Heart of the Bay



Fourth of July Parade in Deltaville


Deltaville the “Heart of the Bay”.

The history of Deltaville goes back to 1608, the year after Jamestown was settled, and a group of English explorers led by Captain John Smith came upon this settlement while exploring the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.

Smith and his men while standing in the water thought they saw fish. Smith speared one and it turned out to be a stingray, he pulled it to the surface and as it emerged from the water its poison tail punctured Smith’s arm. Smith’s health deteriorated so fast that he insisted his men dig him a proper grave.

But Smith survived, and that point of land on the eastern tip of what is now Middlesex County became known as Stingray Point, and part of Deltaville today.

Stove Point on Fishing Bay off the Piankatank River and Chesapeake Bay was in a land grant from King Charles II in 1653 and was farmed until 1935 when lots were subdivided and sold for summer places. In 1948, Fishing Bay Yacht Club was founded on Stove Point and quickly became a mecca for sailors of all ages, today it is a world class yacht club with summer sailing programs for all ages.

Deltaville is situated between the Rappahannock River, Chesapeake Bay and The Piankatank River. Historically, it has a renowned reputation of being the wooden deadrise boatbuilding capital of the Chesapeake Bay. From about 1900 to the 1990s, more wooden deadrise boats were built in the Deltaville area than anywhere else on the Bay. The largest deadrise ever constructed was built in 1927 by a Deltaville boatbuilder. Deltaville is largely an agricultural community, farming in the summer and oystering in the winter. Hence the demand for hardy well-built work boats.

This maritime heritage has been captured by the Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park.  The museum is a local treasure and is in a state of rebuilding due to a major fire earlier in 2012 . The museum is on Mill Creek, a small branch of Jackson Creek. Along the shoreline there is a Pier walk that allows visitors a close-up look of the water and the “F.D. Crockett”, a Chesapeake Bay log boat that was used as a seafood buyboat. Visitors can walk along the Pier walk and view the log structure and its splendid fantail stern.

For serious boaters, Broad Creek off the Rappahannock River, and Jackson creek off the Piankatank River have several full-service marinas and boatyards, and there is a large West Marine retail store in the center of  Deltaville. The availability of boat services makes Deltaville a popular port of call along the lower Chesapeake for sailors and power boaters alike.

On the fourth Saturday of each month, visitors can catch a Farmers’ Market under the shade trees on the museum grounds. This is a popular gathering place for the community.

For sailors who enjoy catching a fair wind in the Bay, Deltaville is conveniently located to the Bay. There are several marinas that cater to sailboats, and offer world class mechanical and rigging services to boaters. Every July, Deltaville is host to the “Leukemia Cup” which attracts hundreds of participants and offers a weekend filled with racing, fresh seafood and fun for the entire family while raising funds for an important cause.

On Friday and Saturday nights during spring and summer, visitors can catch a ball game at the Deltaville Ballpark. The community is home to the Deltaville Deltas and the Middle Peninsula Mariners, two semi-pro baseball teams with a large local and regional following.

Over the years Deltaville has become a vacation and second home destination for many. Its spacious waterfront on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries provides the setting for numerous summer and second homes. It seems the world has discovered the” Heart of the Bay” and all it has to offer to vacationers second home buyers and retirees with its low taxes and relaxed way of life.

Deltaville is a river lovin’ community without stoplights where the screen door slams and the rivers meet the bay.


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