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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Phoebus in Hampton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Town Hall / Fire Department

Heartbeat of Phoebus

 

— Explore Hampton 2010: From the Sea to the Stars —

 
Town Hall / Fire Department Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 6, 2021
1. Town Hall / Fire Department Marker
Inscription.  
This was the heartbeat of Phoebus civic life, its Town Hall and Fire Department. All government services were packed into this classical brick building, even its Court, Police Department, and jail. It was 1938 when the building opened, but the town's history was long established. First known as Mill Creek, then Chesapeake City, Phoebus was bursting at the seams by April 1, 1900 when a municipal government was formed. John A. White, a furniture store owner, was sworn in as mayor, followed by Town Council members and other officials. Just about every home and shop was decorated with flags and bunting, as a parade, featuring soldiers from Fortress Monroe, the National Soldiers' Home Band, and officials riding in horse-drawn carriages, wound through the streets. The ceremonies took place at the year-old Phoebus Sentinel at 10 W. Mellon Street, with speeches later delivered in the board room of the new Bank of Phoebus. Great things were predicted, with Phoebus swiftly overtaking Hampton and Newport News.

In the early days, the Town Council met in a former wooden schoolhouse that was moved from Howard Street to this location. As early as

Town Hall / Fire Department Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, February 6, 2021
2. Town Hall / Fire Department Marker
1901, its membership included William Trusty and N.C. Barnes, considered the first elected black councilmen in Virginia. Next door was a tall, two-story firehouse, with bell tower on top, manned by the all-volunteer Phoebus Fire Company Number One. Nearby were stables for the horses that pulled its fire wagons. The horses were locally famous for rushing to their traces when the fire alarm sounded.

Inside this building, now decorated with framed photographs of fire units, numerous sports trophies, and an honor roll of deceased fire fighters, are the former old town offices. They include the jail, where still-visible iron bars guarded the windows and side doors that provided convenient entry from paddy wagons. Although Phoebus became part of Hampton in 1952, its name and character are very much intact.
 
Erected 2010 by Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCharity & Public WorkGovernment & PoliticsRoads & Vehicles.
 
Location. 37° 1.053′ N, 76° 19.337′ W. Marker is in Phoebus in Hampton, Virginia. Marker is on Lancer Street 0.1 miles east of South Mallory Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 19 Lancer St, Hampton VA 23663, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other

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markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memoriam (within shouting distance of this marker); Phoebus Life (within shouting distance of this marker); Harrison Phoebus (within shouting distance of this marker); Phoebus - The Gateway To The New World (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Phoebus (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saint Mary Star Of The Sea And Its School (approx. ¼ mile away); Camp Hamilton (approx. 0.3 miles away); War of 1812 (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Phoebus.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 8, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 8, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Mar. 5, 2021