The Old Spotswood Arms
Virginia Beach, Virginia

By Patricia B. Mitchell, 1992, from Footloose, Fancy, & Free: A Victorian Vacation Recipe Book, p. 1.

Reba Beaver and Patricia Beaver Mitchell

Patricia Mitchell with her mother, during the era of their Spotswood Arms experiences.

Sliding down the thick tubular brass stair railing at the old Spotswood Arms in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was one of my first memories of the pleasures of a Victorian hotel. Mama, of course, corrected this little blond moppet for such unseemly, exuberant behaviorl My chosen manner of making an appearance in the quiet, thickly red-carpeted lobby was a great deal too unconventional! Having learned well to enjoy those 19th-century oases, I still periodically seek out “the joy, the comfort, the relaxation, the element of renewed vigor that comes from taking a vacation.”

Photos of Spotswood Arms, August 1933

Spotswood Arms

The Spotswood Arms is seen after the disastrous hurricane of August 23, 1933, approximately twenty years before Patricia Mitchell experienced the establishment's charm (see above). The photograph was taken by Virginia Beach pharmacist Robert Ingram. Coincidentally, two decades earlier Ingram's family had lived in the house which is now Patricia's Mitchell's home (see further notes and photographs). This photograph and the one below are from the the collection of Robert Ingram's sister, the late Lucy Ingram Campbell, with explanation from her daughter Patricia Campbell Strader.

Spotswood Arms

This is a second photograph by Robert Ingram, taken at the same time as the above image. Ingram wrote on the back of the photograph:

“Hotel across the street from where I live. This is the back view. The front of it caved in.”

Related Book

By Patricia B. Mitchell

Available directly from the publisher, and at museums throughout the United States.

Footloose, Fancy, & Free

Footloose, Fancy, & Free: A Victorian Vacation Recipe Book