Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In the beginning ...

... and then there was Wayne McLeskey.

Born Ferber Wayne McLeskey, Jr., on 19 September 1923 in Norfolk, Virginia, he was the only child of Wayne, Sr (1888-1955) of Anderson, South Carolina, and Mae Belle Akers (1895-1997) of (what is now) Newport News, Virginia. From the beginning Wayne, Jr., lived on W 34th St in Park Place with his parents at the home of his aunt, Lucille Akers Munden, and her three children. (Lucille's husband, CAPT James Munden, died in 1926.) Wayne, Jr., was younger than his cousins by only 1-5 years; so he wasn't raised as an “only child”. Wayne, Sr., was a car salesman who seemed to work for a different company every year. By 1940 Wayne, Sr., had moved out and lived on W 35th St.. Mae Belle would later marry William J. Hunt and eventually live in the Colony on Cattayle Run. Wayne, Jr., attended Maury High School, and was still listed as a student in 1942. He graduated with the class of 1947 at age 23. By 1944 he was on his own and living at 728 Raleigh Ave. It was there that he almost certainly met Faye (if he had not met her earlier).

Lina Faye Edwards was both “the farmers daughter” and “the girl next door”. Born in 1925 she was the youngest of four children of farmer Junius Britton Edwards (1892-1957) and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Welser Elliott (1897-1980). She was raised near the township of Rich Square, North Carolina (about 17 miles southwest of Murfreesboro on US 258). (Norfolk city directories from the 1940s suggests the following facts, which have not been confirmed.) In 1943-44 Faye moved to 722 Colonial Ave. in Norfolk and worked at the Naval Operations Base in support of the war effort. By 1947 she was living at 724 Raleigh Ave, next door to Wayne, Jr.. In 1949 Wayne, Jr., was still on Raleigh Ave, but Faye had moved to 705 Redgate Ave. By 1951 they had married and were living in Apt 4, 742 Shirley Ave.

1950 map of Norfolk depicting residence locations
Wayne, Jr. (a.k.a., McLeskey) began selling real estate sometime between 1943 and 1949. His first major development was Bel-Aire (north of Little Creek Rd, east of Chesapeake Blvd). Most of the houses there were built between 1949 and 1955. From Bel-Aire the next big undertaking was Chesopeian Colony. 

So, when did Chesopeian Colony begin? One could argue the beginning was when McLeskey began looking for a new location to follow the development of Bel-Aire — but that date is uncertain. Or the beginning could be the date of the first purchase of land: 28 February 1955 — but had the Chesopeian Colony name been considered at that point? Perhaps the beginning was when the first subdivision plat was recorded by the court: 11 August 1955. Or the first lot was sold: 10 August 1956. (This is the earliest sale I've found to date. It may not be the first.) Certainly you'd have to consider the development started by the time the first house was sold: 17 October 1956. In any event, it wasn't 1957.