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What Norfolk, VA, looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

During the first half of the 20th century, Norfolk continued to grow as it annexed surrounding areas. Norfolk annexed land north of Atlantic City and along the Lafayette River in 1902. The development of this land coincided with the planning of the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. This was a celebration commemorating the 300th anniversary of the landing of the first permanent English settlers in Jamestown.

In 1903, Sterling Place Corporation purchased Peter March’s 166-acre farm for $150,000. George W. Dillard, the president of Sterling Place Corporation, occupied the first home completed in 1906. Sterling Place was originally called Colonial Place, but it was renamed in honor of the Jamestown Exposition.

In 1906, the Town of Berkley was annexed to the City of Norfolk, stretching the city limits across the Elizabeth River. The town and Beacon Light and Hardy Field neighborhoods were incorporated as boroughs. Five years later, in 1911, Lambert’s Point and Huntersville were annexed into Norfolk. This was the birthplace of Mary Pinckney Hardy, the mother of General Douglas MacArthur. S Main St. has a memorial to Mary Hardy MacArthur on the former Hardy family estate site.

These fascinating historical photos show what Norfolk, VA looked like in the 1900s.

#1 Alcove containing books on art, showing cabinets for storing photographs, 1900

Alcove containing books on art, showing cabinets for storing photographs, 1900

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#2 Confederate Monument in commercial square, Norfolk, 1900s

Confederate Monument in commercial square, Norfolk, 1900s

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#3 Crowd at Norfolk – Taft party, 1908.

Crowd at Norfolk - Taft party, 1908.

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#4 Public Library, Norfolk, 1906

Public Library, Norfolk, 1906

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#5 Lafayette Park, Norfolk, 1906

Lafayette Park, Norfolk, 1906

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#6 Interior view of steamboat cabin, 1906

Interior view of steamboat cabin, 1906

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#7 Dry dock no. 2, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1901

Dry dock no. 2, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1901

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#8 St. Paul’s Church, Norfolk, 1902

St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, 1902

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#9 Monticello Hotel, Norfolk, 1902.

Monticello Hotel, Norfolk, 1902.

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#10 Naval Hospital, Norfolk, 1902

Naval Hospital, Norfolk, 1902

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#11 St. Paul’s Church, Norfolk, 1902

St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, 1902

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#12 St. Paul’s Church, Norfolk, 1902

St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, 1902

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#13 Waterfront, Norfolk, 1905

Waterfront, Norfolk, 1905

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#14 Old City Hall, Norfolk, 1905

Old City Hall, Norfolk, 1905

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#15 Post Office, Norfolk, 1905

Post Office, Norfolk, 1905

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#16 Old Custom House, Norfolk, 1905

Old Custom House, Norfolk, 1905

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#17 Commercial Place, Norfolk, 1905

Commercial Place, Norfolk, 1905

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#18 Granby Street, Norfolk, 1905

Granby Street, Norfolk, 1905

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#19 N. & W. coal piers, Norfolk, 1905

N. & W. coal piers, Norfolk, 1905

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#20 The Great crane, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1905

The Great crane, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1905

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#21 Torpedo boats in the wet dock, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1905

Torpedo boats in the wet dock, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1905

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#22 A Glimpse of the harbor, Norfolk, 1905

A Glimpse of the harbor, Norfolk, 1905

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#23 Norfolk Navy Yard, torpedo station, Portsmouth, 1905

Norfolk Navy Yard, torpedo station, Portsmouth, 1905

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#24 Str. Pennsylvania, N.Y.P. & N. R.R. (New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad, 1905

Str. Pennsylvania, N.Y.P. & N. R.R. (New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad, 1905

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#25 Interior, St. Paul’s Church, Norfolk, 1905.

Interior, St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, 1905.

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#26 St. Paul’s Church, Norfolk, 1905.

St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, 1905.

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#27 St. Vincent de Paul Hospital, Norfolk, 1905.

St. Vincent de Paul Hospital, Norfolk, 1905.

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#28 Stone dry dock, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1905.

Stone dry dock, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1905.

