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Suffolk, Virginia Historical Markers

 
African American Oystermen Marker image, Touch for more information
By James Thomson
African American Oystermen Marker
Virginia, Suffolk — K-322 — African American Oystermen
Hobson is an example of an African American oystering village that developed during the last quarter of the 19th century on the James River, the Chesapeake Bay and their tributaries. As in other watermen communities, people also farmed and worked at . . . — Map (db m39806) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-257 — Bennett's Home
On this stream, Bennett's Creek, stood the home of Richard Bennett. He was one of the Commissioners to "Reduce" Virginia after the victory of Parliament in the Civil War in England, 1651, and the first Governor under the Cromwellian domination . . . — Map (db m39695) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — U-58 — Booker T. Washington High School
The Suffolk School Board opened Booker T. Washington School here in 1913 to serve African American children in grades 1-8. Ninth grade was added during the 1920s. Overcrowding prompted the construction of a larger building here in 1925. Black . . . — Map (db m99876) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Cedar Hill Cemetery
Cedar Hill Cemetery sits on the site of a farm owned by the John Constant family in the early 1700’s. In 1802, the Town of Suffolk purchased 2½ acres of the farm to build a community meeting house as a shared house of worship for both blacks . . . — Map (db m103516) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — UT-28 — Civil War Cavalry Skirmish
Federal forces occupied Suffolk on 12 May 1862 and built earthworks around the town; Brig. Gen. John J. Peck took command in October. Cavalry vedettes, or mounted pickets, were posted some distance outside the fortifications to warn of Confederate . . . — Map (db m18152) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Civil War Militia of Suffolk and Nansemond County
1861 ~ 1865 More than 1,500 men and boys from Suffolk and Nansemond County left their homes and families in defense of constitutional liberty and states rights to face overwhelming odds. Many paid the ultimate price; all endured hardships and . . . — Map (db m104106) HM WM
Virginia, Suffolk — Confederate Monument
(front) Confederate Dead Erected by Thos W. Smith in memory of his comrades. (side) This shaft on which we carve no name, shall guide Virginia's youth - a sign-post on the road to fame, to honor and to truth. A silent sentry, . . . — Map (db m103986) WM
Virginia, Suffolk — Dismal Town
Washington and company used this spot as their Dismal Swamp headquarters. The town was built prior to the Nimmo survey of 1763 on Riddick 402 acre patent. — Map (db m93493) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-249 — Dumpling Island
The ceremonial heart of the Nansemond Indian district stood a mile east on Dumpling Island in the Nansemond River. In 1608, Capt. John Smith led colonists upriver to obtain corn from the Nansemonds, who attacked but were defeated and forced to feed . . . — Map (db m2671) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-251 — Early History of Suffolk
A community developed here in the 1720s around John Constant's wharf, dwelling, and tobacco warehouse. The Virginia House of Burgesses chartered the town of Suffolk in 1742. It was incorporated as a town in 1808 and as a city in 1910; in 1974 it . . . — Map (db m76803) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-332 — East Suffolk School Complex
Between 1926 and 1927, African Americans raised $3,300 toward the East Suffolk School, which opened with T.J. Johnson as principal. In addition to public money, the Julius Rosenwald Fund also provided $1,500 to assist the effort. Rosenwald, . . . — Map (db m76806) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — U-127 — First Ruritan Club
The first Ruritan Club was founded here in Holland, Va., on May 21, 1928. Ruritan is an organization of rural leaders striving through community service, fellowship and good will to make the rural community a better place in which to . . . — Map (db m48531) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — QB-1 — First Suffolk Church
Here stood the Colonial Suffolk Church, a large, cross-shaped, brick building, erected in 1753 as the second parish church of Upper Parish, Nansemond County, and the first house of worship in the town of Suffolk. It survived the burning of Suffolk . . . — Map (db m76804) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-271 — Florence Graded School
Florence Graded School was named for Florence Bowser, a noted educator who was instrumental in having the school constructed. It was built in 1920 with state and local funds and a grant from the Julius Rosenwald Fund which had been created in 1922 . . . — Map (db m39804) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-258 — Glebe Church
Built in 1738. In 1775 the Parish minister, Parson Agnew, was driven from the Church for preaching loyalty to the King. The building was repaired in 1854. — Map (db m39697) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-270 — Hargrove's Tavern
On 10 May 1779, during the Revolutionary War, a British expeditionary force commanded by Gen. Edward Matthews disembarked in Portsmouth to capture the major Tidewater Virginia towns. About 200 Nansemond County militia under Col. Willis Riddick . . . — Map (db m39696) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-333 — Huntersville Rosenwald School
