Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Here’s how one man is helping keep the Bay Shore Hotel alive

Here is just one of the many photos Robinson has collected. (HNNDaily Photo/courtesy of the Hampton History Museum)
Here is just one of the many photos Robinson has collected. (HNNDaily Photo/courtesy of the Hampton History Museum)

HAMPTON — This year is will be the 120th Anniversary of the founding of the African-American Resort, the Bay Shore Hotel.

To commemorate the date, there will be a special Bay Shore at Buckroe Beach event at the Hampton History Museum on Sept. 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The fourth annual “Bay Shore at Buckroe Beach” event celebrates the “vacation paradise of the south,” holding nostalgic displays of memorabilia and photos of Bay Shore Beach.

Bay Shore Beach was once the premier resort for African-Americans to relax on the Chesapeake Bay during Jim Crow segregation, according to the museum.

Creating the event

Reginald Robinson has been the main event organizer, collecting photos and memorabilia to chronicle the history and stories of what Seamus McGrann, promotions director at Hampton History museum, calls a much-cherished resort.

Robinson grew up going to Bay Shore and had always heard stories about it from his mother.

After the hotel was closed in 1974 there was very little information for the public to help remember it by.

On June 22 there was a historical marker dedicated to the original site of the hotel by the Buckroe Historical Society but other than that there wasn’t much for people to come see.

RELATED STORY: The Bay Shore Hotel is getting a historical marker this weekend

Robinson wanted to change that so for the past four years he’s dedicated his time to helping the public remember.

The event is made up of 25-30 exhibits, each containing photos and pieces from the original hotel that have either been found at antique stores or donated by locals.

All of the money spent for this yearly endeavor comes out of Robinson’s pocket and he has spent a lot of his own time researching the hotel’s history.

A lot of the information he’s found came from the archives of Charles H. William, a former head athletic director at Hampton University that has since died.

He has relied on the work that William has done in order to keep the history alive.

The event will have speakers to present information about the hotel, inductions in to the Bay Shore at Buckroe Beach Hall of Fame 2018, an unveiling of three portraits by Richmond artist Kenneth Shelton and the second presentation of the Charles H. Williams award of leadership.

The event is free and open to the public.

To learn about the Hampton History Museum, click here.

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