PAC/VBHS Newletter Article
To those who come from areas of high elevation, often it seems Hilltop was named as a joke. No way! It is the best hill we have in eastern Virginia Beach, and is a high spot on the crest of Pungo Ridge in our flat, barely above sea level city.
In 1945, Mr. Dean S. Potter built a gas station on the northeast corner of Laskin Road and what is now First Colonial Road. According to his son Gordon, and the memory of this writer, Mr. Potter was the first to call this area hilltop. He leased his station as Hilltop Esso so that no matter who operated it, the name Hilltop would be utilized. Subsequently, the Potter properties in this section incorporate the name Hilltop.
In 1948 just east of the gas station, Mr. Potter built Hilltop Motel, which so far as this writer knows was the first motel in our county/city. This was the beginning of the new concept of replacing tourist cabins and cottages with motels.
If you doubt Hilltop is actually elevated, just look westward from the Laskin Road and First Colonial Road intersection. It is especially noticeable after a heavy rain, even with the help of modern storm drainage system, which was not there when Mr. Potter named it Hilltop. The elevation where these roads cross is actually 27 feet above sea level!
Anne Henry – Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach Historical Society Newsletter: Spring 1999 Vol. 2, Issue 2
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