Chincoteague’s first motorized firetruck

Chincoteague’s first motorized firetruck

FALL 2019: it all started with a spark: the rise and evolution
of Eastern Shore FirefightinG

Walk into any establishment on the Shore, and it’s likely you’re in the company of a volunteer firefighter, he or she probably not first-generation. If you’re not, it’s highly probable you have one or more who’s a neighbor, works with you, or attends your church. The prevalence and importance of volunteer firefighting, as well as the later integration of career firefighters, have inspired Ker Place’s 2019 fall exhibit, “It All Started with a Spark: The Rise and Evolution of Eastern Shore Firefighting.” The exhibit launches the evening of Friday, Sept. 27, and will run through mid-December at the museum, owned by the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society and located at 69 Market St. in Onancock. The display will showcase major fires from Eastern Shore history; highlight historic artifacts as well as memorabilia; and explore the past, present, and future of firefighting on the Shore. The opening reception will be from 6 to 8 p.m. that Friday. The general public, particularly volunteer and career firefighters along with their families and friends, are invited to this free event. Light hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.

current & recent Exhibits


FALL 2017: architecture and Change: Preserving the eastern shore

In the mid-20th century, a physician from Onancock, Dr. John Robertson, traveled the Eastern Shore, camera in hand, photographing whatever subject caught his fancy. During the course of 40 years, Robertson’s photographic collection grew, including more than 500 pictures of Eastern Shore homes. Each house was unique, both in architectural style and history. This exhibit took a look at these homes from then and now, exploring the architecture and stories that make these Eastern Shore homes unique. 

Parksley - 2.jpg

fall 2016: play ball! eastern shore baseball from the 1920s to 1950s

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society showcased an exhibit on the Eastern Shore Baseball League from 1922 to 1949. This unique exhibit featured rare memorabilia, photographs and autographs, and information on the creation of the Eastern Shore Baseball League from three private collections. Residents of the Shore community were encouraged to bring in personal treasures for experts to evaluate. The Parksley Spuds, located in Parksley, Va., would go down in history as the first Eastern Shore League pennant winner, winning three pennants from 1922 to 1928. Future Major-Leaguers and Hall of Famers such as Frank “Home Run” Baker, Jimmie Foxx, Red Ruffing, Mickey Cochrane, and Paul Richards honed their skills around the Eastern Shore.