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A glimpse of once-bustling Haven Beach

Here is a mystery photo that we never had to run in the paper, although we were at a loss to place this structure after finding an unmarked negative in our files.

Through a happy coincidence, it was identified as the pavilion at Haven Beach by Clifton Hudgins, who saw a print of the photo while in our office recently.

When he returned to his home in Alexandria, he confirmed the image against a print in Catherine C. Brooks’s book “Photographic Memories of Mathews County” (2011) and gave us a call. It is the only photo of the Haven Beach Resort we have ever seen.

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, Haven Beach on the Chesapeake Bay in Mathews County was a booming place. Today, it is a strip of eroding sand.

R.W. Foster bought the beach in 1923, according to files of the Mathews Journal, built a pavilion, sponsored dances and sold refreshments. Traffic to the beach was regulated by a toll gate located about a half-mile from the waterfront; it’s not clear who collected...

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