Chesapeake Bank has staying power.

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 continued to demonstrate that same staying power through the years. And 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 (to better serve the workers at the oyster packing plant in Irvington) and added the trust department two years later.

We dropped the “National” from our name in 1994 and became Chesapeake Bank. Today we operate eleven offices in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula: Kilmarnock, Lively and Irvington on the Northern Neck; Mathews, Hayes and Gloucester on the Middle Peninsula and four branches in Williamsburg. And we’ve remained on the forefront of community banking while keeping our local flavor and commitment to personal, innovative service.

It’s programs like these and other banking initiatives that are the engines that have fueled our growth from the $25,000 we started with in 1900 to over $600 million in assets today. An additional sign of our stability and growth is that the bank’s earnings for calendar year 2009 was $4,834,927, representing a 5.1 percent increase over 2008’s earnings. Given what this nation’s economy experienced in 2009, the only thing we’re prouder of than these numbers are the loyal customers we serve year after year.