Virginia Beach: A History of Virginia’s Golden Shore

Cover art - Virginia Beach, A History of Virginia's Golden Shore by Amy Waters Yarsinske

Few would guess from looking at the resplendent Virginia Beach shoreline with its stretches of fine sand, sloping dunes, and rolling waves that the city has experienced anything but peace and tranquility since the history of its native Chesapeake tribe collided with the ambition and vision of new European settlers on the colonial coastline. But turmoil and conflict, as well as progress and achievement, are all a part of the area’s unique story. Virginia Beach: A History of Virginia’s Golden Shore brings to life the people, places, and events that contributed to the city’s celebrated reputation. Through stories and memories, readers are introduced to the varied citizens who called this land home, including such characters as Sarah Offley who married three of early Virginia’s most powerful settlers, and to the city’s illustrious visitors. This volume also details, in both word and image, the influential resort age, which began in 1880 and saw the community flourish as people flocked to the Atlantic shore to dance, picnic, and enjoy the surf at the Princess Anne Hotel. Everyday vacationers mingled with notables such as Alexander Graham Bell and John, Lionel, and Ethel Barrymore at the landmark hotel with the railroad at its front door. Although little of the golden shore remains unchanged, modern residents continue to preserve what they can especially their memories, pride, and love for the city. This is a comprehensive narrative history of the city’s earliest historical iterations. If you are interested in the twentieth century history, check out either Lost Virginia Beach or Virginia Beach – Jewel Resort of the Atlantic.

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