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ABOUT Newport News
During the 17th century, shortly after founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads. In 1610, Sir Thomas Gates "took possession" of a nearby Native American village, which became known as Kecoughtan. At that time, settlers began clearing land along the James River (the navigable part of which was called Hampton Roads) for plantations, including the present area of Newport News.
In 1619, the area of Newport News was included in one of four huge corporations of the Virginia Company of London. It became known as Elizabeth Cittie and extended west all the way to Skiffe's Creek (currently the border between Newport News and James City County). Elizabeth Cittie included all of present-day South Hampton Roads.
By 1634, the English colony of Virginia consisted of a population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants. It was divided into eight shires of Virginia, which were renamed as counties shortly thereafter. The area of Newport News became part of Warwick River Shire, which became Warwick County in 1637. By 1810, the county seat was at Denbigh. For a short time in the mid-19th century, the county seat was moved to Newport News.
Newport News was a rural area of plantations and a small fishing village until after the American Civil War. Construction of the railroad and establishment of the great shipyard brought thousands of workers and associated development. It was one of only a few cities in Virginia to be newly established without earlier incorporation as a town. (Virginia has had an independent city political subdivision since 1871.) Walter A. Post served as the city's first mayor.
The area that formed the present-day southern end of Newport News had long been established as an unincorporated town. During Reconstruction, the period after the American Civil War, the new City of Newport News was essentially founded by California merchant Collis P. Huntington. Huntington, one of the Big Four associated with the Central Pacific Railroad, in California, formed the western part of the country's First Transcontinental Railroad. He was recruited by former Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham to become a major investor and guiding light for a southern railroad. He helped complete the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway to the Ohio River in 1873.
Huntington knew the railroad could transport coal eastbound from West Virginia's untapped natural resources. His agents began acquiring land in Warwick County in 1865. In the 1880s, he oversaw extension of the C&O's new Peninsula Subdivision, which extended from the Church Hill Tunnel in Richmond southeast down the peninsula through Williamsburg to Newport News, where the company developed coal piers on the harbor of Hampton Roads.
His next project was to develop Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, which became the world's largest shipyard. Opened as Chesapeake Dry Dock & Construction Company, the shipbuilding was intended to build boats to transition goods from the rails to the seas. With president Theodore Roosevelt's declaration to create a Great White Fleet, the company entered the warship business by building seven of the first sixteen warships.
In addition to Collis, other members of the Huntington family played major roles in Newport News. From 1912 to 1914, his nephew, Henry E. Huntington, assumed leadership of the shipyard. Huntington Park, developed after World War I near the northern terminus of the James River Bridge, is named for him.
Collis Huntington's son, Archer M. Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, developed the Mariners' Museum beginning in 1932. They created a natural park and the community's Mariners' Lake in the process. A major feature of Newport News, the Mariners' Museum has grown to become one of the largest and finest maritime museums in the world.
The city grew in territory through the annexation of parts of Warwick County and also of the town of Kecoughtan in adjoining Elizabeth City County.
In 1958, the citizenry of the cities of Warwick and Newport News voted by referendum to consolidate the two cities, choosing to assume the better-known name of Newport News. The merger created the third largest city by population in Virginia, with a 65 square miles (168 km2) area. The boundaries of the City of Newport News today are essentially the boundaries of the original Warwick River Shire and the traditional one of Warwick County, with the exception of minor border adjustments with neighbors.
The city's original downtown area, on the James River waterfront, changed rapidly from a farm trading town to a new city in the last quarter of the 19th century. Development of the railroad terminal, with its coal piers, other harbor-related facilities, and the shipyard, brought new jobs and workers to the area. Although fashionable housing and businesses developed in downtown, the increase in industry and the development of new suburbs pushed and pulled retail and residential development to the west and north after World War II. Such suburban development was aided by national subsidization of highway construction and was part of a national trend to newer housing.
In July 1989, the United States Navy commissioned the third naval vessel named after the city with the entry of the Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine USS NEWPORT NEWS (SSN-750), built at Newport News Shipbuilding, into active service.
The ship was initially commanded by CDR. Mark B. Keef; the city held a public celebration of the event, which was attended by Vice President of the United States Dan Quayle. In conjunction with this milestone, a song was written by a city native and formally adopted by Newport News City Council in July 1989. The lyrics appear with permission from the author:
Despite city efforts at large-scale revitalization, by the beginning of the 21st century the downtown area consisted largely of the coal export facilities, the shipyard, and municipal offices. It is bordered by some harbor-related smaller businesses and lower income housing.
