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City of Hampton
—  Independent City  —

Motto: America's First
Location in the State of Virginia
Coordinates: 37°2′5″N 76°21′36″W / 37.03472°N 76.36°W / 37.03472; -76.36
Country United States
State Virginia
Settled July 9, 1610
Incorporated (town) 1849[1]
Incorporated (city) March 30, 1908[2]
 - Mayor Molly Joseph Ward
 - Independent City 136.2 sq mi (352.8 km2)
 - Land 54.8 sq mi (134.1 km2)
 - Water 84.4 sq mi (218.7 km2)  61.99%
Elevation 10 ft (3 m)
Population (2005)
 - Independent City 145,579
 Density 2,919.3/sq mi (1,193.0/km2)
 Metro 1,381,583
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 757
FIPS code 51-35000[3]
GNIS feature ID 1495650[4]
Queens Way in Downtown Hampton. The city is part of the Hampton Roads metro area.
On September 17, 1861, Mrs. Mary Smith Peake taught the first classes to African American children on the grounds of what is now Hampton University at Hampton Roads in Virginia under the shade of the Emancipation Oak.
Hampton City Hall
Carousel Park in Downtown Hampton

Hampton is an independent city in Virginia, and therefore not part of any Virginia county. As one of the seven major cities that comprise the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, bordering on Hampton Roads harbor and the Chesapeake Bay. It is the sixth most populous city in Virginia, the most populous settlement with the name, and one of the oldest cities in the United States, tracing its history to the year 1610.

As of the 2000 U.S. census, the city population was 146,437, but the census estimate for 2005 showed that the city's population was down slightly to 145,579[5].

Hampton hosts Fort Monroe, Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, the Virginia Air and Space Center, historic Hampton University and features a wide array of business and industrial enterprises, retail and residential areas, historical sites, and miles of waterfront and beaches.



In December 1606, three ships carrying men and boys left England on a mission sponsored by a proprietary company. Headed by Captain Christopher Newport, they sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to North America. After an exceptionally long voyage, they first landed at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay on the south shore at a place they named Cape Henry (for the Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the elder son of their king).

During the first few days of exploration, they identified the site of Old Point Comfort (which they originally named "Point Comfort") as a strategic defensive location at the entrance to the body of water that became known as Hampton Roads, which itself is formed by the confluence of the Elizabeth River, the Nansemond River, and the James River, the longest in Virginia.

A few weeks later, on May 14, 1607, they established the first permanent English settlement in the present-day United States about 25 miles (40 km) further inland from the Bay along the James River at Jamestown. The area around Old Point Comfort became the site of several successive fortifications during the following 200 years.

Slightly south, near the entrance to Hampton River, the Native American community of Kecoughtan was seized from the natives by colonists under Virginia's Governor, Sir Thomas Gates. The colonists established their own small town, with a small Anglican church building (known now as St. John's Episcopal Church), in July 9, 1610, which came to be known as part of Hampton. (That forms the basis for Hampton's claim to the oldest continuously occupied English settlement in the United States).[6] Hampton was named for Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, an important leader of the Virginia Company of London, for whom the Hampton River, Hampton Roads, Southampton County and Northampton County were also named. The area became part of Elizabeth Cittie [sic] in 1619, Elizabeth River Shire in 1634, and was included in Elizabeth City County when it was formed in 1643.

In the latter part of August 1619 a Dutch ship, the "White Lion" appeared off the coast of Old Point Comfort. Its cargo, 20 and odd Negroes captured from the slave ship Sao Joao Bautista. These were the first Africans to come ashore on British occupied land in what would become America. John Rolfe, the widower of Pocahontas, wrote in a letter that he was at Point Comfort and witnessed the arrival of the first Africans. Although these first Bantu Africans from Angola were considered indentured servants, it would mark the beginning of slavery in America. Two of the first Africans to arrive at Old Point Comfort in 1619 were Antonio and Isabella. They would give birth to the first African child born in America in January 1624.

Shortly after the War of 1812, the Army of the United States built a much more substantial facility of stone at Old Point Comfort to become known as Fort Monroe in honor of U.S. President James Monroe. The new installation and adjacent Fort Calhoun on a man-made island across the channel) were completed in 1834.

