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Home > Visit a Gateway > Onancock Historic District and Town Wharf
Onancock Historic District and Town Wharf

The historic Town of Onancock offers opportunity for a leisurely walk or bicycle ride around the historic sites, shops and galleries using a self-guided Walking Tour Map.  Local kayak outfitters offer a guided, interpretive kayak trip down Onancock Creek to learn of the local history and Onancock’s enduring ties to the Chesapeake Bay.

Ker Place was built in 1799 by John Shepherd Ker and is on the National Register of homes as one of the finest examples of Federal architecture of the period.  Tours are available and the museum gift shop offers unique items.

The Onancock School is the former town high school that is undergoing a renaissance as a regional cultural and art center with artisans working in painting, sculpting, stained glass, pottery, photography, and quilting.

The Commodore Zedekiah Whaley grave site honors a hero of the last naval battle of the Revolutionary War fought in 1782.  Commodore Whaley was killed in battle and his body interned in Onancock.

The Samuel Outlaw Back Smith Shop was a thriving African-American owned business from the early to mid-1900’s.  Samuel Outlaw served both local farmers and Onancock Creek watermen in maintaining the equipment of their trades.  The Eastern Shore Historical Society is working to refurbish this site for periodic demonstrations.

Onancock Creek is easily accessible from the Town Wharf Area.  Onancock Landing has a planned opening in 2010 to offer waterfront access to the Onancock Creek Water Trail and the Bay, as well as a picnic area.  The Town Wharf is also home to the Hopkins Brothers Store, a National Register site owned and maintained by the Easter Shore Historical Society.  This 1842 building was the center of waterborne trade for the area, the local bank, and the Post Office for the community.  Today the building also houses Onancock's Port of Entry Information Center, where you can view displays about the history of the town and gain information on local events.  There is also a restaurant on site that is open daily.

Onancock Creek also offers seasonal access to Tangier Island (late April to October) with a ferry departing the Town Wharf daily at 10:00AM and returning 4:30PM except Monday. 

Bay Art & Decoy Carving Biking Birding and Wildlife Viewing Boat Access Educational Programs Fishing Tours / Walking Tours Canoeing / Kayaking
Pet policy: Leashed pets are welcome.
Facilities: Onancock’s Virtual Welcome Center can be accessed at Onancock's "Port of Entry" Information Center at the Town Wharf (GPS coordinates N37-42.723/W75-45.309) can answer visit related questions. The center is planned to be staffed on weekends but please check for open hours. Brochures on “Historic Onancock, Virginia”, the self guided Walking Tour brochures, and copies of the weekly, “What’s Going On In Onancock” list of weekly local activities are available at the center. Restrooms are available at the Town Hall on North Street, the Information Center , the Town Wharf and many of the sites listed.
Accessibility: Most of the sites listed are handicapped accessible. Outside sites and activities are easily accessed without major mobility restrictions.

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