Little Virginia Shore town of Greenbackville celebrates 150th birthday

GREENBACKVILLE, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- Greenbackville invites everyone to celebrate the town’s 150th birthday with memorabilia and story sharing, a historical skit and a potluck lunch at the town’s volunteer fire department on Sunday, Dec. 10.

Celebrations for the town on Chincoteague Bay run from 1-4 p.m. and are free to the public. Fried chicken and cake will be provided, and guests are asked to bring a side dish for the potluck.

“No matter how big or small the town is at a point in time, the people are just so great there,” said Laurel Wilkerson, of the town’s Anniversary Planning Committee. “We’ve got a lot to celebrate.”

Founded in 1867, Greenbackville was once the booming sister city to neighboring Franklin City, thanks to a thriving oyster and seafood industry. The town grew with various shops and stores, but over time, the backbone of Greenbackville’s economy declined.

“With the passing of time and the oyster industry subsiding … storms in 1933, the Great Depression, (and) the storm of ’62, it really started to erode the economic business of Greenbackville,” Wilkerson said. “A lot of those businesses faded away.”

But “the town has, throughout its history, had the most caring and resilient people that lived in town, regardless of how large or small it came to be,” she said.

Greenbackville held a two-day centennial celebration in 1967, complete with parades and residents decked out in period costume, she said.

Today, the municipality still boasts a seafood restaurant at its harbor, as well as a United Methodist church and volunteer fire department.

A large celebration was in the works for Greenbackville’s 150th anniversary, but was diverted after the recent passing of several key people in the community, Wilkerson said.

“A few of us got together and said, ‘We’ve got to do something. Let’s get together and celebrate what we have and talk about the past,’” she said. “A lot of folks don’t know the history of the town and we want to keep that alive.”

The birthday celebration kicks off Sunday following Greenbackville United Methodist Church’s special service honoring its 140th anniversary.

Guests will gather in the town’s community center at its fire department for several hours of memorabilia and story sharing, a “Did You Know” skit about the Greenbackville and, of course, birthday cake.

The fire department will provide the main dish for a potluck lunch and guests are asked to bring their favorite side dish or dessert, as well as any mementos to share.

Accomack County officials will read a Resolution of Commendation and commemorative ornaments will be on sale for $10.

Greenbackville will honor several of its longtime citizens during the celebration, Wilkerson said.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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