why Virginia Lee didn't stay at the next hotel, however, when she visited Virginia Beach in 1938?

The Chalfonte Hotel (sometimes called the Trafton-Chalfonte) was located at 28th Street and the oceanfront. It was destroyed by fire in 1960. Wonder why Virginia Lee didn't stay at the next hotel, however, when she visited Virginia Beach in 1938?

 The Virginia Lee once stood on the oceanfront between 18th and 19th Streets and was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Cannon. According to a promotional brochure from the time, the little hotel boasted a dining room that catered "to the most choice epicurean tastes." Aiming to delight any gourmands from Zepp who wandered in, I guess. 

The Virginia Lee once stood on the oceanfront between 18th and 19th Streets and was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Cannon. According to a promotional brochure from the time, the little hotel boasted a dining room that catered "to the most choice epicurean tastes." Aiming to delight any gourmands from Zepp who wandered in, I guess. 

 Did you know that the Navy took over the Cavalier Hotel in 1944? Neither did I. This appears to be a sweet message from a man to his wife. To "Baby," from "Daddy." A little weird, I know. But who am I to judge war-time terms of endearment?

Did you know that the Navy took over the Cavalier Hotel in 1944? Neither did I. This appears to be a sweet message from a man to his wife. To "Baby," from "Daddy." A little weird, I know. But who am I to judge war-time terms of endearment?

 One of the few recognizable sights in Virginia Beach today: The Old Coast Guard Station at 24th Street. Not recognizable: the 1-cent stamp featuring a bust of George Washington.

One of the few recognizable sights in Virginia Beach today: The Old Coast Guard Station at 24th Street. Not recognizable: the 1-cent stamp featuring a bust of George Washington.

 Seems by 1949 the price of a postcard stamp had soared to 2 cents. It was also a time when there were awnings on the hotels to keep out the sun and you could address a postcard simply to Mrs. A. G. Engman, Waynesboro, VA. and it would get there. Or maybe not, since I found this one in an antique store.

Seems by 1949 the price of a postcard stamp had soared to 2 cents. It was also a time when there were awnings on the hotels to keep out the sun and you could address a postcard simply to Mrs. A. G. Engman, Waynesboro, VA. and it would get there. Or maybe not, since I found this one in an antique store.

Honor In Honest Work

Honor In Honest Work

Bloodthirsty Pit Bulls Terrorize Virginia Beach

Bloodthirsty Pit Bulls Terrorize Virginia Beach