Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
1607 - 1957
First called Point Hope, it became Newport News between 1608 and 1619 and is the oldest English place name of any city in America. The name derives by tradition from the news received here of Captain Newport on his return voyages to supply Jamestown.
Newport News was settled shortly after Jamestown and before 1619 was included in the corporation of Kecoughtan. In 1621, an extensive fortified plantation was established by Daniel Gookin, a native of Kent England. It was one of the few places to withstand the Great Indian Massacre of 1622.
The future city was divided in 1634 between Elizabeth City Shire and Warwick River Shire.
While the tobacco convoys made up off Newport News from the earliest days and ships stopped for water, the community was basically devoted to agriculture until the War Between the States, when a large Federal encampment
Collis P. Huntington founded in 1880 the Atlantic terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.
In 1882 most of Newport News became a part of Warwick County.
Mr. Huntington further developed the area by establishing what is now the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in 1886.
The county seat of Warwick was moved here from 1888 until 1896, when Newport News became an independent city on January 16.
It was a leading military port in the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II. The American invasion of North Africa was launched from Newport News in 1942. It is now the largest tobacco and single terminal coal port in the world.
In its shipyard have been built many of the nation’s largest and most famous naval and merchant ships, including U.S.S. Newport News, a flagship of the U.S. Navy.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1625.
Location. 36° 58.681′ N, 76° 26.017′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of West Avenue and Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Great Confederate Naval Victory (here, next to this marker); A Nameless Grave (within shouting distance of this marker); Collis Potter Huntington (within shouting distance of this marker); Newport News Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Congress – Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); Headquarters, Hampton Roads (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Victory Arch (about 500 feet away); Victory Avenue (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 1, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,166 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 1, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.