Old Coast Guard Station

Spyglass Speaker Series ~ Bill Geroux ~ The Mathews Men ~ May 23

Exhibits & Special Events


BY THE SEASIDE: The Cronk Family at Cape Henry

March 7 - May 21, 2017cronk

The Cronk family moved to Cape Henry,Virginia, when Dr. Corydon Pirnie Cronk was stationed at the US Weather Bureau there at  the turn of the 20th century. His wife, Carrie, was an avid photographer and kept a diary documenting the life of her family along this remote stretch of coastline from exploring giant sand dunes to walking on the ice-covered ocean.

Read the diaries kept by Dr. Cronk's wife, Carrie Patten Cronk.

This exhibit is made possible by a gift from Fielding Lewis Tyler.

This exhibit is funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission.


Dennis Noble

April 25, 2017Noble
7:00 PM

Programs are held in the Auditorium at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

On the gale-swept night of February 11-12, 1997, two U.S. Coast Guard 44-foot motor lifeboats from Coast Guard Station Quillayute River, located in a semi-isolated area of the Pacific Northwest, set out into the tempest. Seas built to at least eighteen feet in height and at times much higher. The boat crews went out into the storm to assist the dismasted sailboatGale Runner.By daylight of February 12, three crewmen of one of the motor lifeboat had lost their lives. Another two crewmen were injured during a beach search for survivors. One motor lifeboat was damaged beyond repair and the other received damage, but could be repaired. The two people inGale Runnerwere rescued by the great airmanship of a helicopter crew.

Dr. Dennis L. Noble personally witnessed the tragedy unfold that night. He will describe the events that took place on that tragic night. Noble will use some descriptions he obtained shortly after the incident by crewmen who took part in this rescue.

Photograph courtesy of Bruce Guthrie.


A Virginia Beach Ghostwalk

ghost towerPublic Tours
May 26 - October 31

Tuesdays & Fridays @ 7:00 PM

Private group tours available year-round by appointment (2 weeks notice)
~ call 757.422.1587

Evening walking program

Join a costumed interpreter as they bring to life true accounts and local legends of shipwrecks, ghosts, pirates and witches. Tours last approx. 60 minutes. Tickets $12 Adult, $5 Child (ages 15 and under). Reservations appreciated. Contact the museum Program Director at 757.422.1587 or send an email.

This program is funded in part by the citizens of Virginia Beach through a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission.

Shipwrecks & Ghost Lore Expansion Map
Use this map as a guide to sites related to our tales of the eerie and tragic.



May 23 - August 6, 2017

A look back at the Virginia Beach oceanfront and boardwalk.


THE MATHEWS MEN: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler's U-boats
William Geroux

May 23, 2017Geroux
7:00 PM

Programs are held in the Auditorium at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

Mr. Geroux will tell the largely forgotten story of the U.S. Merchant Marine in World War II through the adventures of merchant mariners from Mathews County, Virginia.  Mathews, a rural outpost on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, has been a cradle of merchant sea captains and mariners since before the American Revolution.  When America entered World War II in December 1941, Mathews mariners were scattered on freighters and tankers throughout the war zones, hauling vital war cargo.  They and their ships became prime targets for German U-boats trying to choke off the Allied supply line.  The U.S. Navy initially lacked the forces and inclination to protect the unarmed merchant ships, even in U.S. waters within sight of America's coast, and the U-boats exacted a terrible toll.  The mariners faced torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, frigid water, shark attacks, and harrowing lifeboat odysseys-only to ship out again as soon as they'd returned to safety.  The civilian U.S. Merchant Marine ended up suffering a higher casualty rate than any branch of America's armed forces. Nearly every family in tiny Mathews (whose population during the war was roughly 7,500) had a personal stake in the fight, and none had a greater stake than the family of Capt. Jesse and Henrietta Hodges and their seven sons, who would experience the U-boat war to its fullest.


to be announced

August 8 - October 22, 2017



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Join us for the best party on the beach and support the museum at our annual fund-raiser.



October 24, 2017 - January 14, 2018mascot

Since makind first took to the seas, early seafarers brought along animals with them on board the ships for many reasons - a source of food, to fight rodent infestations, to search for food on distant shores or for companionship. This exhibit focuses on teh Coast Guard and the mascots they a have brought along on their voyages.

*   All exhibits, programs and events take place at the Old Coast Guard Station Museum (2401 Atlantic Ave., Va. Beach) unless otherwise noted.

Reserve the Old Coast Guard Station for your own Special Event!

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