Hampton Roads History

Hampton Roads is a very old area with a very interesting and rich history. The township welcomed its first colonists in 1607 on three ships: the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, under the direction of Captain Christopher Newport. The ships and the colonists landed in what is today known as Virginia Beach. Though the colonists would be forced to move on shortly, they did spend a little over two weeks surveying and exploring the area. Eventually, however, the moved on to Jamestown Island and established the first English colony.

Unfortunately, this first colony experienced many difficulties, including a period of extreme starvation. Eventually, however, colonists caught on and began using the many harbors and waterways located in Hampton Roads for commerce and other money making ventures. Aside from making the first colonists money and allowing them to survive, the harbor also allowed for military control, and fortifications were in place by 1610 to protect from European attacks.

Some of the most important battles of the American Revolutionary War took place in Hampton Roads. Norfolk, for example, was where Lord Dunmore, royal governor of Virginia, finally left the mainland. Later, important events in the War of 1812 would also take place in the area. In fact, the very first naval action took place in Hampton Roads. Eventually, however, around the 1930s, Chesapeake Bay began being defended by For Monroe, allowing for greater protection and safety of the general area and its colonists.

Later, important events in the Civil War would take place in the area, and many other groundbreaking events took place throughout Hampton Roads. As such, there are lots of wonderful museums and historic sites to visit, including an educational theme park known as Colonial Williamsburg. This makes Hampton Roads an excellent place to visit for any elementary, high school, or even college class or just for the adult history buff.