The Huntersville School was built in 1930-31 as a Rosenwald School. The Julius Rosenwald fund provided $1,000 toward the construction, with contributions from African Americans and the local government provided the rest of its $7,000 cost. . . . — Map (db m98267) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Z-243 — Isle of Wight County / Nansemond County
Isle of Wight County Area 314 Square Miles One of the original Shires formed in 1634. Its name was at first Warrascoyack, changed in 1637 to Isle of Wight. Of the oldest churches in the United States is in this county. Nansemond . . . — Map (db m76777) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-310 — James Bowser Plantation
James Bowser, the only negro from Nansemond County to fight in the American Revolution, enlisted as a private in the Virginia Continental Line and was honorably discharged in 1782. Bowser returned to the county at the close of the Revolution and . . . — Map (db m108147) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-310 — James Bowser, Revolutionary Soldier
James Bowser, a free African American born in Nansemond County about 1763, was one of many black Virginians who served in the army or navy of the United States during the Revolutionary War. He enlisted in the 1st Virginia Regiment of the Continental . . . — Map (db m41080) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Jericho Ditch
Jericho Ditch, 9 miles long was dug by slave labor in early 1800's to enable the Dismal Swamp Land Company to remove the timber, to drain lowland and provide access to Lake Drummond. — Map (db m93488) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — John Smith Explores the ChesapeakeCaptain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
Captain John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay in the early 1600s seeking precious metals and a passage to Asia. He traveled the James, Chickahominy, and York rivers in 1607, and led two major expeditions from Jamestown in 1608. Smith and his crew . . . — Map (db m98298) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Korea and Vietnam Wars Memorial
. . . — Map (db m103511) WM
Virginia, Suffolk — U-129 — Mount Sinai Baptist Church
In 1868, the formerly enslaved Rev. Israel Cross founded Mount Sinai Baptist Church in a log building here on Benjamin Howell's land. He allegedly never closed a sermon without saying, "Buy some land, build a home, and get some education." In 1871, . . . — Map (db m48934) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-269 — Mr. Peanut
Planters Nut and Chocolate Company, based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, established a peanut processing factory in Suffolk in 1913. Amedeo Obici, the company’s co-founder, moved to Suffolk and in 1916 sponsored a contest to develop a mascot for . . . — Map (db m100478) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — KO-2 — Nansemond Collegiate Institute
Here stood the Nansemond Collegiate Institute, founded in 1890 as the Nansemond Industrial Institute by Rev. William W. Gaines to provide local black children with an education, because free public schools were closed to them. Eventually the . . . — Map (db m76807) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Z-235 — Nansemond County / Norfolk County
Nansemond County. Area 423 Square Miles.Formed in 1637 from New Norfolk County, it was first called Upper Norfolk County, but in 1642 it was named Nansemond for an Indian Tribe. Dismal Swamp is partly in this county. Norfolk . . . — Map (db m2789) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — U-128 — Nansemond County Training School
Two miles south stood the Nansemond County training School, he first high school in the county for African American students. It was constructed in 1924 with $5,000 contributed by African American families, $11,500 in public money, and $1,500 from . . . — Map (db m22945) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Z-273 — Nansemond County Virginia/North Carolina
(south side) Nansemond County Virginia Area 423 Square Miles Formed in 1637 from New Norfolk County. It was first called Upper Norfolk County; but in 1642 it was named Nansemond for an Indian Tribe. Dismal Swamp is partly . . . — Map (db m108146) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K250 — Nansemond Indian Villages
The principal villages of the Nansemond Indians stood just east of here on the Nansemond River. The Nansemonds fought frequently with the English colonists who arrived in 1607 as the Indians resisted the newcomers’ attempts to occupy their villages . . . — Map (db m2672) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Obici-Oderzo Fountain Marker
A Fountain for Suffolk This fountain, dedicated to the City of Suffolk, embodies elements of classic design which symbolize the ancient Roman origins of Oderzo, Italy. The mosaic tiles forming the amphora, or vase, are a gift from the . . . — Map (db m100928) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Old City Hall Bell
This bell was part of the old City Hall constructed in 1891 on Main Street near this site. The City Hall Building had two spires. The southern spire had a four faced clock that was operated by a system of counter weights. This bell was struck as a . . . — Map (db m100910) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-261 — Pig Point Battery
