lucky you - your browser doesnt play annoying midis Grandview Beach Hampton
Grandview Beach
Hampton, VA 23664



The 8/27 entry about Grandview triggered a story from long ago...

  When my father brought home a particular Shipyard Bulletin in 1947 (photo was entitled 'old grandview light'), our next-door neighbor, a lovely elderly lady named Estelle Duncan, happened to see it and excitedly told us that when she was a girl, her father was the keeper of the Grandview light.

She also said she and her husband (Marvin Duncan) were married in either her home (which I think may have been the house further inland that has that neat little model of the lighthouse in front of it - at least I hope its still there!) or the lighthouse itself.

I don't remember which she said, but lighthouse seems more romantic, even if not logistically logical). Besides, why would a lad of 11 be impressed with the story, unless the lighthouse was involved???


The Duncans owned a dry cleaners in NN in the 40's, but I don't recall the name...gee, I was just a kid then, and such things were of no interest to me. But I do recall that Mr. Duncan often took our clothes 'to work' with him and brought them back, when dry cleaned.

With the memory of her recollection fresh on my mind today, I did a little Dave Spriggs-like ('64 - of VA) research, and came up with the following:

The official name for that lighthouse was the Back River Light, located south of the mouth of the Back River on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, several miles north of Fort Monroe. Plagued by erosion for most of its existence, it was destroyed in 1956 by Hurricane Flossy.

This light was constructed in 1829, a conical masonry tower similar to others further up the bay. A hint of its coming travails was given by the need for a 144-foot long footbridge to carry the keeper over the marshy land between the tower and his house.

The light was damaged by Confederate raiders in 1862, but was back in action the following year. But the remainder of the century saw a continuing battle against erosion, and riprap was laid around the base of the tower several times between 1868 and 1888. In 1894 a second story was added to the keeper's house, but this served only until 1914, when the house was demolished, with the light being automated the following year. It was discontinued in 1936 and twenty years later the tower collapsed under the force of Hurricane Flossy, leaving only a pile of rubble to mark the spot.
  Here's what it looked like while still in service (USCG photo, undated).

I like to imagine that's Marvin and Estelle in the lower left-hand corner of the image (of course, I never dared address them by their first name...nor did I even think of such a thing!).

As best as I can tell, this photo (found on the Internet, undated) depicts what I think is likely to be the site of the light house, many years after its collapse.

How to get there is spelled out on the following link:

- Bill Lee (Warwick HS - '54) of NC - 08/27/10
WOWZERONI! Thanks so much, Bill!


Friday, October 27, 2000 - Grandview Beach
Images of Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of IL - 04/16/02


  Hello Carol,

Bill Lee's (Warwick HS - '54 - of NC) reminiscing of Grandview and the little lighthouse in a front yard sure brought back memories for me.  Our family visited Grandview many times in the 1950's and into the 60's.  We always drove by the house with this small lighthouse in the front yard.  This picture was taken in Oct. 2004 when my class of HHS62 held their Hampton High Happy 60th Birthday Party in the Grandview area.  I was so glad to see it still existed.  I have not been there since, so not sure about today, but sure hope so.  Thanks to Bill and you for bringing back so many wonderful memories!

October 2004

- June Veneris Collie (Hampton HS - '62) of VA - 09/01/10
Thank you, June!


  This is Grand View Beach, Hampton, Va, Summer, 2010.

It looks better now than it did in the 50's (or so I've heard from the
'ol' timers'). ;>)

Your #1 fan, John Darlin'
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Grandview Beach, Hampton, VA

- John London (Warwick HS - '57) of VA - 08/26/10
OOOH! Thank you so much, John Darlin'!


  Carol Darlin' -

Since we seem to be doing a 'Grand View Beach' Review - here are a
couple more for your approval.

Again, stop me before I kill agai .. er, stop me when I bore you.

Your #1 fan - 'John Darlin'
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Grandview Beach, Hampton, VA

- John London (Warwick HS - '57) of VA - 08/31/10
John Darlin', there is zero probability of that's ever happening!
Thank you so much!

Recently delved into an obscure bit of Virginia Peninsula history; thought you'd like to see the result (attached). 

- Bill Lee (Warwick HS - '54) of NC - 10/07/10
Thank you so very much, Bill!
It was wonderfully fascinating as always, but I must admit that this time the ending left me distraught!

(This page was created on 08/26/10 - inspired by John London's breathtaking images.)

Ebb Tide

Words by Carl Sigman (24 Sept 1909 26 Sept 2000)

Music by Robert Maxwell (b. 19 Apr 1921), 1953

First the tide rushes in
Plants a kiss on the shore
Then rolls out to sea
And the sea is very still once more

So I rush to your side
Like the oncoming tide
With one burning thought
Will your arms open wide

At last we're face to face
And as we kiss through an embrace
I can tell, I can feel
You are love, you are real
Really mine

In the rain, in the dark, in the sun

Like the tide at its ebb
I'm at peace in the web
Of your arms

"Ebb Tide" midi courtesy of Cat's Illustrated - 04/16/02

"Ebb Tide" lyrics courtesy
of - 04/16/06

Shell Image courtesy of - 06/21/04

Sea Life Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 06/16/06

Back to Our Old Stomping Grounds

Return to NNHS Class of 1965