There is a tiny island off the coast of Virginia that will blow your mind. It sits between the mainland of Virginia and a peninsula in Virginia and its like stepping into a different world.
This small island of Tangier was first settled in the 1600’s and the most residents its ever had at a time was approximately 700. Most current estimates are 440 permanent residents. Most of the current residents have 1 of the 3 very common last names on the island.
Tangier maintains it very small town life with residents all knowing each other and their families, a long with generations of family history. The people of Tangier are known for getting together as a town to celebrate all special occasions, such as a wedding or birth. A flyer will be posted in the town’s sole grocery store, Daley’s.
Tangier has remained so remote over the years that it actually has its own distinct dialect of English. Its described as deriving from 17th and 18th century British English, but with a Southern twang in it. Its definitely an interesting mix and is sure to catch the ear of a non-local.
You can visit this small island by ferry or small aircraft. Once on the island, you will notice that most residents do not rely on automobiles for transportation, but instead choose electric golf carts, mopeds, and bicycles.
While there, you can learn more about the island and its inhabitants vast history by visiting the Tangier Island History Museum. There you will find many display that show the history of the people from the first English settlers of the island to the present day settlers and their families. You can learn about life on the island and the particular challenges that residents face daily, such as the rising tides and flooding.
Also, while there you can check out the local gift shops, and restaurants. Be sure to try the fresh local soft shelled crabs and hushpuppies, and take a stroll on the serene beach. It wont be full of sun umbrellas, but beautiful untouched white sand beaches. Be sure to look around the beach for ancient stone arrowheads and spearpoints that can be found across the island. They were left by Pocomoke Native Americans who once used the island a s a retreat.
Check out Tangier Island the next time you are looking for a new and cultural adventure!
You can learn more about Tangier Island below: