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Welcome To The Norfolk Historical Society

Committed to preserving the diverse history of the Norfolk, Virginia area.

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History of Norfolk Naval Shipyard

  • Wednesday, November 08, 2017
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • MacArthur Memorial Visitor Center Theater

Norfolk Naval Shipyard dates to November 1767, when merchant Andrew Sprowle built a small shipyard on the Elizabeth River to repair British merchant and naval vessels. Sprowle called his yard Gosport, after Gosport, England. The shipyard was burned by the British during the American Revolution and by both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. Notable “firsts” at the yard include the nation’s first drydock, and the construction of a number of pioneering American naval vessels. Learn more on November 8, when Marcus W. Robbins, Historian and Archivist for Norfolk Naval Shipyard, brings us stories and images chronicling 250 years of proud naval service by Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY).

FREE and open to the public  

We welcome you to contact us!  The Norfolk Historical Society maintains space at Historic Fort Norfolk (c. 1810).  We are also available via mail, e-mail, and social media.


Fort Norfolk
810 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510


Norfolk Historical Society
P.O. Box 6367
Norfolk, Virginia 23508-0367

(757) 754-2004


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