Tuesday, October 26, 2010

HIcks Wharf

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?   Anyone? 

Has anyone had to endure hurricane-force winds, horizontal rain and flood-level tides while clinging to a flag pole? Bueller? 

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.  


Kay L. Davies said...

No flagpole, no hurricane, but I went to school with Morty Hicks whose older brothers, twins Wayne and Warren, played very briefly in the National Hockey League. I should think being on the ice with NHL players would be a lot like being strapped to a flag pole in a storm. I wouldn't want to try to do either of those things, anyway.

Kay, Alberta

Ann Marie said...

I too only know about Hicks Wharf as I knew Richie.. haven't said that.. the end. that is the WRONG side of the county for me..

don't let me forget cause I will..

deborah said...

I enjoy reading your posts about the history, you make it 'come alive' for me! I couldn't climb a flag pole, let alone hang onto it overnight...

Mental P Mama said...

I think Bay Browder can help with this project;)

Trisha said...

As always, your storied fascinate me!

Daryl said...

I once had my raincoat, which was on a chair in front of a window, sucked out the window which exploded into the - we never did find it - during an extreme tornado-like storm that brought down a wall of a school in NJ and whipped the sheet out of One Worldwide Plaza where I worked at the time.

BayBrowder said...

Mental P....On my best day, I cannot climb a flag pole.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Oh, funny story! Once upon a time, almost 20 years ago, I had this friend. This friend got pulled over in Northern Virginia at around midnight on St Patrick's Day, driving to the only all-night diner in the vicinity. (Dumb, dumb, dumb.) This friend refused a roadside sobriety test and was carted in and spent the night in the drunk tank, and was charged with DUI. He hired a "lawyer" who thought maybe he could get the charge reduced or dismissed on a "technicality". And so it was that I went with my friend to his day in court, in Fairfax County, Virginia. The judge entered the room where we were all seated - many of us, waiting our turn on the docket. We "All Rose," then sat. The judge banged her gavel and called out: VIRGINIA HICKS. And we were so insulted - how dare she call us that! - but then we all realized, that was the name of the first case on the docket.

True story. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Or in this case, the guilty-as-charged. Except for the Virginia Hicks part. That was her real name.

foolery said...

Pretty sure I would have been the cause of the toppling of that flag pole, assuming I could have climbed that flag pole, which is a HUGE ASSumption.

See what I did there? Sneaky message enclosed.

Captcha code: LISTERS. They forgot the B.