Newport News grew in population from the 1960s through the 1990s. The city began to explore New Urbanism as a way to develop areas midtown. City Center at Oyster Point was developed out of a small portion of the Oyster Point Business Park. It opened in phases from 2003 through 2005. The city invested $82 million of public funding in the project. Closely following Oyster Point, Port Warwick opened as an urban residential community in the new midtown business district. Fifteen hundred people now reside in the Port Warwick area. It includes a 3-acre (1.2 ha) city square where festivals and events take place.
As of the census of 2010, there were 180,719 people, 69,686 households, and 46,341 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,637.9 people per square mile (1,018.5/km2). There were 74,117 housing units at an average density of 1,085.3 per square mile (419.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 49.0% White, 40.7% African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.7% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.5% of the population (2.5% Puerto Rican, 2.5% Mexican, 0.4% Cuban, 0.3% Panamanian, 0.2% Dominican, 0.2% Guatemalan, 0.2% Honduran).
There were 69,686 households, out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.04.
The age distribution is: 27.5% under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,597, and the median income for a family was $42,520. Males had a median income of $31,275 versus $22,310 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,843. About 11.3% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.
Virginia is an attractive southern U.S. State with beautiful landscapes and rich history. Virginia, a densely populated eastern U.S. city, stretches along the shores of the Potomac River from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains. It is among the 13 original states, with historical landmarks including Monticello, home of Jefferson's famed plantation. The Virginia Colony was created out of proportion to its size, with many Native American and immigrant communities. Today, Virginia is one of America's fastest growing states, and is an exciting place to live.
Virginia is not without political intrigue. Virginia's leaders have historically been divided into three major camps: royalist, aristocrat, and colonialist. Each group has historically sought to expand its influence over the other. Virginia's two major political parties, the Democratic and Republican parties, represent opposing political philosophies. The Democratic Party is the moderate, older party in the state, and the Republican Party is the more radical, radicalizing faction.
Downtown Virginia, home to most of the government offices, is where most people commute to work. The city is also one of its most popular cities with tourists, who visit for its natural beauty, historic sites, shopping and nightlife. Virginia Beach is home to several popular beaches that attract thousands of tourists each year. In addition, the city offers other attractions such as the Virginia Zoo, Aquarium, Carilion Bowl, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, and the Virginia Zoo and Gardens. The popular annual Virginia Spring Festival takes place in January.
A large portion of the population in Virginia is classified as rural. The word "rural" can imply both small town and rural living. People living in this type of environment tend to be conservative and private. This lifestyle is evident in many rural communities in Virginia. These communities are generally less expensive and, therefore, more affordable than urban areas. Most rural communities lack restaurants, shopping malls, and other sources of revenue that would support a larger community.
Virginia's largest cities of Richmond, Fairfax, and Hampton Roads provide much more to their residents than just the basics of daily living. Because it is located so close to Washington, D.C., these cities provide a unique view of political life in the capital. In addition, the people in these areas enjoy a strong sense of community and cultural identity that makes them attractive to young families and retirees.
Because the capital is so widely seen by people on a daily basis, Virginia is considered to be one of the most popular cities to live in. Many people choose to buy a home in Virginia because they can work from home; they are not limited by the laws that apply in their hometown. Additionally, working in a city allows people to socialize with other people, increasing their likelihood of forming lasting friendships.
Virginia is host to many historical attractions, which draw many visitors each year. The city of Springfield, for example, is a National Historic Landmark that has been listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places sincetones of the American Revolution. In addition to its significance as a significant historical event, Springfield is a beautiful place to live.
Regardless of where a person lives in Virginia, they have access to beautiful parks, breathtaking gardens, and unique architecture. The real estate market in Virginia is competitive and buyers can find a home that suits their budget and needs. With all of the activities and places to visit, Virginia is a wonderful place for people to call home.
In the Washington area, many families choose to live in the cities of Fairfax and Prince William County. Fairfax is home to the executive offices of the city and is the capital of the commonwealth of Virginia. This area is home to a wide variety of government agencies and beautiful landscaped communities. The home prices in this area are moderate and the people who live here enjoy a low cost of living and access to a variety of public and private schools.
In the Prince William County area, a homeowner will enjoy the beautiful beach views and well maintained golf courses. This area is also home to numerous attractions such as the Ocean Breeze, Water Parks, and The Farm at Waverly. These local attractions draw thousands of visitors each year. The cost of living in Prince William County is reasonable and the people who live here have access to high quality schools. A quick search online will yield many local listings.
The people who live in the Washington DC suburbs enjoy easy accessibility to major city centers and several different entertainment venues. In Ashburn, there are the Dulles International Airport and in Loudoun County, there are three major arena centers including the Verizon Arena and the Comcast Center. In addition to all of these benefits, these communities are near attractions such as the ballpark and museums. The housing prices are moderate and many of the homes are fully furnished. With so many benefits available in these communities, it's easy to see why so many people chose to live in the Washington DC suburbs.