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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Harwood House

5400 Huntington

 

—On the Avenue - Historic North End Huntington Heights —

 
The Harwood House Marker. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 1, 2017
1. The Harwood House Marker.
Inscription. Built c. 1900, the Harwood House prominently occupies a half block on Huntington Avenue at the corner of 54th Street. It is a Colonial Revival/Queen Anne brick residence consisting of three floors and a full English basement.

Most of the grand houses along Huntington Avenue were built for Northern industrialists, who arrived in the late 1800s to help establish the port facilities, shipyard and early city government. By contrast, 5400 Huntington was home to the Harwoods, a long established Southern family of Warwick County.

The house was constructed by Washington William Harwood (1853-1932) and his wife Montague Weisiger Harwood (1857-1943). He was a pioneer merchant, banker and city councilman. She was an early educator in the public schools, operated the private Newport News Female Seminary, founded the Newport News Woman’s Club and was an arbiter of local cultural, civic, religious and social concerns. Their house was one of the most elegant structures along the main thoroughfare between Newport News and Warwick County.

The house was donated to the City of Newport News in 2015 to be used for historic and educational pursuits.

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The Harwoods spared no expense on their country home in the new suburb of North End. When constructed, their house was outside the city limits
The Harwood House and marker. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 1, 2017
2. The Harwood House and marker.
Currently under renovation, the house’s front porch is missing.
by four blocks and had an unimpeded view of the James River. Built on five lots, its 6,100 square feet boasted commodious parlors and dining room, seven bedrooms, a third floor bathroom, combination gas/electric lighting, ornate steam radiators and interior pull-down shutters.

Exterior architectural features included three porches, widow’s walk, roof cresting, Baltimore pressed brick, weather-struck mortar joints and five stained glass windows. A two-story carriage house (a mail order catalog kit structure) stood on the back corner of the property. Still enclosed by its wrought iron fencing, 5400 is the only residence in Newport News to retain its original turn of the century brick sidewalks.

At right: Detail from a 1903 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map depicts 5400 situated on lots 24-28 fronting then Lafayette Avenue.

Below: A World War I aerial clearly shows the widow’s walk, roof cresting and carriage house.

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OneCity Historical Foundation

The One City Historical Foundation, a nonprofit organization, seeks to promote understanding of the establishment and early history of the City of Newport News by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting that history and its relationship to former Warwick County, the region and the nation.

This organization, founded as
A side view of the Harwood House. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 1, 2017
3. A side view of the Harwood House.
The viewer is standing on 54th Street, facing north.
a means to support the Harwood House and similar endeavors, is committed to telling the story of our community and enhancing its preservation.

To learn more about The Harwood House and One City Historical Foundation
www.onecityhistory.org
 
Erected by One City Historical Foundation.
 
Location. 36° 59.849′ N, 76° 26.395′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Huntington Avenue (U.S. 60) and 54th Street, on the left when traveling south on Huntington Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5400 Huntington Avenue, Newport News VA 23607, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Consolidation (approx. half a mile away); West Avenue Library (approx. 0.7 miles away); Dorothy & Newport News Shipbuilding (approx. 0.7 miles away); Dorothy – Hull Number One (approx. 0.7 miles away); Camp Alexander (approx. 0.8 miles away); Copeland - Newsome Park (approx. 0.9 miles away); Camp Hill (approx. one mile away); Atlantic (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. Please note that the web address in the marker’s inscription may not be a good connection. Use
A view in back of Harwood House. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 1, 2017
4. A view in back of Harwood House.
The antique sundial is inscribed with a message on the lower half of its face that reads: “Count none but Sunday hours.”
the one listed at “Also see.”
 
Also see . . .  One City Historical Foundation (website). (Submitted on December 31, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.)
 
Categories. ArchitectureEducationIndustry & Commerce
 
Detail of Mr. and Mrs. Harwood. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 1, 2017
5. Detail of Mr. and Mrs. Harwood.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 31, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 30, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. This page has been viewed 80 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 30, 2017, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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