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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Olde Towne, Virginia
Location of Olde Towne
► Portsmouth (103) ► Chesapeake (49) ► Hampton (214) ► Newport News (255) ► Norfolk (111) ► Suffolk (60)
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|This marks the northern limit of a line of British redoubts erected in March 1781 by order of Brigadier General Benedict Arnold who, under Major General William Phillips, commanded British troops occupying Portsmouth. This line of fortifications . . . — — Map (db m21043) HM|
|A brick windmill near here was close to the southern limit of a line of British redoubts erected in March 1781 by order of Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, who under Major General William Phillips, commanded British troops occupying . . . — — Map (db m21112) HM|
|This marks a line of British redoubts erected in March 1781 by order of Brigadier General Benedict Arnold who, under Major William Phillips, commanded British troops occupying Portsmouth. The line of fortifications extended in an arc along . . . — — Map (db m71739) HM|
Born on November 24, 1926 to Mr. and Mrs. James W. Holley, Jr.
First elected to City Council June 11, 1968.
First elected to Vice Mayor July 18, 1978.
First elected to Mayor May 1, 1984.
Mayor of Portsmouth from July 1984 to December . . . — — Map (db m165994) HM|
|Chevra T'helim, (translation: House of Psalms), housed an Orthodox Jewish Congregation, established in 1917. It served the religious needs of a congregation largely composed of merchants who emigrated from Eastern Europe th the port city of . . . — — Map (db m36890) HM|
|Col. William Craford
February 27, 1752
Today, known as
Col. William Crawford — — Map (db m37128) HM|
|A British fleet under Commodore Sir George Collier sailed up the Elizabeth River and shelled Fort Nelson in May 1779, during the Revolutionary War. A landing force of 1,800 infantrymen led by Brig. Gen. Edward Mathew captured the fort on 10 May . . . — — Map (db m21146) HM|
1861 - 1865 — — Map (db m76791) WM|
|Lord Cornwallis, commanding the British troops in the south, reached Portsmouth, July, 1781. He prepared to send a portion of his force to New York. Before the movement was made, orders came for him to take up a position at Old Point. Cornwallis . . . — — Map (db m21114) HM|
|Near this spot on August 20, 1781, General Cornwallis and his troops embarked for Yorktown. This fateful action enabled the combined forces of General George Washington and French Admiral De Grasse to bottle up the British and force the surrender of . . . — — Map (db m83882) HM|
|Established in 1789, the Portsmouth and Norfolk Baptist Church served as the first Baptist congregation in South Hampton Roads. The name was changed in 1791 to Portsmouth Baptist Church and again in 1855 to its current name, Court Street Baptist . . . — — Map (db m20467) HM|
|Craney Island played a significant role in the War of 1812, flying the Flag of 1795, with fifteen stars and stripes. American defenders held off overwhelming British forces there on June 22, 1813. Two hundred British soldiers were . . . — — Map (db m21111) HM|
|The peaceful waters of Crawford Bay play host each year to a number of boating events including the Cock Island Race and the Crawford Bay Crew Classic. The homes visible across the inlet are in a neighborhood called Swimming Point. . . . — — Map (db m21072) HM|
|Erected 1835 by J.W. Collins, Portsmouth’s first five-story building and for many years a leading hotel. Presidents Van Buren, Tyler, and Fillmore were entertained here. — — Map (db m20461) HM|
|The Elizabeth River, explored by Captain John Smith in 1608, was named for Princess Elizabeth. Shipbuilding activity began in 1620 when John Wood, a shipbuilder, requested a land grant. Many historic ships were built at the naval shipyard . . . — — Map (db m21044) HM|
|This Romanesque Revival dwelling was constructed for Laura C. Armistead and her family in 1894 by her father Beverly A. Armistead, president of the Bank of Portsmouth. Identifying features of this architectural style are the round arches over thick, . . . — — Map (db m84742) HM|
|Emanuel A.M.E. Church is rooted in the African Methodist Society that was formed soon after the founding in 1772 of the Methodist Society in Portsmouth. The African Society met independently until Nat Turner's insurrection in 1831, worshiped with . . . — — Map (db m36867) HM|
The congregation of Emanuel Church was formed out of the Methodist society by Robert Williams, who erected a meetinghouse on South Street in 1772. Thus, two societies were established, the Black people called their society the African Methodist . . . — — Map (db m165996) HM|
