Bernard Peabody Holland, the first mayor and postmaster of Virginia Beach, built this Queen Anne beach cottage in 1895. Its present name comes from Norfolk banker and cotton broker, Cornelius de Witt, who purchased the property in 1909. The de Witt cottage remains the sole surviving example of the oceanfront dwellings constructed at Virginia Beach during its first period of development (1883-1906). Typical of early resort residences, it has a wrap-around front porch and a small cupola. The interior is sheathed with beaded wooden boards. The last of the de Witt family moved from the cottage in the late 1980s. The property was acquired by the city of Virginia Beach and currently houses the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild. The picturesque cottage and naturalistic landscaped grounds vividly contrast with the adjacent high-density development and are a reminder of the city’s historic resort character.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark