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

Downtown in Norfolk, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Whitehead House, 1791

 
 
Whitehead House, 1791 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 10, 2010
1. Whitehead House, 1791 Marker
Inscription.  Patrick Parker, a wealthy merchant, built a Georgian style home here in 1791. Later occupants of the house included Hugh Blair Grigsby and John Boswell Whitehead, sons of Elizabeth McPherson. Elizabeth's first husband was the Reverend Benjamin Grigsby. Their son Hugh (1806-1861), the famed Virginia historian, spent his boyhood in the house. After Benjamin Grigsby's death, Elizabeth married Dr. Nathan Colgate Whitehead, in whose family the house remained for three generations. Their son John was Norfolk's mayor from 1870 to 1872 and from 1874 to 1876. According to anecdote, when the Freemason Street Baptist Church was built across the street, Dr. Whitehead worried that the large steeple would fall and damage his property during a storm. He was told, "The devil would never think to look for a Presbyterian elder under a Baptist steeple." The steeple did fall in 1879, without damage to property or Presbyterians. The last tenant of the house was the Norfolk Boys' Club, which occupied the building until 1933, when it was torn down to make way for a parking lot for Freemason Street Baptist Church.
 
Erected by
John B. Whitehead (1822~1903) image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 10, 2010
2. John B. Whitehead (1822~1903)
William H. Stewart. History of Norfolk County, Virginia (1902)
City of Norfolk.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureChurches & ReligionIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 36° 51.008′ N, 76° 17.228′ W. Marker is in Downtown in Norfolk, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of E. Freemason Street and Bank St. on E. Freemason Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Norfolk VA 23510, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Cannonball Trail (a few steps from this marker); Moses Myers House, 1792 (within shouting distance of this marker); Freemason Street Baptist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Joseph’s Catholic Church & School (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Willoughby-Baylor House, 1794 (about 500 feet away); Bank Street Baptist Church (about 600 feet away); Francis Drake, Free Black Barber (about 700 feet away); Epworth United Methodist Church, 1894 (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
 
Whitehead House, c.1885 image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 10, 2010
3. Whitehead House, c.1885
Courtesy of Norfolk Public Library
Hugh Blair Grigsby (1806-1881) image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 10, 2010
4. Hugh Blair Grigsby (1806-1881)
Discourse on the Lives, and Characters of the Early Presidents of Hampden ~Sidney College, Richmond, 1913. Courtesy of Norfolk Public Library
Whitehead House, 1791 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 19, 2019
5. Whitehead House, 1791 Marker
Whitehead House, 1791 image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 10, 2010
6. Whitehead House, 1791
Whitehead House in 2015 image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, June 5, 2015
7. Whitehead House in 2015
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 714 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 30, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.   5. submitted on February 5, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.   6. submitted on August 30, 2010, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.   7. submitted on June 8, 2015, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 6, 2020