Across the river from Williams Wharf, located between Cardinal and Bohannon, is Hicks Wharf, however an alert reader informs me these photos are not Hicks Wharf.
The extent of what I know about Hicks Wharf can be summed up in exactly two sentences: I went to school with Richie Hicks and played summer softball with his older sister. They may or may not be kin to the original Hicks who ran this wharf, who knows. The End.
This wealth of factual information and historical detail is brought to you by the very same person who is supposed to be compiling a pictorial history of Mathews County. As you can see, I am thoroughly qualified.
A post office and a store operated at Hicks Wharf until 1933--which was also the year of The Big Storm.
Recently, while doing some research in the offices of the Gazette Journal, I stumbled upon several newspaper articles describing that storm, which was actually a legendary hurricane.
It seems one Captain West, known as the unofficial "Mayor of New Point," failed to realize the strength of the storm until the water was well into his house and the winds threatened to tear it apart. Realizing the house could collapse at any moment, he attempted to flee to higher ground but was quickly overcome by the elements. To survive the fierce winds, pounding rain and encroaching waters that were already very deep, he climbed up the flagpole that stood in his yard and strapped himself to it.
He stayed that way overnight. Overnight. Tied to a flagpole, with his feet on the cleats that would ordinarily hold the rope to the flag.
The next day he told someone he clung to that pole so tightly he nearly squeezed the blood out of his hands.
These are the sorts of stories that distract me when I'm in the library or the Gazette Journal trying to find facts and figures and
lions and tigers and bears, oh my! details and dates.
These are also the types of stories that help put things in perspective.
While most days I feel like I've been strapped to a flagpole during a major hurricane, I've never actually had to spend a night doing so.
So, there's always that.
Does anyone out there have any information to share about Hicks Wharf?
Has anyone had to endure hurricane-force winds, horizontal rain and flood-level tides while clinging to a flag pole?
p.s. Reader Bay Browder has informed me that Hicks Wharf was located just up the river from the point shown above. Thank you, Bay Browder, for keeping me straight.