Newport News, VA, Through the Centuries

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This article is presented by the child abuse attorneys in Newport News. Get to know Newport News, the fifth-most populous city in Virginia.

Newport News: From Past to Present

Newport News is an independent city in Virginia. Part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, the area was settled in 1691 and incorporated in 1896. The city is located at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. It shares land borders with James City County on the northwest, York County on the north and northeast, and Hampton on the east, and water borders with Portsmouth on the southeast, Suffolk on the south, Isle of Wight County on the southwest and west, and Surry County on the northwest.

In the 1600s, the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads were explored and settled by English settlers of Jamestown, Virginia. In 1610, Sir Thomas Gates took the Native American village Kecoughtan and began clearing the land for plantation. In 1619, the area to be Newport News was included in one of the four corporations of the Virginia Company of London known as Elizabeth Cittie. By 1634, it was part of the Warwick River Shire after the English colony of Virginia was divided into eight shires.

Up until after the American Civil War, the area of Newport News was a rural plantation and small fishing village. Once the new city was founded by California merchant Collis P. Huntington, the construction for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and development of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company began, bringing in thousands of workers and developers to the city. With many of the residents employed at the Newport News Shipbuilding, joint U.S. Air Force–Army installation at Joint Base Langley–Eustis, and other military suppliers and bases, the economy of the city is largely connected to the military.

Mariners' Museum and Park

The Mariners' Museum and Park is one of the more notable ones of its type in the world. Including the artifacts recovered from USS Monitor, the museum features around 32,000 artifacts that include:

  • Ship models
  • Scrimshaw
  • Maritime paintings
  • Decorative arts
  • Figureheads
  • Engines

Founded by Archer Milton Huntington, the son of Collis P. Huntington, in 1930, the museum is also home to a 550-acre park of private natural wooded property. Visitors can enjoy a quiet walk, run or picnic. Located within the park is The Mariners' Lake, which offers the five-mile Noland Trail along its shoreline.

Cultural Establishments

Besides the Mariners' Museum, there are a number of other museums and art centers in Newport News. Visitors to the area can spend time exploring the historic C&O railroad station, the American Revolutionary War and Civil War battle sites near Lee Hall, Yorktown and Williamsburg, the Virginia War Museum, the U.S. Army Transportation Museum, the Ferguson Center for the Arts, and the Virginia Living Museum. The Port Warwick area in Newport News also hosts the annual Port Warwick Art and Sculpture Festival, where art vendors can show and sell their arts.

Parks and Recreation

The Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism owns and manages 32 city parks in Newport News. Scattered throughout the city, these parks offer residents and visitors traditional park services like playgrounds, recreational fields, camping, and fishing and activities like disc golf and archery.

Encompassing 7,711 acres, Newport News Park is the biggest one out of the 32 parks. Located in the northern part of the city, it provides over 30 miles of trails, 5.3 miles of a multi-use bike path, an archery range, the city's golf course, disc golf course, camping and outdoor activities, and an "aero model flying field" for remote-controlled aircraft.

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Were you or a loved one a victim of sexual violence in your childhood? Contact our Newport News child abuse lawyers to learn about the legal actions you can take. Call our office today for a free case review.

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