At my parent’s vacation cottage in Deltaville, Virginia, by the Rappahannock River, it’s easy to get lost on the unmarked, unpaved streets of the town. One of the quaint features of the streets and homes are custom address plaques with names of homes and street numbers. Perhaps because the residents all own boats, which are often named, they have also named their homes.

Some names are clever, like Krunch’s Kastle, where their neighbor, a salty dog known as Kaptain Krunch, lives in a converted garage; For the more formal homes, there are bronze address plaques, sometimes with nautical designs, or just the house number.

When my parents first bought the cottage home back in the 80s, there were only occasional markers with numbers, impossible to see at night. After many years of lobbying at Town Hall, my mom was able to get a sign on their street s, “Perry Way, in memory of their dear departed neighbor Mrs. Perry, who was a friend to all.

While the town has become more modern, and finally there are more street signs, the tradition of personalized address plaques has endured.

My personal favorite plaque will always be the one hanging over Dad’s boathouse, “Happy Jack.”

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