Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cobbs Creek

This is a picture of Hills Bay off Gwynn's Island. In spite of the title to this post Cobbs Creek is nowhere in sight here, although it's dead ahead way down the Piankatank River, hook a left.

I've never been on Cobbs Creek, but I drive through there every single day, sometimes two and three times a day. Cobbs Creek is a body of water and it's a place, a bend in the road on Route 198 between Blakes and Soles.

My friend's father used to run Cobbs Creek Market which over the years has changed hands several times. Now it's a pizza parlor in spite of the fact that I was truly pulling for it to become a Thai restaurant. The pizza is actually good so I've backed off my disappointment at the lack of Thai food because it's never gonna happen here for the time being.

Anyway.

Cobbs Creek has another claim to fame; it was the home of a circuit rider who had his own segment on TV, a fact which never ceases to amaze me. Click here for a link to the background on that story.

In the book, "Memories from Mill Point, the Autobiography of Henry Gwynn Edwards," Mr. Edwards, born in 1904, provides another fascinating fact about Cobbs Creek. At one time it housed the only high school in the county, presumably at or near what later became Cobbs Creek Elementary School, which is now Cobbs Creek Post Office. The book is available from the Gwynn's Island Museum, and is a delightful, quick read.

On page 15, he says:

"Cobbs Creek, about 10 miles away [from Gwynn's Island where he lived], was the only High School in the County of Mathews. Since there was no public transportation it was necessary to become a boarder in Cobbs Creek. Charlie H. of Cherry Point was in the same situation, so we roomed together at Mr. Garret's who was the Principal of the High School. Where did I get the money to pay for room and board? I had a nice racing horse. Elliott my older brother used to race horses at the track located at Ward's Corner at the intersection of Routes 14 and 198. I sold my horse to Elliott for $300 which was a lot of money in those days."

From Heres know where Ward's Corner is, and the race track was located on that tract of land that has long been considered for development, adjacent to where Emory's once stood. Come Heres may be amused to know that horse racing was actually a pretty big deal here in the county at one time. One of my Meals on Wheels ladies told me about a race track on Gwynn's Island, and showed me a painting of her favorite pony.

Can you imagine a Thai restaurant located in downtown Cobbs Creek? a modern-day teenager selling his prized possession to raise money to pay rent to live with his principal, 10 miles away from home, just to attend high school?

Now, unrelated to Cobbs Creek, Thai restaurants, awkward living arrangements, horse racing or Hills Bay, here is a picture of Mathews Mark. Over the next week or so he's going to line up another photo shoot and interview with a local character man whose family owns a very unique store.
If you know anything about the old Cobbs Creek school, Cobbs Creek in general, the old racetrack at Ward's Corner or a way to entice a Thai restaurant to open up in Mathews horse racing in the county, please leave a comment. If you don't know anything about any of it, that's OK, neither do I leave a comment anyway.

13 comments:

Ann Marie said...

My mother grew up in Cobbs Creek her father ran an oil company and "station" there.. it is as security firm now. They had horses and to this day I am scared of horses because of one of them. Don't hate the large animals... cause I think they are pretty but I am scared of them. I learned something today because while I knew that there was a race track at wards corner I was under the impression it was behind Emory's down that little dirt road between there and Miss Edwina's house. I don't have a clue why I thought that.

I am going to sit here and watch the snow now..

Great pic of MM. Can't wait for the story next week.. and unique store?? Here in the county?? HMMMMMM must think.
<3 Re

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

AM-I think we're talking about the same place. The unique store is unique for several reasons, but one of them is because it's not currently in operation.

SNOW and SLEET here this morning and I still have to drive an hour to work and give a presentation.
Sigh.

Ann Marie said...

well shoot... I thought I actually learned something prior to 6 am which I thought was cool.

HHMMM not open??? ok this is a mystery I must figure out.

Jamie said...

Good Ole Cobbs Creek... Idrive through there every time I head to Mathews.

I heard (and I don't know where I heard this or how reliable but I think it somehow is part of my family history) that there was once a racetrack near Stingray Point.

Mrs F with 4 said...

Being me, I had to google-map Cobbs Creek... then I saw the little person-icon thingy (I am fresh out of descriptive words this morning. Does it show?), so I clicked and dragged, and I have just spent 30 minutes 'driving' along the roads of Mathews. Easily distracted, no?

And MM? Nice picture, but a tiny bit less grim would be good... just the hint of a smile? A small smirk?

Caution Flag said...

I'm always amazed at what people have done to get an education. My mom's friend had to ride a mule to the head of the hollow and then walk the rest of the way. It wasn't so bad, though, because it was only five miles. I honestly think if I ever had to sacrifice, I would have chosen ignorance. Don't tell my children I said that, okay?

Daryl said...

Is he scowling at me? I think he's scowling at me.

I promise you here in front of all your readers and whoever is lurking that I am going to bring you Thai food from NYC when I come down there in July ...

Grandma J said...

I'm taking notes on all the places we'll be visiting at Blog Fest.

Is MM mad? Something Daryl said? Or, is it all the snow you're getting again. (just a joke)

big hair envy said...

My grandmother used to have to travel about five miles to attend school. Her cousin would pick her up in the horse and buggy, and they loved every minute of that trip!! She told me that they once decided that it would be a good idea to stop at the store on the way home and get some ice cream. It WAS a good idea, until her parents received the bill!!!!

Mental P Mama said...

Love this! Ward's Corner???

Country Girl said...

I know I sound like my parents, or even that I am exaggerating, but when I was in 3rd & 4th grade, I had to walk over a mile to get to school. I walked in all weather and I remember having to wring out my socks and putting them on the radiator to dry.
I would like to see MM smile, although I think this is quite a good photo. I think the background color and texture was a perfect choice for this portrait of one of Mathews residents we've all come to 'know' in the comment section in your blog. Hello MM!! from Maryland.
This reminds me, have we chosen a name for the ghost he shares residence with?

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I was a fan of the circuit rider. for real.
<><

Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

I don't know anything about anything but I can't wait until July to come out and try to learn a wee little bit about all this great stuff around you, in between glasses of wine.

Oh and I can't help but crack up...over in your Blisters list you have us listed by name...and there I am, "Audrey" and underneath my name is the title of my latest post, "The Dancing Queen...Who Has NO Rhythm!". It's a post about my daughter but the way it looks in your list it looks like it's me, which just makes me laugh...outloud. BECAUSE....It's true!!!

OK so I'm probably the ONLY one who thinks this is funny.