Anthony's Cove: Moving east on Mulberry Creek from its mouth at Colbourne's Cove toward its head at Forest Landing, one encounters on the northern shore of the creek, Brick Kiln Cove, Racoon Cove, and then Anthony's Cove, which is the first water visible from the road looking south as one travels from Litwalton to Morattico.
Carpenter's Landing: On the south side of Mulberry Creek, between the mouth of the creek and the mouth of Racoon Cove on the north side, Carpenter's Landing was used from the early nineteenth century into the early twentieth century as a boat landing. It is noted on Webb's 1835 map and referred to in Richard Thrift's "In Retrospect" (1987) . See bibliography.
Curlett's Point: On the north shore of the Rappahannock and the western shore of Morattico, where the waters of Morattico and Lancaster Creeks enter the river, Curlett's Point is indicated on contemporary maps by the designation "cupola," which refers to the structure atop one of the houses on the point once occupied by Jack Curlett.
Emmanuel Church: Located on Morattico Road, the first church house of the Emmanuel United Methodist Church was dedicated on September 16, 1893, at a location east of the present site. In 1897, the first church building was destroyed by fire, and another building was erected and completed east of the first building around 1898. The church bell, which may still be seen in front of the present Emmanuel Church, was donated in the year 1900.
Frog Pond: On the western side of Mulberry Creek Road is a low lying, swampy area which has been known as Frog Pond, or simply as "The Pond." An artesian well that provided water to many of the area residents from the 18th century until the mid-20th century flowed at the norteastern boundary of Frog Pond.
Frog Pond School: Facing north at the corner of Morattico Road and Mulberry Creek Road was for many years a frame schoolhouse attended by residents of Morattico in the 1930's and 1940's. The colloquial name, Frog Pond School, came from the pond at the rear of the building.
House Cove: Situated in front of Morattico Plantation and on the north side of Colbert Point, House Cove is formed by the waters of Mulberry Creek. It is pictured on early nineteenth century maps, where it is referred to by the name "House Cove."
Ives Creek: Named for Thomas Ives, a nephew of Charles Cale, who owned land in the Norwood tract in the late seventeeth century and willed some of this land to Ives, this creek branches off of Lancaster Creek on its eastern shore, north of Curlett's Point. This creek is known now as Ivey Creek. It was the northern boundary of Morattico Plantation, purchased by Joseph Ball I. See reference below.
Ivey Creek: This creek flows into Lancaster Creek on its eastern shore, at the approximate confluence of Morattico and Lancaster Creeks, just north of Curlett's Point and the Morattico Bar. Its name, now fixed as "Ivey Creek" on contemporary maps, comes from an apparent mis-reading of the name, "Ives Creek," recorded on Webb's 1835 map. See reference to Ives Creek above.
Lancaster Creek: Originating on the south side of State Route 3, just across the road from Chinn's Mill Pond, Lancaster Creek flows approximately in a southerly direction into the Rappahannock River. Variously known as "the eastern branch of Morattico Creek" and as Moratico Creek (one "t'), Lancaster Creek is the dividing line between Lancaster and Richmond Counties.
Morattico: There are many Moratticoes. (1) The first is referred to in a 1652 grant to Thomas Brice, as "an Indian habitation called Old Morcticond," an area on the "Nwd side of the mouth of Harrises Cr," which would later become Morattico Creek and then Lancaster Creek. This "habitation" refers to the general area in which John Smith first met with the Moraughtacund Indians and, with the help of Mosco, one of its members, negotiated a peace with the Rappahananock Indians, who were stronger and more aggressive than the Moraughtacunds and whose habitation was upriver in the Cat Point Creek area. The exact area of this first Moraughtacund habitation, which came to be known as Morattico, has not been precisely determined, and a recent archeological study of Northern Neck Indian Paths calls the site of the habitation "of indefinite location." (2) The second Morattico refers to a parcel of land owned in 1706 by Joseph Ball I upon which he had at this time begun construction of a house, known variously as "Morattico Plantation," "the great house," and simply as "Morattico." This "Morattico" would be dismantled in the mid-1850's by Littleton Downman Mitchell, who then constructed a large dwelling close to the original site. Turn-of-the-century photographs of the Mitchell house survive. This dwelling, also known as "Morattico," was dismantled in the mid-1930's by its owner L.C. Thrift, who constructed a smaller dwelling close to original one using materials from the second "Morattico" house. This two-story frame farmhouse now stands on the approximate site of the original "Morattico Plantation." (3) A third Morattico is the village on the northern shore of the Rappahannock River in the heart of Virginia's Northern Neck, consisting of a post office, a general store, an active fleet of fishing vessels, RCV Seafood, two churches, and scores of dwellings of its residents. For a brief time at the turn of the century, Morattico was known as Whealton, Virginia or Whealton's.
naming of Morattico Creek is complex and still open to debate. This
body of water is thought to have received its name from the second Morattico
Indian habitation, which existed between 1650 and 1670 in what is now Richmond
County, on the western shore of what is now known as Lancaster Creek.