Fort Monroe, Hampton and the surrounding area played several important roles during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Although most of Virginia became part of the Confederate States of America, Fort Monroe remained in Union hands. It became notable as a historic and symbolic site of early freedom for former slaves under the provisions of contraband policies and later the Emancipation Proclamation. After the War, former Confederate President, Jefferson Davis was imprisoned in the area now known as the Casemate Museum on the base.

To the south of Fort Monroe, the Town of Hampton had the misfortune to be burned during both the American Revolutionary War and the American Civil War. From the ruins of Hampton left by evacuating Confederates in 1861, "Contraband" slaves (formerly owned by Confederates and under a degree of Union protection) built the Grand Contraband Camp, the first self-contained African American community in the United States. A number of modern-day Hampton streets retain their names from that community. The large number of contrabands who sought the refuge of Fort Jefferson and the Grand Contraband Camp led to educational efforts which eventually included establishment of Hampton University, site of the famous Emancipation Oak.

The original site of the Native American's Kecoughtan Settlement was near the present site of a Hampton Roads Transit facility[7]. To the south of present-day Hampton, a small unrelated incorporated town also named Kecoughtan many years later and also located in Elizabeth City County was annexed by the City of Newport News in 1927, and now forms part of that city's East End.

Long a town in Elizabeth City County, Hampton became an independent city from Elizabeth City County on March 30, 1908,[2] although it remained the county seat and continued to share many services with the county. On July 1, 1952, following approval of voters of each locality by referendum, the City of Hampton, the incorporated town of Phoebus and Elizabeth City County were all politically consolidated into a single independent city under the name of Hampton.[2] It was the first of a series of political consolidations in the Hampton Roads region during the third quarter of the 20th century.


Hampton is located at 37°2′5″N 76°21′36″W / 37.03472°N 76.36°W / 37.03472; -76.36 (37.034946, -76.360126)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 352.8 square kilometers (136.2 sq mi). 134.1 square kilometers (51.8 sq mi) of it is land and 218.7 square kilometers (84.4 sq mi) of it (61.99%) is water.

Adjacent counties and cities


Hampton's mild four season climate means outdoor activities can be enjoyed year round. The weather in Hampton is temperate and seasonal. Summers are hot and humid with cool evenings. The mean annual temperature is 70 °F (21 °C), with an average annual snowfall of 6 inches (150 mm) and an average annual rainfall of 47 inches (1,200 mm). No measurable snow fell in 1999. The wettest seasons are the spring and summer, although rainfall is fairly constant all year round. The highest recorded temperature was 105.0 °F (40.6 °C) in 1980. The lowest recorded temperature was −7 °F (−22 °C) on [[January 1985 Arctic outbreak|January 21, 1985.[9][10]

Additionally, the geographic location of the city, with respect to the principal storm tracks, is especially favorable, as it is south of the average path of storms originating in the higher latitudes, and north of the usual tracks of hurricanes and other major tropical storms. With the exception of Hurricane Isabel in 2003.[11]

Climate data for Hampton, Virginia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Record high °F 84 82 92 97 100 102 104 105 100 95 86 80
Average high °F 53 58 64 69 75 83 87 85 79 69 61.5 55
Average low °F 35 37 40 50 58 66 71 70 65 53 44 36
Record low °F -7 16 14 23 36 45 54 49 40 27 17 15
Precipitation inches 3.93 3.34 4.08 3.38 3.74 3.77 5.17 4.79 4.06 3.47 2.98 3.03
Record high °C 29 28 33 36 38 39 40 41 38 35 30 27
Average high °C 11.7 14.4 17.8 20.6 23.9 28.3 30.6 29.4 26.1 20.6 16.4 12.8
Average low °C 1.7 2.8 4.4 10 14.4 18.9 21.7 21.1 18.3 11.7 6.7 2.2
Record low °C -22 -9 -10 -5 2 7 12 9 4 -3 -8 -9
Precipitation mm 99.8 84.8 103.6 85.9 95 95.8 131.3 121.7 103.1 88.1 75.7 77
Source: The Weather Channel [12] July 28, 2008


Age distribution in Hampton

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 146,437 people, 53,887 households, and 35,888 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,828.0 people per square mile (1,091.9/km²). There were 57,311 housing units at an average density of 1,106.8/sq mi (427.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.55% White, 44.68% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 1.84% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.03% from other races, and 2.39% from two or more races. 2.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 53,887 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.02.

