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Greystone Manor is a private property with a key role in Virginia Beach history. This grand Manor went from being a home to housing a gambling and entertainment club known for serving alcohol during prohibition back to a home needing a bit of fixing up. It goes by many names some of which are ’Greystone’, ‘The Wilder Place’, and the ‘Crystal Club’. The building is made from blue Vermont granite and green Pennsylvania slate in a Scottish Baronial style overlooking the waters of Crystal Lake.


  • Greystone on the outside
  • Greystone on the outside
  • Greystone on the Outside
  • Greystone on the Outside
  • Greystone on the Inside
  • Greystone on the Inside
  • Greystone´s Garden
  • Greystone on the Outside
  • Greystone´s Plaque
  • Greystone´s Garden
  • Greystone the Inside
  • Greystone the Inside

Greystone Manor or ‘The Castle’, ’Greystone’, ‘Lakeside’ ‘The Wilder Place’, or ‘Crystal Club’ is a beautiful lakefront property on Crystal Lake. The manor was Commissioned by Dr. John Miller-Masury and built by Norfolk architect Arnold Eberhard in 1904-1906. The manor was designed with a Scottish Baronial style, and “was constructed of blue Vermont granite and green Pennsylvania slate. There are seven fireplaces, ornate plaster ceilings, wooden framework of Douglas fir, Southern live oak floors, and Brazilian mahogany paneling.”(Pender) Eberhard raised the house several feet to let the light reflecting off the lake shine into the manor in the afternoon to create a ‘heavenly’(Pender) effect. 

Dr. John Miller-Masury later added an “Edison power plant, a windmill to pump water to the house, a water heater capable of handling 1,000 gallons, fruit orchards, vegetable gardens, and stables”(Pender) to make Greystone a self-sufficient estate. There was also “a lighted and covered boardwalk (that) ran a half a mile or more from the oceanfront to Crystal Lake. The cellar had a full laundry and a huge ice-making system that operated off brine, so ice could be made year-round.”(Pender) Dr. Miller-Masury gained his fortune from the family Masury Paint Company which “invented metal paint containers that made the marketing of ready-mixed paints feasible.”(Pender) After World War I he became quite notable for his participation in the war effort as a captain and would eventually own 130 acres of property in Virginia Beach. He died in 1938. 

During the prohibition “the Masury Corporation leased the house to a group of North Carolina businessmen who turned the estate into a dining and entertainment nightclub known as the Crystal Club.”(Pender) The Crystal Club became known for booze, gambling and prominent jazz bands of the time. One local story is that most of the club’s patrons came across the lake by boat so that, when the lookouts stationed at the land entrance saw the police approaching and a warning was given to the guests, they could head back across the lake to their parked cars.(Pender) It was also rumored the police were in cahoots with the owners of the Crystal Club giving advanced warnings as to when they were showing up.

William Wilder-owner of many cinemas in Norfolk and Virginia Beach- bought the manor residence in 1943, his family later sold it to Andrea Hodgson in 1967. Andrea Hodgson “sold the Greystone (now on one acre) to C. William Emanuelson, a contractor who...repaired all the damage, brought the electrical system up to the 1960’s code and reworked a lot of the plumbing.”(Pender) 

The current owners Frank and Juliette Reidy bought Graystone in 1981. They would invest years and thousands of dollars into repairing the manor. Juliette Reidy went to “a one-year landscape gardening course from George Washington University at the Norfolk Botanical Garden''(Pender) and would redo the manor's gardens. Their oldest son James would establish the Crystal club - a group intent on cleaning Crystal Lake. He installed a 3,000-square-foot oyster reef in 2008 to help clear the lake of pollutants. The Reidy’s are currently selling Greystone Manor for $4,795,000, it has seven bedrooms, eight baths and is 12,944 sq. ft. with all the modern-day amenities with old Virginia Beach charm. Greystone Manor is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Works Cited 

“ John Miller-Masury Residence.” John-Miller Masury Residence - New York City, The NYC 

Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/html/ResMillerMasuryJ.html.

“50 Most Historically Significant Houses and Structures In Virginia Beach.” 50 Most Hist 

Significant_2008.Pdf, Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Partnership , 2008,

www.vbgov.com/government/departments/planning/boards-commissions-

committees/Documents/VA%20Historical%20Preservation/Update%202015%20HR%20Related%20Documents/F

ifty%20Most%20Hist%20Significant_2008.pdf.

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone 

MLS 10269634.” For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone MLS 10269634, 2019,

www.historicgreystone.com/.

Taylor, Martha Lewis. “Beach : a History of Virginia Beach, Virginia.” Full Text of "Beach : a 

History of Virginia Beach, Virginia", 2011,

archive.org/stream/beachhistoryofvi00unse/beachhistoryofvi00unse_djvu.txt.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

“134-0532 Dr. John Miller-Masury House.” DHR Virginia Department of Historic Resources 1340532 Comments, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, 22 Oct. 2018, www.dhr.virginia.gov/historic-registers/134-0532/.

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic GreystonePender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone

Pender, Susan T. “For Sale 515 Wilder Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - Historic Greystone