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118 years ago, developers eyed New Point

Today a wild and wonderful spot, New Point Lighthouse stands far from terra firma, reinforced by several layers of stone riprap brought in at intervals during the past 50 years to help it stand against the storms.

At the turn of the 20th century, however, the lighthouse was surrounded by many acres of land. Developers looked at that space and knew what to do with it: they would build homes and a resort hotel.

In 1904, the New Point Comfort Corporation purchased 200 acres of sandy beach around the lighthouse and revealed its plans. Officers, all of Norfolk, were H. C. Dodson, president; M. B. Crowell, vice president; and R. C. Browne, secretary/treasurer.

A map in Deed Book 13 in the Mathews County Clerk’s Office proposed a layout of avenues, numbered streets, 37 blocks with up to 36 houses in a block, bathhouses, pavilions, and a resort hotel.

The hotel, focal point of the whole project, was to be called the Hygeia, honoring the goddess of health. It appears on the map as ...

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