The age distribution is 24.2% under the age of 18, 12.6% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.

Population update: estimated population in July 2002: 145,921 (-0.4% change) Males: 72,579 (49.6%), Females: 73,858 (50.4%) Source

The Census estimate for 2005 shows that the city's population was down slightly to more, 145,579.[5]

The median income for a household in the city was $39,532, and the median income for a family was $46,110. Males had a median income of $31,666 versus $24,578 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,774. About 8.8% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

Hampton is served by two airports. The primary airport for the Hampton Roads area is Norfolk International Airport, on the opposite side of Hampton Roads in Norfolk. The region's secondary airport, Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, is located on the Virginia Peninsula in Newport News.


Hampton's daily newspaper is the Newport News-based Daily Press. Other papers include Norfolk's The Virginian-Pilot, Port Folio Weekly, the New Journal and Guide, and the Hampton Roads Business Journal.[13] Hampton Roads Magazine serves as a bi-monthly regional magazine for Hampton and the Hampton Roads area.[14] Hampton is served by a variety of radio stations on the AM and FM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roads area.[15]

Hampton is also served by several television stations. The Hampton Roads designated market area (DMA) is the 42nd largest in the U.S. with 712,790 homes (0.64% of the total U.S.).[16] The major network television affiliates are WTKR-TV 3 (CBS), WAVY 10 (NBC), WVEC-TV 13 (ABC), WGNT 27 (CW), WTVZ 33 (MyNetworkTV), WVBT 43 (Fox), and WPXV 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service station is WHRO-TV 15. Hampton residents also can receive independent stations, such as WSKY broadcasting on channel 4 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina and WGBS broadcasting on channel 7. Hampton is served by Verizon FiOS and Cox Cable which provides LNC 5, a local 24-hour cable news network. DirecTV and Dish Network are also popular as an alternative to cable television in Hampton.



Hampton is home to the Peninsula Pilots of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The Pilots play at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton. The team began playing in Hampton in 2000.


Primary and secondary schools

Hampton City Public Schools bus.

America's first free public school, the Syms-Eaton Academy, was established in Hampton in 1634. It was later renamed Hampton Academy and in 1852 became part of the public school system. Hampton High School traces its origin to the Syms-Eaton school and thus lays claim to being the oldest public school in the United States. The trust fund created from the Syms and Eaton donations has remained intact since the 17th century and was incorporated into support for the Hampton public school system. Hampton City Public Schools currently operates the following schools.

  • Moton Early Childhood Center
  • Andrews preK-8 school(under construction)
  • Aberdeen Elementary School
  • Armstrong Fundamental Elementary School
  • Asbury Elementary School
  • Barron Elementary School
  • Bassette Elementary School
  • Booker Elementary School
  • Bryan Elementary School
  • Burbank Elementary School
  • Cary Elementary School
  • Cooper magnet Elementary School
  • Forrest Elementary School
  • Kraft Elementary School
  • Langley Elementary School
  • Lee Elementary School(closing in 2010)
  • Machen Elementary School
  • Mallory Elementary School(closing in 2010)
  • Mary Peake Elementary School
  • Merrimack Elementary School
  • Phillips Elementary School
  • Phenix prek-8 school(under construction)
  • Smith Elementary School
  • Tarrant Elementary School
  • Tucker-Capps Fundamental Elementary School
  • Tyler Elementary School
  • Wythe Elementary School
  • Eaton Fundamental Middle School
  • Gloria Dei Lutheran School
  • Jefferson Davis Middle School
  • Jones Magnet Middle School
  • Lindsay Middle School
  • Spratley Middle School
  • Syms Middle School
  • Bethel High School
  • Hampton High School
  • Kecoughtan High School
  • Phoebus High School

Private schools include:

School Changes

  • the school board announced in 2010 the Marypeak center will be closing and moving all those students to spratly middle school which caused spratly middle school to close
  • Also Mallory and lee elementary close in 2010 due to budget cuts and also due to the new schools
  • A rumor has been spreading around that states either in 2011 or 2012 Davis and Lindsay middle schools will be closing due to Lack of SOLs passing scores,budgets cuts,and also due to the opening to the two new schools.

