"Victorian Village" Reedville by grandmaR

Reedville Travel Guide: 52 reviews and 171 photos

This house is not historically significant enough to be included in the Historic Main Street Walking Tour, but it is so lovely that I take a picture of it every time I'm here. The more notable buildings are under Local Customs tips

Reedville History and Economics

Reedville is named for Captain Elijah Reed, a sea captain from Maine who came down to this area in 1874 and saw in menhaden (a kind of small fish) a golden opportunity. Legend has it that, as early as the 1620's, the Indians taught the Pilgrims the value of burying menhaden in each hill of corn for fertilizer. By 1885, there were many menhaden factories on Cockrell Creek producing fish oil, meal and fertilizer from menhaden.

Factory owners and fishing boat captains who made their fortunes from menhaden built homes along what is now Main Street. The "Millionaire's Row" mansions are now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Reedville Fisherman's Museum has restored some of the oldest homes, and has information about the menhaden industry and the history of Reedville.

Menhaden fishing has declined until there is only the one Omega Protein plant remaining on Cockrell Creek. But Reedville is also a significant charter fishing center for Chesapeake Bay bluefish and rockfish with more than 50 boats operating out of the area.

Scenic Byway

The Northumberland Heritage Trail goes from the Reedville Historic District to the Heathsville Historic District, by following back roads along the Potomac and its tributaries.

Maps for self-guided walking tours (see the Historic Main Street tips) are available from the museum for free. You can walk the streets and look at the wonderful victorian houses that were build when menhaden was king. On the back of the walking tour map are directions for a tour by bike (or car) in a 24 mile or 12 mile loop.

In addition to the cruises to Tangier Island, cruises are available from Reedville to Smith Island in Chesapeake Bay at the KOA Campground near Reedville. For information, call 804-453-3430.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Nice musuem and lovely town
  • Cons:Very few facilities for tourist
  • In a nutshell:The Menhaden center
  • Last visit to Reedville: Aug 2001
  • Intro Updated Aug 11, 2004
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Reviews (51)

Comments (6)

  • hojasdehierba's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2006 at 1:45 PM

    It looks beautiful... and reading your page is a charming way of discovering new places. Cheers.

  • thecatsmeow's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2004 at 2:57 PM

    Well this definately looks like a place I would visit at least once. Isn't it funny how kitties are drawn to fishing townes and ports? Smart cats! Great job GrandmaR. =^oo^=

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2004 at 1:39 PM

    Ahh, you're the envy of us all. Great tips, but we expect nothing less! (Can't believe some people only rate them around 3!)

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2004 at 7:07 AM

    Looks like one of those town where they only make movies. Intresting

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2003 at 3:42 PM

    Ah, the smell of menhaden. A school of them washing up dead on the shores at Urbana shortened a camping trip there one summer.

  • jmarkoos's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2002 at 9:45 PM

    seems lovely town yes


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