Fortified history set for Wednesday

Published 10:07 pm Monday, July 9, 2018

The latest in a series of Afternoon Conversations organized by the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society and Suffolk Public Library will highlight one of the historical treasures that still stands tall in Hampton Roads.

The library will hold this free and public presentation from 2 to 3 p.m. this Wednesday at the Phillips-Dawson House at 137 Bank St. Norfolk Historical Society Board Member and retired College of William & Mary instructor John Lindberg will present the history of Fort Norfolk and answer questions about this significant piece of maritime defense.

The fort was built after Congress authorized President George Washington in 1794 to build fortifications along this “maritime frontier” that would protect 19 American harbors, according to the Norfolk Historical Society website.

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“During the War of 1812, the fort was one of the key defenses to Norfolk’s inner harbor and was home to the frigate ‘Constellation.’ A British attack was repulsed at the nearby Battle of Craney Island,” according to the website.

Of those 18th-century defenses built under Washington’s watchful eye, Fort Norfolk is the last one still standing.

“It’s kind of like a hidden gem in Hampton Roads,” outreach assistant and Afternoon Conversations co-organizer Joseph Ficklen said. “It may not be a location a lot of people know about, and we’re trying to shed some light on it.”

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