|This pavilion displays a first order Fresnel lens from the second Hog Island Light. The lens began service in 1896. Originally built in 1852, the first building was destroyed by erosion and rebuilt in 1896, only to be deactivated in 1948. . . . — — Map (db m21180) HM|
|On the site of Portsmouth’s Naval Hospital stood Fort Nelson. There, Virginia’s Revolutionary government late in 1776 constructed the fort of timber and rammed earth. Three years later, the British fleet commanded by Admiral Sir George Collier . . . — — Map (db m21145) HM|
|Before you is the Gosport Navy Yard (Norfolk Naval Shipyard). Gosport is the oldest Navy shipyard in the nation. Here is where the USS Merrimack was burned and then transformed by the Confederates into the powerful ironclad ram, the CSS . . . — — Map (db m21160) HM|
|Here stood the residence of William Crawford who in 1752 founded the town of Portsmouth on sixty-five acres of his extensive plantation lands. The house site extended south on Crawford Street 113 feet, and east on High Street to the Elizabeth River. . . . — — Map (db m20434) HM|
|William F. Cody, associated with a Western exhibition titled “Buffalo Bill (Himself) and the 101 Ranch Wild West Combined,” passed by this spot on a route that would take the parade to the intersection of Washington and . . . — — Map (db m21162) HM|
|John Luke Porter, first president of the Portsmouth common council, was born just two blocks south of here. An accomplished naval constructor, commissioned first by the United States and later by the Confederacy, Porter supervised, at the Norfolk . . . — — Map (db m20433) HM|
|Lightships were “floating lighthouses.” They were anchored at the entrances to ports, bays and outer limits to off-lying danger areas such as shoals and reefs. These vessels served as aids to navigation. Lightships were originally . . . — — Map (db m20407) HM|
|Lightships and the City of Portsmouth go back to the beginning of lightship duty in this country in 1820. The first lightship was established off Craney Island at the mouth of the Elizabeth River. Working lightships were constant visitors on the . . . — — Map (db m20408) HM|
|The four houses directly across the street are the last remaining original houses of Lincolnsville, Portsmouth's first middle-class African American community, established in 1890. It was an area of about 34 acres and operated as a city within a . . . — — Map (db m36911) HM|
|Born Matilda S. Joyner in Portsmouth 1869, Sissieretta Jones was a trailblazing African American pioneer of the concert and theatrical stages during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She studied music at the Providence School of Music and the . . . — — Map (db m83881) HM|
|This Church, founded 1772, is one of the oldest Methodist Churches in Virginia. The first building was erected, 1775, at South and Effingham Streets. The Church was moved to Glasgow Street near Court in 1792. It established the first Sunday School . . . — — Map (db m20466) HM|
|Constructed in 1919, this building was used as a maintenance building for the Norfolk County ferries. From 1636 to 1955 the ferries provided service for passengers and their various modes of transportation across the Elizabeth River between Norfolk . . . — — Map (db m20390) HM|
|Begun 1845, occupied 20 July 1846. The architect, Wm. R. Singleton, a Portsmouth native, also designed the old Norfolk City Court House. This building stands on one of the four corners dedicated for public use in 1752 by Lt. Col. William Crawford, . . . — — Map (db m3518) HM|
|The one square block historic district before you is Portsmouth’s Olde Towne. The district dates to 1752 when Portsmouth was founded by William Crawford. Olde Towne contains one of the largest collections of historic buildings in Virginia . . . — — Map (db m21116) HM|
|This is the site of the Portsmouth Naval Hospital which served both the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War. The Portsmouth Naval Hospital, the U.S. Navy’s first hospital, was founded in 1827 by Secretary of the Navy Samuel L. Southard. . . . — — Map (db m21042) HM|
|The Portsmouth Public Library was established in 1914 primarily due to efforts of the Students Club. The first library was housed in the annex behind the 1846 Courthouse and most of the original collection was donated from the Seaboard Air Line . . . — — Map (db m20392) HM|
Erected by a grateful people to the memory of the priests who died in their service
Rt. Rev. Msgr. F. Joseph Magri
1917 - 1942
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph F. Govaert
1942 - 1961
Rev. Francis Devlin
1845 - 1855
Rev. Jos. . . . — — Map (db m165987) WM|
|Erected by the citizens of
in the memory of
Rev. Francis Devlin
the humble priest,
the faithful pastor
who sacrificed his life
in the cause of charity,
during the plague of 1855.