Early maps contain references to Moratico Creek (with one "t"), which was
likely the original name of Lancaster Creek before this body of water became
known as the dividing line between Lancaster and Richmond Counties.
On William Webb's 1835 map, there is a representation of "Morattico Creek"
which flows in a southerly direction from Ives Creek (now Ivey Creek) around
Curlett's Point, and into the Rappahannock River. Even earlier documents
refer to the "Eastern Branch of Morattico Creek," which appears to refer
to what is now Lancaster Creek. Contemporary maps show the waters
of Morattico Creek and Lancaster Creek coming together in a small unnamed
bay which flows into the Rappahannock River at the point of the "Morattico
Morattico General Store: Built in 1901 near the end and on the north side of what is now Morattico Road, the Morattico General Store is a large white, two-story frame structure with porches top and bottom overlooking the Rappahannock River. Its oiled, heart-pine floors, high ceilings, and center-of- the-store kerosene stove evoke images of an earlier era. It has remained in virtually continual operation, now for nearly a century, through a succession of nine owners. Morattico General Store is a local landmark and treasure.
Morattico Point: On early maps the point of land at the end of State Route 622, now Morattico Road, was referred to as "Morattico Point." This point became the site at the turn of the twentieth century of the Morattico Wharf, a main stop for steamboats enroute from Baltimore to Fredericksburg through the early 1930's.
Morattico Road: Morattico Road (State Route 622) originates on State Route 3, just west of Lively, Virginia. It ends on a point of land jutting into the Rappahannock River, a point referred to on nineteeth century maps as Morattico Point. At the turn of the twentieth century this was the site of "The Morattico Wharf," a main stop for steamboats travelling from Baltimore to Fredericksburg through the early 1930's.
Mud Creek: "Mud Creek" was the official designation of the United States Geological Survey of Mulberry Creek, a name that may have originated in Joseph Ball II's 1742 instructions regarding "Mud's Creek" to his nephew, Joseph Chinn. See reference to Mulberry Creek below.
Mulberry Bay: Mulberry Bay is the body of water on Morattico's southern shore. It is formed by the confluence of waters from Mulberry Creek, the Rappahannock River, and Lancaster and Morattico Creeks, as they flow around Curlett's Point into the Rappahannock.
Mulberry Creek: Mulberry Creek, referred to on Webb's 1835 map and on geological survey maps of the 1920's as Mud Creek (and even earlier by Joseph Ball II as "Mud's Creek") is a tidal stream about two and a half miles long, which enters the Rappahannock River at Colbert Point, approximately twenty-six miles above the river's mouth. Behind Colbert Point the creek broadens north and west into a small bay known as House Cove or Colbourn's Cove from which it proceeds in an east-southeasterly direction to its head at Forest Landing, where once stood a wooden footbridge. On the northern shore of the creek are Brick Kiln Cove, Racoon Cove, and Anthony's Cove.
Norwood: A tract of land in both Lancaster and Richmond Counties that was originally part of the original Morattico Tract, once owned by Joseph Ball, Raleigh William Downman, and later by R. H. Chilton (d. 1927). By 1835 the southern boundary of the Norwood tract was Ives Creek (now Ivey Creek). The origin of the name Norwood is unknown, though it has been suggested that Norwood may have been a family name of one of the original owners.
Norwood Church: Norwood Baptist Church is located on the north side of Morattico Road, east of the village proper. It was established in 1893, and the present church was built in 1897 on a piece of property that was part of the original Norwood Tract.
Racoon Cove: Racoon Cove is designated on Webb's 1835 map as the cove on the north bank of Mulberry Creek that one comes to just before the creek narrows dramatically on its path toward Forest Landing, at its head. It is upcreek from Brick Kiln Cove.
Riverside Drive: Originating on Morattico Road, just before it enters the village proper, Riverside Drive, known also as "the beach road," follows the contours of Mulberry Bay, ending at Colbert Point, the present site of RCV Seafood.
The Stream: On the northern shore of Mulberry Bay, this stream flows beneath Riverside Drive to form a tidal pond which extends northward to Morattico Road and is a haven for Ospreys, Herons, and other waterfowl.
"I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."