Click here to go back to Home Page.

Colonial Beach Page Continued


This is "Captain" Joe Miller who was the Town's police force for many years. He joined the department in 1915 and retired in 1954 at the age of 72. He patrolled and controlled the whole beach on foot.

These are the three Colonial Beach policemen in 1947. They were left to right: Francis Farmer, Town Sgt. J. T. Miller, Lloyd Farmer, Jr. The Farmers were twin brothers. During 1947 the annual budget for the police was $7,000.


This is the Joyland Gardens Casino and Bar which was located along the Potomac River.

This is the Colonials, who played at the Joyland. The photo was taken in 1936. They played several summers there. Front row is Ray White, center is C. Campagnol, Kinsey Gibbs, back row Veron Robey, Leo Shackelford and Arnold Schaffer


Reno Casino

The Conner Brothers built the Reno Pier in the late 1940's when gambling and whiskey by the drink was legalized in Maryland. The low tide marks the state boundary between Maryland and Virginia. The pier was built over Maryland waters so that gambling and whiskey by the drink were legally served. During the years that the piers had gambling, Colonial Beach became known as the "Las Vegas on the Potomac".

The Below Advertisements are from the "Potomac Interest" newspaper.

This is an advertisement for the roller skating rink at Colonial Beach, 1952

This is an advertisement for the Graham Coffee Shop at Colonial Beach, 1952.

This is an advertisement for the Little Steele Pier at Colonial Beach, 1952.

This is Alvia Thomas Morgan of Oak Grove when he joined the service.

Colonial Beach Lighthouses

Lighthouses in the Colonial Beach area were located at several locations even though they weren't similar to standard lighthouses they served the same purposes.

One lighthouse was in the Mattox Creek at the end of Paynes's Point or old Barracks Farm, today known as Westmoreland Shores. Another was located at Gum Bar Point, where Dockside is today. Both were operated at the end by the Coast Guard.

The Mattox Creek lighthouse was built on pilings around the turn of the 20th century. It sat on a solid square structure or base on the water on a sand bar and reached 20 or more feet into the air. It was all open, and at the very top, on a solid platform, sat a covered container or oil lamp filled with coal oil.

The light of the second lighthouse at Gum Bar Point burned night and day. Ben Wirt and Willie Dodd tended the lighthouses, with Dodd being the main tender. He was the father of Mrs. Hezzy Combs. Mr. Dodd lived nearby, so when a storm came up, he had to watch the lighthouses carefully. If the lights were blown out, he had to go relight them.

The lighthouse tenders would climb up a wooden ladder that was attatched to one side and fill the containers once a week though they inspected them daily. They checked the wicks in the lamps and cleaned the smoke from the glasses so the lights could be seen from a distance.

The boat they used to get to the lighthouses was a 35 to 40 foot gas powered boat that had a small, but powerful, engine. Combs said they called those boats "Hot Piles", the engines made a putt-putt sound.

The oil for the lighthouse was brought in by ship and stored at Bleak Hall, off Church Point, until needed.

Upon Mr. Dodd's retirement, the Coast Guard took over tending the lighthouses; after a few years, they were torn down and replaced by bouys.

Click here to go back to Home Page.

Copyright 1998-2003 by Orville Ingram. All rights reserved. This site may be copied only in brief passages for research purposes and may be used for unlimited use in school work. Please credit Orvilles World in your work by the name Orvilles World and the internet address

Hosting by WebRing.