Suffolk River Heritage, Inc.
Our foundation is dedicated to preserving the cultural history and heritage of the villages of north Suffolk.

Crittenden, Eclipse and Hobson are three close-knit, historic communities sharing a history of life on the water and on the farm. The villages are located at the end of a peninsula bounded by the Nansemond River, Chuckatuck Creek and the James River. The villages originally made up a small area of the Nansemond Indian landholdings prior to the English Colonial era. English settlers occupied the area during the Jamestown era.

In the early 1800's watermen migrated into the villages from northern states, establishing an economy dependent on the abundant resources provided by the three rivers. The early settlers were primarily of European and African ancestry. The peninsula location and relative isolation helped to establish the villages as
self reliant, resourceful communities.

That strong sense of community continues to exist among the current residents of the villages, including the descendants of the early settlers and those who later moved into the area.

Our Newest Publication
Now Available
The Forgotten Lighthouses"

A pictorial history book about screwpile lighthouses in Southeastern Virginia, Northeastern North Carolina, and Southern Maryland.
The price is $40 plus $6 shipping & handling. (Plus 6% Tax)

A Review of Screwpiles: The Forgotten Lighthouses, By Tim Harrison of Lighthouse Digest, September/October 2018 - (Read the review)

...books for the winning classes at the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge in Solomons MD.
Suffolk River Heritage is proud to be one of the sponsors for the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge in Solomons, MD. Each winning class received a copy of our book, Screwpiles: The Forgotten Lighthouses as part of their winning award.
(link to the photos of winners):
Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge

Books also available at some retail Locations.

For more information and to buy online.

Suffolk Water Trail Map
Detailed map showing our local waterways.

  • Historic points of interest showcased on creeks and rivers
  • Plants and animals along our shorelines
  • Public Access Sites
  • Contact Us for more details
  • Use our form page to order your maps
  • These maps are FREE and available to the public through Suffolk River Heritage, Inc.

Truckin' on the Western Branch
- A cultural History of Churchland, West Norfolk, Western Branch, and Bower's Hill

Truckin' on the Western Branch, created by journalists John H. Sheally II and Phyllis Speidell with educator Karla Smith, captures the story of the truckers and the community through the recollections of more than 100 people, the documented history of the area and a collection of compelling vintage and contemporary photos.
More Details

Truckin' on the Western Branchis available NOW.

Price: $40.00 (or buy from local retail locations)

Publication sponsored by Suffolk River Heritage

In The News

"Lighthouses of the Lower James River" A recent River Talks presentation by Larry Saint (Photos and Details)

PASSING THE TIME - A recent article by James Thomas Jr. about Peninsula In Passage


Peninsula In Passage
John H. Sheally II and writers Phyllis Speidell and Karla Smith have teamed together to create another "as told by" history book.
Peninsula In Passage
joins The River Binds Us to create a unique sense of place for Suffolk residents.

Bennett's Creek, Driver, Harbor View and other northern Suffolk villages are the focus of this new book.

Available at Suffolk Visitor's Center, Bureau of Tourism, Bennett's Creek Pharmacy, Bennett's Creek Market, A Dodson's, Crittenden Frame Shop and many other locations or order on-line.

The River Binds Us
Suffolk River Heritage distributed copies of
The River Binds Us
to all the individuals interviewed at no charge. Books have been made available to local churches included in our stories as well as public and school libraries in Suffolk and the surrounding Hampton Roads communities. The DVD and electronic archives are available on the Suffolk website as well as local libraries. A copy of the DVD is included with each book.
Read More


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Screpiles...The Forgotten Lighthouses