B. Williams and Co. Store

1030 Williams Wharf Road, Mathews, VA

The B. Williams and Co. Store, a local landmark since its construction in 1869, is located on the Williams Wharf site, next to what will become the Owens Center for Maritime Education and Rowing.

Today, the Store serves as the temporary home of the Mathews High School Crew team and Mobjack Rowing Association.  Plans for renovation and historic preservation of the Store are in place and, once renovated, the Store will be a secure site for housing and displaying the artifacts and memorabilia associated with the history and activities that have transpired at the Wharf over the centuries.

Store History

Owned by the Williams-Murray family since the late eighteenth century, this site served as a major focal point of much of the activity that took place at this busy port and crossroads for nearly 200 years.  It served as a general merchandise store, ships’ chandlery, specialty ladies hat shop and post office during the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth.

The historic site was acquired with the help of a Virginia Land Conservation Foundation grant for $345,000 over a period of two years, which covered ½ of the purchase price of $690,000.
The B. Williams and Company Store has been awarded inclusion on the Virginia Landmarks Register, as well as the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic Post Office

The Williams Wharf Historic Post Office is also located on the Williams Wharf site, adjacent to the Activity Building.  As seen in the above photo, the post office and its twin building, which served as a Customs House, stood in front of and just to the left of the B. Williams and Co. Store.  While the Customs House now stands in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD, plans are in place to renovate and move the Post Office back to its original location.