Colleges and universities

Hampton University provides a private collegiate education. Thomas Nelson Community College serves as the community college. Located in the north side of Hampton and in nearby Williamsburg, Thomas Nelson offers college and career training programs. Newport News contains Christopher Newport University, a public university. Other nearby public universities include Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and The College of William and Mary.[18][19][20][21][22][23]

Defunct schools

  • the original Phenix High School on the campus of Hampton University became Phenix Hall. It was named for George Perly Phenix, a native of Maine who was the first president of the school which became Hampton University.[24]
  • A second Phenix High School was renamed Pembroke High School with the end of segregation, and was closed in 1980. The building now houses the Hampton Family YMCA and social services offices of the Hampton city government. (A third school bearing the name Phenix was under construction in 2010).
  • Y.H. Thomas Middle School is now the Adult Education Center and a community center.
  • The first Sinclair Elementary School was later torn down is now a site for hotels
  • Syms-Eaton Elementary School was torn down in the 1970s or 80s is now a pavilion and a site for town homes in downtown Hampton
  • The first Hampton High School became John M. Willis Elementary School which closed in 1974.
  • The second Hampton High School became Thorpe Junior High School which was closed in 1976. The area where these two schools were is now the site of the Charles H. Taylor Memorial Library and Darling Memorial Stadium
  • Mallory elementary school is closing in 2010 due to the two new preK-8 schools and also due to budget cuts

Major neighborhoods

The old "lighthouse" at Buckroe Beach was built as a part of the amusement park.
  • Aberdeen Gardens
  • Bethel Park
  • Briarfield Terrace
  • Buckroe
  • Buckroe Beach
  • Coliseum Central
  • Elizabeth Estates
  • Farmington
  • Fox Hill
  • Grandview
  • Grist Mill
  • Hampton Woods
  • Howe Farms
  • Magnolia
  • Michael's Woods
  • Northampton
  • Orcutt-Farmington
  • Phoebus
  • Pine Chapel
  • Pine Grove
  • Riverdale
  • Sinclair Farms
  • Tide Mill
  • Wythe
  • Westview lakes

Points of interest

F-89J s/n 52-2129 on display at the Air Power Park and Museum in Hampton, Virginia.
The Virginia Air and Space Center, the official visitors center for both Langley Air Force Base and NASA Langley Research Center.
St. John's Church is the oldest English Speaking Church in continuous existence the United States and the only colonial structure in downtown Hampton.[6]


Hampton is served by two airports. Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, located in Newport News, and Norfolk International Airport, in Norfolk, both cater to passengers from Hampton Roads. The primary airport for the Virginia Peninsula is the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. The Airport is experiencing a 4th year of record, double-digit growth, making it one of the fastest growing airports in the country. In January 2006, the airport reported having served 1,058,839 passengers.[25] Norfolk International Airport (IATA: ORFICAO: KORFFAA LID: ORF), serves the region. The airport is located near Chesapeake Bay, along the city limits of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.[26] Seven airlines provide nonstop services to twenty five destinations. ORF had 3,703,664 passengers take off or land at its facility and 68,778,934 pounds of cargo were processed through its facilities.[27] The Chesapeake Regional Airport provides general aviation services and is located on the other side of the Hampton Roads Harbor.[28]

Transportation within the city, as well as with other Seven Cities of Hampton Roads is served by a regional bus service, Hampton Roads Transit.[29]

Notable Hamptonians

American history
  • Roy F. Brissenden, World War II pilot, physicist, aeronautical engineer, mechanical engineer, teacher, inventor, project leader at Hampton, Langley Research Center NACA / NASA; great genius of the Apollo Program
  • Christopher C. Kraft, Jr, aeronautical engineer; administrator at Hampton, Langley Research Center NACA / NASA; great flight director of the space program

Sister cities

Hampton has four sister cities:[30]

