The Northern Neck of Virginia!
The “Land of Pleasant Living”, as it is best known!
The Northern Neck was mainly a farming/fishing area before the retirees found it. The “Neck” was cut off from the rest of the world by the three main rivers, the Potomac River and the Rappahannock River, and also the Chesapeake Bay at the southern end. Commerce was traded by steamboat companies out of Baltimore, Maryland until the 20’s when bridges and roads were being built. Believe it or not, there are still steamboat wharves to be seen in the Northern Neck.
Since the Northern Neck is surrounded by water on 3 sides, naturally, pleasure boats and other water activities were the main hobbies in the “Neck”, until the Northern Neck Region AACA was established.
In a letter, dated July 27, 1993, to AACA National President Douglas Drake, Earl and Judy Beauchamp described finding 32 car collectors while riding around the “Neck”. In another letter dated, August 7, 1993, Earl D Beauchamp, Jr. had found 60 car collectors from Colonial Beach, Virginia to White Stone, Virginia and had invited all interested to his home on July 25, 1993 at 1pm, inviting them to drive their car. This letter listed all of the advantages of joining a National Club. Mr. Beauchamp asked all musicians to bring their instruments, since he was a fiddle player himself.
A charter was applied for in August 1993. While waiting on charter approval, a letter dated, November 3, 1993, was sent to Hershey asking for information packets. The charter was approved and signed on Nov. 16, 1993 by President Lloyd D Riggs of Pennsylvania.
By Feb 6, 1994, the Officers Reporting Form was sent in with the officers listed as:
President-Earl D Beauchamp, Jr.
Vice President-Paul E Stosch
Secretary- Connie Lewis
Legislative Representative- Robbins Douglas
Editor of the new Northern Neck’n Antique Auto News was Earl D Beauchamp, Jr. Total members listed on this form were 68.
Additional new board members joining the club were: Jackie B. Ashburn, Thomas Livesay, and Jon Hill.
The new region’s first car show was held on September 5, 1993 in conjunction with the Callao Ruritan Club Tractor Show and Bull Roast in Callao, Virginia. The next year, the region had its own dash plaque for all show cars.
In 1996 the region went on its own with the first major car show at Heritage Park, Warsaw, Virginia. This was a beautiful park for a car show with shade trees, a shady spot for music later in the afternoon, and because of it, car participation had increased to 127 show cars. By the second year the Heritage Park show increased to 179 vehicles on the show field, a new record for the club. In 1997, a new plateau of 181 show cars was reached at Heritage Park.
On September 9, 2000, the Northern Neck Region had its first car show at the Richmond County Fairgrounds in Warsaw, Virginia. This new partnership enabled the region to showcase antique cars beside the main highway and bring in more spectators. Because of the show being put on at the Richmond County Fairgrounds, the region was asked to help out the Richmond County Fair Association with their annual Richmond County Fair in August of each year. This allowed the region to earn extra income working the spectator gate at the Fairgrounds.
In the fall of 2001, the region’s president, Earl D Beauchamp, Jr. helped get the club on the map by guiding them along to accept the challenge of a National AACA Divisional Tour, the first Sentimental Tour. This tour showcased all of the rich history, the many natural attractions, as well as the abundance of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, horseback riding, golf, and, of course, the region’s large antique car collections. To this day, the AACA members from across this nation that participated in the first Sentimental Tour are still talking about our beautiful peninsula and the special sites that everyone experienced back in 2001. Our Sentimental Tour in 2001 was an extreme success, allowing us to showcase our area and to meet new AACA friends.
Our membership has won many National Awards on the show field and with its monthly newsletter. Our founder, Earl D. Beauchamp, Jr. was also elected to the AACA Board, and served as a Board member for 15 years, becoming the AACA President in 2004.
The region’s membership has stabilized at around 100 members for the last few years. The region is very involved in the local activities of the four counties, putting on display shows for the local retirement homes, working with car dealerships and home sales businesses throughout the peninsula to help promote their special activities. We have local cruise-ins at two different locations on the Northern Neck each month. The Northern Neck Region’s annual car shows have been held at the Warsaw Fairgrounds in Warsaw, Virginia each year.
If you ever find yourself close to the Northern Neck, give a Northern Neck Region AACA member a call. They would be glad to show you around.