When one thinks of False Cape State Park many things come to mind…..a diverse ecosystem, a pristine and remote landscape, wildlife including waterfowl, deer, and water moccasins…..one of the most beautiful places in Virginia!
As a member of the Virginia State Parks team, I have the wonderful opportunity to experience our state parks both as a visitor and from the inside, to assist to make our award-winning state parks, even better. Recently, I went to False Cape to work with Park Manager, Kyle Barbour, on Cultural Resource Management projects.
False Cape State Park is worth the trip
False Cape State Park has a fascinating history
The cape is a mile-wide barrier spit between Coast Guard lifesaving station, a grocery store, two churches, cemetery, and a school. Three hundred people once lived there, working as fishermen, farmers, hunting guides and manning lifeboats. Due to storms, the difficult lifestyle, and villages being buried by sand, many of the residents began to move, with a mass exodus occurring in the late 1920s.
Today, the remains of Wash Woods include the cemetery and the steeple. Exciting cemetery conservation work has been done by volunteer, Diana Ramsey. Many of the stones have been reset and repaired using cemetery conservation techniques. Ramsey attended cemetery conservation workshops through The Virginia State Park’s Cultural Resources includes the repair of the Civilian Conservation Corp Fountain at Westmoreland State Park. The work was done by our energetic Youth Conservation Corps members, under the direction of a skilled stone mason.
Conserved cemetery at Wash Woods
Remains of steeple top from Wash Woods Church
Wash Woods Church ca. 1950s
With thousands of Cultural Resources across our Virginia Park system, it is work like this that will conserve our history and the culture for future generations. With 35 parks spread geographically across the state, our parks are poised to preserve and tell Virginia’s story unlike any other institutions in the Commonwealth!
For more information about Virginia State Parks’ activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit the Virginia State Parks website here.