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What Norfolk looked like in the Late 19th Century

At the beginning of the 1860s, Norfolk was a thriving port city and a major center of trade and commerce. Its economy was heavily dependent on the shipping industry, and it was home to a number of shipyards, warehouses, and other businesses that supported the city’s maritime trade. The city’s population grew rapidly during this time, with many new immigrants arriving to take advantage of the economic opportunities afforded by Norfolk’s thriving port.

In 1861, the American Civil War began, and Norfolk quickly became a major battleground. The city was occupied by Union forces in 1862, and many of its buildings and homes were destroyed during the war. Despite this, the city’s economy continued to grow, and by the end of the war, it had become an important center of shipbuilding and manufacturing.

After the Civil War, Norfolk entered a period of Reconstruction. The city’s economy continued to grow, with new industries such as textiles and tobacco emerging. The population also grew, as many freed slaves settled in the city. By the 1890s, Norfolk had become a bustling, modern city, with a diverse population and a thriving economy.

#1 Granby Street at City Hall Avenue, 1868

Granby Street at City Hall Avenue, 1868

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#2 Captain Drewry’s Southside Artillery arrived at the bluff and began fortifying the area, 1862

Captain Drewry's Southside Artillery arrived at the bluff and began fortifying the area, 1862

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#3 The ruins of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard damaged during the American Civil War, 1864

The ruins of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard damaged during the American Civil War, 1864

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#4 The Federal army took Gosport Naval Shipyards in Norfolk, 1862

The Federal army took Gosport Naval Shipyards in Norfolk, 1862

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#5 The ruins of Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia, 1870s

The ruins of Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia, 1870s

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#6 Hampton Roads, Virginia (vicinity), 1864

Hampton Roads, Virginia (vicinity), 1864

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#7 Ruined buildings at Navy Yard,1864

Ruined buildings at Navy Yard,1864

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#8 Norfolk, Va. Steamer U.S.S. Fort Donelson, 1864

Norfolk, Va. Steamer U.S.S. Fort Donelson, 1864

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#9 Ruins of Norfolk Navy Yard, 1864

Ruins of Norfolk Navy Yard, 1864

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#10 Oyster Dock – once the center for ship stores and imported goods, 1875

Oyster Dock - once the center for ship stores and imported goods, 1875

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#11 Norfolk Harbor.

Norfolk Harbor.

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#12 Birdseye view of Norfolk looking North.from Postcard.Macarthur Memorial.

Birdseye view of Norfolk looking North.from Postcard.Macarthur Memorial.

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#13 Ocean View, Norfolk

Ocean View, Norfolk

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#14 Ocean View, Norfolk

Ocean View, Norfolk

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#15 Ocean Front and cottage line, virginia beach, near norfolk.

Ocean Front and cottage line, virginia beach, near norfolk.

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#16 Ocean View, Norfolk

Ocean View, Norfolk

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#17 Beach front showing hotel.

Beach front showing hotel.

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#18 Hampton Roads yacht club Norfolk

Hampton Roads yacht club Norfolk

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#19 Ocean View, Norfolk

Ocean View, Norfolk

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#20 Cottage line looking towards ocean view park, Norfolk

Cottage line looking towards ocean view park, Norfolk

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#21 Bathing at lynnhaven Norfolk

Bathing at lynnhaven Norfolk

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#22 Norfolk, Virginia, 1890

Norfolk, Virginia, 1890

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#23 St. Paul’s Church, 1890

St. Paul's Church, 1890

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#24 Battleship Texas, U. S. N., in Dry Dock, Norfolk, 1896

Battleship Texas, U. S. N., in Dry Dock, Norfolk, 1896

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#25 On the beach, Norfolk, 1896

On the beach, Norfolk, 1896

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#26 Bay Line Wharf, Norfolk, 1896

Bay Line Wharf, Norfolk, 1896

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#27 Main St., Norfolk, 1897

Main St., Norfolk, 1897

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#28 City Hall, Norfolk, 1897

City Hall, Norfolk, 1897

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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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