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Welcome to historic Hampton Roads. America's history begins here with the founding of our nation at Jamestown. The name dates from the 17th century English Earl of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley and the nautical term road. The area was named in his honor by the first royal governor, Lord de la Ware, in the early 1600s. Our region includes the independent communities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg, and the Counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry, and York.
Inside you will find our effort, both as a corporate entity and as residents of Hampton Roads, to document the historic resources of our region. We began this effort with our postcard collection. Postcards present a visual and written record of our history. Many of our postcards are a reminder of sites that exist only through photographs, postcards and memories.  From the late 19th century until the mid-20th century, postcards were a popular means of communication. Remember, telephones were not yet a common household appliance; interstate highways did not exist; computers were only in the minds of a few science fiction writers. As people traveled they would purchase postcards to record their trips.  Some of these they would send to their friends and neighbors and others they would save as a memento of their trip. While doing this, they were also recording our history.
July 2005 began our effort to further document the history of Hampton Roads using the State Highway History Markers. This program offers an insight to a generally overlooked historic resource. Select any of the links to begin your tour of Hampton Roads and American history.
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This page was last updated on 06.30.2005 --- today's date is