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Hampton History and Facts". City of Hampton, Virginia. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ a b Hampton city QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
  6. ^ a b Tormey, James (April 2009). How Firm a Foundation. Richmond, Virginia: Diets Press. pp. 184. ISBN 978-0-87517-135-7. 
  7. ^ WMCAR - Historic Kecoughtan
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Climate information from NOAA.
  10. ^ Maximum and minimum temperatures from Yahoo! Weather
  11. ^ Information from NOAA.
  12. ^ [ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information"]. 
  13. ^ "Hampton Roads Magazine". Hampton Roads Magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  14. ^ Holmes, Gary. "Nielsen Reports 1.1% increase in U.S. Television Households for the 2006-2007 Season." Nielsen Media Research. September 23, 2006. Retrieved on September 28, 2007.
  15. ^ "Map and directions." Hampton Christian Schools. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  16. ^ Christopher Newport University
  17. ^ College of William and Mary
  18. ^ Old Dominion University
  19. ^ Norfolk State University
  20. ^ Hampton University
  21. ^ Thomas Nelson Community College
  22. ^,0,6106547.column?page=2
  23. ^ "Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport". Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  24. ^ "Norfolk International Airport Mission and History". Norfolk International Airport. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  25. ^ "Norfolk International Airport Statistics" (PDF). Norfolk International Airport. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  26. ^ "Chesapeake Regional Airport". Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  27. ^ Hampton Roads Transit
  28. ^ Sister Cities designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI). Retrieved on August 18, 2006.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 37°02′06″N 76°21′36″W / 37.034946°N 76.360126°W / 37.034946; -76.360126

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HAMPTON, a city and the county-seat of Elizabeth City county, Virginia, U.S.A., at the mouth of the James river, on Hampton Roads, about 15 m. N.W. of Norfolk. Pop. (1890), 2513; (1900), 2764, of whom 1249 were of negro descent. It is served by the Chesapeake & Ohio railway, and by trolley lines to Old Point Comfort and Newport News. Hampton is an agricultural shipping point, ships fish, oysters and canned crabs, and manufactures fish oil and brick. In the city are St John's church, built in 1727; a national cemetery, a national soldiers' home (between Phoebus and Hampton), which in 1907-1908 cared for 4093 veterans and had an average attendance of 2261; and the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (coeducational), which was opened by the American Missionary Association in 1868 for the education of negroes. This last was chartered and became independent of any denominational control in 1870, and was superintended by Samuel Chapman Armstrong from 1868 to 1893. The school was opened in 1878 to Indians, whose presence has been of distinct advantage to the negro, showing him, says Booker T. Washington, the most famous graduate of the school, that the negro race is not alone in its struggle for improvement. The National government pays $167 a year for the support of each of the Indian students. The underlying idea of the Institute is such industrial training as will make the pupil a willing and a good workman, able to teach his trade to others; and the school's graduates include the heads of other successful negro industrial schools, the organizers of agricultural and industrial departments in Southern public schools and teachers in graded negro schools. The mechanism of the school includes three schemes: that of "work students," who work during the day throughout the year and attend night school for eight months; that of day school students, who attend school for four or five days and do manual work for one or two days each week; and that of trade students, who receive trade instruction in their daily eight-hours' work and study in night school as well. Agriculture in one or more of its branches is taught to all, including the four or five hundred children of the Whittier school, a practice school with kindergarten and primary classes. Graduate courses are given in agriculture, business, domestic art and science, library methods, "matrons'" training, and public school teaching. The girl students are trained in every branch of housekeeping, cooking, dairying and gardening. The institute publishes The Southern Workman, a monthly magazine devoted to the interests of the Negro and the Indian and other backward races. In 1908 the Institute had more than loo buildings and 188 acres of land S.W. of the national cemetery and on Hampton river and Jones Creek, and 600 acres at Shellbanks, a stock farm 6 m. away; the enrolment was 21 in graduate classes, 372 in day school, 489 in night school and 524 in the Whittier school. Of the total, 88 were Indians.

Hampton was settled in 1610 on the site of an Indian village, Kecoughtan, a name it long retained, and was represented at the first meeting (1619) of the Virginia House of Burgesses. It was fired by the British during the War of 1812 and by the Confederates under General J. B. Magruder in August 1861. During the Civil War there was a large Union hospital here, the building of the Chesapeake Female College, erected in 1857, being used for this purpose. Hampton was incorporated as a town in 1887, and in 1908 became a city of the second class.

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