It's a summer in Virginia before the Second World War and the beast is as light – and hot as flames.
Where are you going to escape the heat?
The popular swimming pit just outside the U.S. One route between Monde and Petersburg, was the most refreshing haven from the harshness and aggravated dog waters west of the Gulf of Sapphire and the Atlantic Ocean. It was a hit for locals looking for a few hours of welcome relief and a major vacation destination People from all over the country were attracted by its vast sandy beach, water slides, high diving board where giggling girls gathered to watch the boys, and the tight ballroom that filled the evening air with Big Band tunes. Used to return their clothes after swimming, today, the determined pins Reverent by many as one of the oldest subjects them lapel ornament.
Tommy Crump, whose parents bought the lake and surrounding cottages after working for several years at RD. Moore, the original owner, recalls that hundreds of families in North Carolina came back year after year. People traveling from the north to Florida soon discovered that it was the ideal night stop for both walking and coming. For locals, Moore's Lake was the place to be and be seen. It was inevitable that the sunny afternoon and moonlight evenings were responsible for the unseen novels. Many flourished in marriage.
The sturdy brick and stone cottage Keep built in 1929 was the essence of luxury when George and Lena Cromp took over the business. They quickly calculated by adding bathrooms. With relief from depression and tourists used to enjoy their comforts and sylvan décor, they built more cottages throughout the fragrant forest until they were 38. By 1941 they had set up their own comfortable restaurant and brick house on the property.
When World War II broke out and Camp Lee in nearby Petersburg was reactivated (it was replaced for a change at Fort Lee in 1950), some of the services placed there brought their families and quartered them in cottage houses in Lake Moore. Some of their wives found work as waitresses at the busy restaurant that served three meals daily to cottage guests, locals and security workers who traveled to work at nearby military facilities. To substantiate the expenses, the large children of the service families staying at the site contributed to the war effort by making themselves cowboys, dishwashers, gardeners and rescuers.
Tommy Crump, now 68, was a toddler at the time. A nurse's close supervision was peddling his bicycle along the scenic paths to claim a delicious treat from the restaurant kitchen serving guests of Moore's Cottage and Moore's Cottage. Growing up in the spacious home his parents built, he learned to swim in the lake and appreciate the unique beauty and décor of the property. It was natural that he never deviated, but chose to stay and raise his own children there.
In 1970, he and his wife bought the cottages, the nearby gas station and the restaurant. The restaurant aims to extend Sylvester's restaurant, and it has become the most popular for many miles. Alongside a rib-chop dinner that drinks the crowds of diners, the menu offered juicy seafood, delicious soups, "crunchy quiches," stuffed potatoes, and smoked homemade desserts, including double chocolate silk pie and hot fruit sandal.
Moore's Brick Cottage prospered until the construction of luxurious adjacent cars and trucks off the nearby Parson Davis Road from the revered Parson Davis Road, thus embracing the fate of the operation. With the advent of national highways, families have discovered the allure of the open road. Tourists were no longer content to relax a short distance from home, tourists spent from Boston to Miami in a fraction of the time they could wobble on an old-fashioned two-lane highway. As large motels and hotels sprang up along the freeway to serve long-distance travelers, it wasn't long before Moore's cottage cottage was unnecessary. The buildings were swept away and those who came for a swim took their chances without lifeguards on duty. Today the lake is little more than an unattended neighborhood swimming hole.
However, Sylvester continued to thrive. It matched a local loyal customer until December 2004 when Tommy Cromf sold the property to the developer. The office park and retail business on the bulldozer land will serve the city of Chester. Tommy watched with stormy eyes as all but two of the cottages were demolished and their ruins served as a filling in the parking lot.
"I feel compelled to save these last two as part of history," he said. "I keep one of these and pass it on to my property along the James River. I hope someone – or some concerned organization – takes the other and keeps it for generations to come."
In the meantime, no bundles, time is running out. Soon only ghosts of halcyon days will hover over the property still protected by huge aromatic trees awaiting destruction in the name of progress.