Tidewater Spirit: Cultural Landmarks, Monuments & History of Eastern Virginia
Tidewater lies east of the fall line of the Virginia rivers that flow into the Chesapeake—a definition that dates back to colonial times. Much of what we know of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Tidewater comes from the writings of Captain John Smith, William Byrd II and Thomas Jefferson. Photographer and author Bryan Hatchett matches many of his stunning photographs in Tidewater Spirit with quotes from the celebrated writings of these three early Virginians.
The Virginia of Smith, Byrd and Jefferson remains, in part, our Virginia. Geography and place names are largely the same. Their accounts of what they saw, where they traveled, what's in bloom and what's ready for harvest will sound very familiar. The Tidewater Spirit story continues into the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with a devastating war and its aftermath. Hatchett’s photographs are of historic Tidewater buildings as well as scenes of modern nautical commerce and farmland where ships have sailed and crops have grown for centuries.
Find the "Tidewater Spirit" Facebook Live event here.
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About the author and photographer:
Bryan Hatchett is a native of Hampton. He has photographed eastern Virginia for forty years. For nineteen years, he edited and published the annual “Chesapeake Bay Watermen Calendar”. His “day job” has been as a lawyer in New York, first with CBS and later at Food Network. Retired from active practice, he continues to divide his time between New York and Virginia. Hatchett is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and a law graduate of University of Richmond.
About his start at photographing the Chesapeake region, Hatchett says:
“Why the watermen? The only answer I have is that the link the watermen have to Chesapeake culture and history is just so easy to see. Their workboats have the same lines of as their fathers’ workboats, the same white paint and some built in the same boatyards. When I was lucky enough to go be invited aboard and share a waterman’s day, we would reach crab pots or oyster beds in the warm light and dark shadow of dawn. Soon, the familiar elements of a Chesapeake morning as if they were dance partners of long standing would once again fall into graceful alignment.”
“Tidewater Spirit is a sweeping panorama of the sights and sentiments that grace coastal Virginia.”
—John Shulson, columnist for Williamsburg’s Virginia Gazette
“Bryan Hatchett has captured the very heart and soul of Tidewater Virginia.”
—Larry S. Chowning, author of Chesapeake Bay Buyboats and many other books documenting Chesapeake Bay history and tradition
“A beautifully photographed and well-written book for anyone interested in the history, natural history, and culture of Tidewater Virginia.”
—Stephen Conrad Ausband, author of Byrd’s Line, which matches William Byrd II’s account of surveying the North Carolina-Virginia border in 1728 with the line’s current wildlife, vegetation, and man-made features
After the concert debuts on Facebook Live, it can later be found on our YouTube playlist and website, www.hamptonhistorymuseum.org.
Image: © Bryan Hatchett, Hot Summer morning on Back River (photo cropped from original format to fit website template)