Record ID: 142

Site Name



Seaport - American


, independent city (area: 66 sq miles 1990 pop. 261,229; 2000 pop. 234,403) SE Va., bounded N by Chespeake Bay, NW by Hampton Roads harbor, W by Elizabeth R. (Portsmouth opposite), S by Chesapeake city, E by Va. Beach city; 36�55'N 76�14'W. Lafayette R. estuary indents city from Elizabeth R. in center, South Branch Elizabeth R. in S. RR junction and terminus; port of entry; major commercial, industrial, shipping, and distribution center. Mfg. (lumber, steel and sheet metal fabrication, leather prods., agr. equip., motor vehicles, metal doors, textiles, shipbuilding, transportation equip., furniture; machining, meat processing, printing and publishing). With Portsmouth and Newport News, it forms the Port of Hampton Roads, one of world�s best natural harbors. Waterfront (50 miles), extensive maritime trade; quantities of coal, grain, tobacco, seafood, farm prods. exported. Major military center; with Portsmouth the city forms an extensive naval complex. A rallying point for Tory forces at the start of the Amer. Revolution, Norfolk was attacked (1776) by Americans and in the ensuing battle caught fire and was nearly destroyed. Civil War Confederate naval base until the Union takeover (May 1862); battle bet. the Monitor and the Merrimack fought in Hampton Roads.