In June 1861, Union Maj.Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, in order to clear a route for the capture of Suffolk, sought to neutralize the Confederate battery at Pig Point three miles north on the James River at the mouth of the Nansemond River. At 9:00 a.m. . . . — Map (db m2790) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Remembrance Garden Monuments
Not for fame or fortune. Not for place or rank. Not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity. But in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. These men suffered all. Sacrificed all. Dared all. And died. The Reverend Doctor Randolph McKim — Map (db m104007) WM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-254 — Revolutionary Camp
On 10 May 1779, during the Revolutionary War, a British expeditionary force commanded by Gen. Edward Matthews disembarked in Portsmouth to capture the major Tidewater Virginia towns. About 200 Nansemond County militia under Col. Willis Riddick . . . — Map (db m41079) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Riddick’s FollyAvant-Garde Greek Revival Masterpiece
The restored Greek Revival house before you is Riddick’s Folly. It was constructed in 1837 by Mills Riddick, a grandson of local Revolutionary War hero Willis Riddick. Mill’s contemporaries soon ridiculed the house and labeled the building . . . — Map (db m18122) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Siege of SuffolkBacon for the Confederacy
The monument before you was erected in 1889 by Col. Thomas W. Smith in honor of his Confederate “comrades.” Smith had served as a 2nd Lt. in the local unit, “Marion Rangers,” which was assigned as Co. A, 16th Virginia . . . — Map (db m18123) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-252 — Siege of Suffolk
The town was occupied by Union Troops from May, 1862, until the end of the Civil War. Confederate forces under Longstreet unsuccessfully besieged Suffolk, from April 11, to May 3, 1863, when they withdrew across the James on Lee's orders. — Map (db m18149) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-259 — Siege of Suffolk
Across the road here ran the main line of Confederate works, built by Longstreet besieging Suffolk, April, 1863. He abandoned the siege and rejoined Lee at Fredericksburg. — Map (db m18151) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-256 — Sleepy Hole Ferry
Three miles east, Benedict Arnold, returning from his Richmond raid, crossed the river there, January 16, 1781; Cornwallis, going to Portsmouth, crossed there in July 1781. — Map (db m41076) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Spanish War Veterans Memorial
. . . — Map (db m103518) WM
Virginia, Suffolk — KO-1 — St. John's Church
Founded about 1643 and formerly known as Chuckatuck Church. The present building, the third on or near the site was built in 1755 and is the second oldest church building in Nansemond County. Renamed St. Johns Church in 1828. — Map (db m71163) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-253 — The Great Dismal Swamp
William Byrd II visited the swamp, just to the south, in 1728 while he was surveying the boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina. Byrd, and later George Washington, advocated construction of a canal through the swamp. Washington and his . . . — Map (db m41078) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — The Site of the First Church
The site of the first Church erected in Suffolk, 1753 To the memory of the men of Nansemond County whose love of God and Country helped to found this Commonwealth — Map (db m76843) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Washington Ditch
Surveyed by George Washington in 1763. A cart road was built first along this 4½ mile ditch and the canal dug alongside by slave labor for transportation. Gresham Nimmo, under the personal direction of George Washington, did the surveying and . . . — Map (db m93494) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — Watering Fountain
Restored in 2007 by the Nansemond River Garden Club, this circa late 19th century fountain was utilitarian. Originally it was fed by a shallow well. Water was drawn by a foot pump and rainwater helped fill the basin. The fountain was used to water . . . — Map (db m104361) HM
Virginia, Suffolk — World War I Monument
(front) In memory of the men of Suffolk and Nansemond County who gave their lives in the World War 1917-1919 They sought not glory, but their country’s good and died that right, which is more precious than peace, might prevail. . . . — Map (db m103517) WM
Virginia, Suffolk — World War II Memorial1941 1945
Dedicated to those who made the supreme sacrifice during World War II Louis M. Artis • Spencer Baker • Lee C. Baggett • Joseph H. Bagley • John G. Barnes • Clyde E. Benton • Howard W. Benton • Arthur M. Bemberry • Horace B. Bittle • James L. . . . — Map (db m103513) WM
Virginia, Suffolk — K-255 — Yeates School
Before 1781 John Yeates established two free schools in this neighborhood, one on each side of Bennetts Creek. By his will September 18th 1781, he left his property for the use of these schools. They continued until 1861 and were sold in 1866 under . . . — Map (db m41077) HM

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