Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Newsome House
2803 Oak Street ~ 1899
This house has served two families. It was built in 1899 by Dr. William R. Granger as a residence for his large family. In 1906, Granger sold igt to Joseph Thomas Newsome and his wife Mary.
Mr. Newsome was a newly arrived attorney who over the course of 40 years would make his mark in the city. Together, he and Mary prospered as part of the post Civil War South's new urban black middle class. They first lived in Newport News at 1125 30th Street. After the birth of their daughter Maurice in 1904, they were desirous of a more elegant dwelling befitting their advancing economic and social status.
They made the house a showplace filled with fine furnishings. It became a gathering place for voter registration drives, educational pursuits and pioneering equal rights activities. Booker T. Washington crossed its threshould twice.
Home Sweet Home
The Newsomes resided here the rest of their lives; their daughter was the last to do so. The house was sold in 1977 to Newsome House, Inc., a foundation of private citizens interested in preserving is as a memorial to the Newsome legacy of community service. Neighbors Cornelius and Carrie Brown spearheaded these efforts.
The house remained vacant for more than ten years and greatly deteriorated while
From Saltbox to Queen Anne
The house the Newsome acquired in 1906 was a fram box, located at the corner of Oak Avenue and 28th Street. It had two stories, an attic, a partial basement and city amenities liek indoor plumbing, electricity and gas service. In the years prior to World War I, the Newsome made many improvements — a Palladian window, wrap-around porch, Victorian fretwork, stained glass and an octagonal turret — which transformed the house into a handsome Queen Anne. The front entrance was relocated to open on 28th Street with a set of French doors. Unlike most of the city's houses, built on narow 25'x100' lots, the Newsome propert occupied four lots, permitting them to have a generous yard, garden and detached garage. In the 1920, they put on an addition to provide a large kitchen and enclosed sun porch.
Location. 36° 59.415′ Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2803 Oak Ave., Newport News VA 23607, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Newsome House (a few steps from this marker); Annie Belle Daniels (approx. 0.2 miles away); Confederate Dead (approx. 0.3 miles away); Newport News POW Camp (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Clark Oak (approx. 0.4 miles away); Phillis Wheatley (approx. half a mile away); Pearl Mae Bailey (approx. 0.6 miles away); Monitor – Merrimack Battle (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
More about this marker. In the upper left are pictures of "J. T. Newsome, his wife Mary and daughter Maurice, c. 1912."
The middle pictures display details about the house and show "Carrie Brown outside the Newsome residence prior to its restoration."
The drawings in the upper right corner of the marker show the changes to the house between 1903 and 1926. Its caption reads, "Sanborne Fire Insurance maps document changes to the house made by the Newsomes. Mose evident are the addition of a turret, wrap-around porch and new entrance."
Also see . . . The Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center. (Submitted on October 2, 2016, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 97 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on October 2, 2016.