He was a native of . . . — — Map (db m36939) HM|
|In October 1775, Virginia’s last royal governor, the Earl of Dunmore, made his headquarters at Gosport, one mile south of here. After his defeat at Great Bridge and the destruction of Norfolk, he entrenched at Hospital Point, one mile north, but was . . . — — Map (db m20432) HM|
In honor of
Commodore Richard Dale, U.S.N.
A native of this place.
Born November 6, 1756,
Died in Philadelphia, PA. Feb. 26, 1826. — — Map (db m165992) WM|
|Portsmouth native Ruth Brown was the best-selling African American female recording artist early in the 1950s. Her two dozen hits established Atlantic Records as “The House That Ruth Built.” Brown also helped to usher in the rock’n’roll . . . — — Map (db m83880) HM|
Upon her death in 1888, Mrs. Eliza Burke Gregory bequeathed $10,000 for the education of boys in Portsmouth. Her church, St. Paul's Catholic, had established a girls school, St. Joseph's, on King Street in 1876. The current site was selected, . . . — — Map (db m71722) HM|
|The Portsmouth & Roanoke Railroad was incorporated in March 1832 and began operations in July 1834 when the first train, pulled by horses, ran a full circuit from Portsmouth to Suffolk. A locomotive replaced the horses later that year. By late 1836, . . . — — Map (db m20387) HM|
|Erected by the citizens of Portsmouth and Norfolk County. Sponsored by the Austin R. Davis Camp No 4 – United Spanish War Veterans and Auxiliary to commemorate the valor and patriotism of those who voluntarily served in the war with Spain, the . . . — — Map (db m20794) HM|
|St. John's Episcopal Church was founded in 1848; its original Greek Revival sanctuary opened in 1850 near the corner of Court and London Streets. During the yellow fever epidemic of 1855, James Chisholm, the church's first rector, remained in . . . — — Map (db m165991) HM|
|St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church was first built by French and Irish immigrants between 1811 and 1815 and was the first Catholic congregation established in Portsmouth. Increasing membership necessitated the building of new structures in 1831 and . . . — — Map (db m21147) HM|
A burial ground for early parishioners and clergy of St. Paul's Catholic Church was located on this site during the nineteenth century. Among those buried here were:
Patrick Robertson, who bequeathed the funds to purchase this property in 1810 . . . — — Map (db m165990) HM|
|The 1846 Courthouse building at the corner of Court & High Street in Olde Towne Portsmouth was designed in the classic Greek Revival style by architect, William R. Singleton and built by Willoughby G. Butler. It housed the Norfolk County Court until . . . — — Map (db m76790) HM|
The Battle of
June 22, 1813 — — Map (db m165985) HM WM|
|The City of Portsmouth has had a long history of supporting U.S. Coast Guard operations. Today it serves as a center for Coast Guard regional administration and operational oversight through the Atlantic Area Command headquarters, Fifth District . . . — — Map (db m20431) HM|
Opened on November 14, 1945, the Commodore Theatre was designed by noted Baltimore architect John J. Zink and built and operated by William S. "Bunkie" Wilder, a Portsmouth native, as his flagship theatre. It is named for Commodore James Barron, . . . — — Map (db m20465) HM|
|The Elizabeth River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay, runs between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk. The river was named “Elizabeth” in honor of Princess Elizabeth Stuart, the eldest daughter of King James I of England.
The river . . . — — Map (db m21182) HM|
|On June 19th, 1855, following a twelve day quarantine, the merchant ship Benjamin Franklin arrived from the West Indies and docked at Gosport Shipyard for repairs. While emptying its bilge, mosquitoes carrying yellow fever were released. After . . . — — Map (db m36892) HM|
|The intersection of High and Court Street was known as Towne Square, the cornerstone of the community. The square that you are standing on was known as Courthouse Square, the site of the original courthouse from 1803-1846. In 1855 the Ocean Hotel . . . — — Map (db m20463) HM|
|Built in 1762 as the Parish Church of Portsmouth Parish, established in 1761. Later named Trinity; Enlarged in 1829; Remodeled in 1893. Colonel William Crawford, founder of Portsmouth in 1752, was a member of the first Vestry. Buried here is . . . — — Map (db m20464) HM|
|Built by Colonel Dempsey Watts in 1799 and inherited by his son, Captain Samuel Watts, who lived here until his death in 1878. Here Chief Black Hawk, of the Black Hawk Indian War, was entertained in 1820, and Henry Clay in 1844. — — Map (db m36868) HM|