Here are some local places of interest we thought you’d enjoy visiting or reading about. Some are even on your ride routes and denoted by number on your map.
- Peninsula School (West Mathews Civic League) – Mobjack Route – Opened for classes in 1913, the school was the first and only high school in the West Mathews Peninsula. The school served elementary through high school students and remains an educational legacy of that period. Due to consolidation, the school closed in 1946 and was sold at auction. It is the only remaining district high school structure of its day.
- Gwynn’s Island Museum – GI Route – The 100-year old building originally served as the Odd Fellows Lodge and, later, as the Island’s first public school. The museum displays 18th and 19th century clothing, furniture, weapons, and items associated with island life. www.gwynnsislandmuseum.org
- Sibley’s General Store – This central general store was built in 1898 and served the community as a store and a place to gather information for close to 100 years. In a way, it still serves that purpose today as the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center. www.visitmathews.com
- Tompkins Cottage – Green Route – Headquarters of the Mathews Historical Society, this house is believed to be the oldest frame structure in the Courthouse area. It houses a County historical exhibit with three rooms furnished in the style of a typical small dwelling of the 1800’s.
- Mathews Maritime Museum – Green Route – Headquarters of the Mathews Maritime Foundation, this building houses the rich maritime history of Mathew County. www.mathewsmaritimemuseum.com
- Tabernacle – Originally the site of special outdoor revivals by the United Methodist churches in the area, the structure is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is the last remaining representation of the huge outdoor services that were held by each denomination in the County.
- Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve – Green Route – With 83 acres of sandy beach, low dunes and salt marshes on the Chesapeake Bay, the Preserve is the home to rare plants, nesting birds and the endangered Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle.
- Christ Church – Scenic Route – The principal Anglican parish church serving the area that became Mathews County is believed to have been located on this site since the early 18th century. In ruins by 1841, the church was restored and later rebuilt in 1904.
- Williams Wharf Landing /B. Williams and Co. Store– Scenic Route – Now owned and preserved by the Mathews Land Conservancy, this historic steamship landing served as a trading port and bustling center of maritime activity in the early 1800’s when over 10,000 vessels called at this official US Port of Entry. Part of Williams Wharf was the B. Williams and Co. Store, a local landmark since its construction in 1869. It served as a general merchandise store, ships chandlery, specialty ladies hat shop and post office during the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth. www.mathewslandconservancy.com
- New Point Lighthouse/Bayside Landing – Orange Route – The third oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay, New Point was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1804. The 55-foot octagonal sandstone lighthouse, separated from the mainland by a 1933 storm, can be viewed by boat, from the New Point Comfort Preserve Observation Walkway or from Bayside Landing (rest stop), another of the County’s historic wharves.
Antioch Museum at the L. Wales Center in Susan – Open by appointment only, this local museum highlights the traditions and achievements of Mathews’ African-American families, churches, schools, businesses and civic organizations. 804-725-3558
Bay School of the Arts – Main Street – Open daily, this center was created to preserve heritage crafts, encourage eco-tourism and educate the community in the Arts by providing workshops, classes, lectures, exhibits and cultural opportunities. www.bayschool-arts.com
Put-In Creek Carvings/Frenchy’s – When the Mathews Art Group closed its doors in this Main Street location, local artist Ben Richardson filled in the space, mixing great local art with…a pool hall! This fun local stop is a must-see! Open year-round, Mon-Sat, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 206 Main Street, Mathews, 804-725-8650.
- Water Excursions – chesapeakebayboattours.com – 804-815-6132
- Fishing Tours – www.bayflyfishing.com – 804-815-4895
- Kayaking Tours – www.baycountrykayaking.com – 1-855-TO-KAYAK
- Paddle Board Tours/Rentals – www.chesapeakeboardsports.com – 804-384-3534
- Adventure Guides (Blueways Water Trails, Bicycling Routes, Driving & Walking Tours including Birding and Wildlife Trails) – VisitMathews.com – 804-725-4229
- Mathews Farmer’s Market – Court Green, Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. – 804-725-5747