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#29 Reading room in the Dedham public library, Dedham, Massachusetts with ornate counter or delivery desk, 1905

Reading room in the Dedham public library, Dedham, Massachusetts with ornate counter or delivery desk, 1905

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#30 Old Custom House, Norfolk, 1905

Old Custom House, Norfolk, 1905

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#31 Main Street and Market Square [i.e. Commercial Place], Norfolk, 1905.

Main Street and Market Square [i.e. Commercial Place], Norfolk, 1905.

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#32 Center Hill, Petersburg, 1906.

Center Hill, Petersburg, 1906.

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#33 View of Granby Street, Norfolk, 1906.

View of Granby Street, Norfolk, 1906.

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#34 View of Main Street, Norfolk, 1906.

View of Main Street, Norfolk, 1906.

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#35 Church in Virginia, 1906.

Church in Virginia, 1906.

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#36 Building at the Jamestown Exposition, Virginia, 1907

Building at the Jamestown Exposition, Virginia, 1907

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#37 Administration building, (modelled after Monticello), Jamestown Exposition, Virginia, 1907

Administration building, (modelled after Monticello), Jamestown Exposition, Virginia, 1907

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#38 Pennsylvania State building, reproduction of Independence Hall, Jamestown Exposition, Norfolk, 1907

Pennsylvania State building, reproduction of Independence Hall, Jamestown Exposition, Norfolk, 1907

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#39 Palace of Manufactures, Jamestown Exposition, Norfolk, 1907

Palace of Manufactures, Jamestown Exposition, Norfolk, 1907

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#40 Interior of States Exhibit Palace, Jamestown Exposition, Norfolk, 1907

Interior of States Exhibit Palace, Jamestown Exposition, Norfolk, 1907

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#41 Atlantic Hotel, Norfolk, 1903

Atlantic Hotel, Norfolk, 1903

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#42 Post office, Norfolk, 1903

Post office, Norfolk, 1903

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#43 Custom house, Norfolk, 1903

Custom house, Norfolk, 1903

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#44 Norfolk Harbor from Naval Hospital, 1903

Norfolk Harbor from Naval Hospital, 1903

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#45 Alcoves and gallery in the book room, Brookline Public Library, 1903

Alcoves and gallery in the book room, Brookline Public Library, 1903

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#46 Merchants’ and Miners’ Wharf, Norfolk, 1904

Merchants' and Miners' Wharf, Norfolk, 1904

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#47 Lafayette Park, Norfolk, 1904

Lafayette Park, Norfolk, 1904

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#48 Union Depot, Norfolk, 1904

Union Depot, Norfolk, 1904

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#49 Norfolk & Wash. Steamboat Co. fire, 1904

Norfolk & Wash. Steamboat Co. fire, 1904

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#50 Nina benefit parade, Norfolk, 1904

Nina benefit parade, Norfolk, 1904

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#51 Harbor, Norfolk, 1904

Harbor, Norfolk, 1904

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#52 Confederate Monument, Norfolk, 1904

Confederate Monument, Norfolk, 1904

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#53 The Harbor, Norfolk, 1905

The Harbor, Norfolk, 1905

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#54 The Harbor, Norfolk, 1905

The Harbor, Norfolk, 1905

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#55 Naval Y.M.C.A., Norfolk, 1907

Naval Y.M.C.A., Norfolk, 1907

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#56 Miller & Rhoads Main St. Market Sq. Norfolk, 1905

Miller & Rhoads Main St. Market Sq. Norfolk, 1905

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#57 Government Docks Ft. Monroe Chamberlin Hotel Hampton, 1905

Government Docks Ft. Monroe Chamberlin Hotel Hampton, 1905

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#58 Portsmouth Ferry to Norfolk From Waterfront, 1905

Portsmouth Ferry to Norfolk From Waterfront, 1905

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#59 Torpedo Boats Norfolk Naval Yard, 1905

Torpedo Boats Norfolk Naval Yard, 1905

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#60 Norfolk Ports Ferry Terminals (with Horses in center), 1905

Norfolk Ports Ferry Terminals (with Horses in center), 1905

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#61 Commercial Place (with horses and Statue) 1905

Commercial Place (with horses and Statue) 1905

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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