Chesapeake Bank’s roots stretch deep into the sandy soil of Virginia’s Northern Neck and reach back to the dawn of the twentieth century. Originally charted as Lancaster National Bank on April 13, 1900, we’ve been focused on our community from the very beginning. The bank’s first clients were watermen, farmers and small business owners.
Our only branch was in Irvington, a secluded steamboat port off the Rappahannock River. Those were the days before bridges – much less highways – linked the Northern Neck to urban centers. The bank played an essential role in the local economy, and we knew it. So, when the Great Irvington Fire of 1917 destroyed our offices, we set up shop in a tent. In 1933, the region was not only rocked by the Great Depression, but also by the worst storm in years. It wiped out the remaining steamboat wharves and many businesses. But we survived and helped our community rebuild.
We grew along with the area as it emerged as a popular vacation and retirement location. We merged with Chesapeake Banking Co. of Lively in 1968 to become Chesapeake National Bank. Always responsive to local needs, we launched the nation’s first floating boat bank (as seen below) to better serve the workers at the oyster packing plant in Irvington and added the trust department, now part of Chesapeake Wealth Management, two years later.