The Resource Old Dominion Land Company records, (microform)

Old Dominion Land Company records, (microform)

Old Dominion Land Company records, 1828-1949
Old Dominion Land Company records
Inclusive dates
  • Records, 1828-1949, of the Old Dominion Land Company of Newport News, Virginia, relating to the development of property in Elizabeth City, James City, Warwick, and York Counties, and especially Newport News, Virginia. The Company was responsible for the layout of Newport News and established various civic, commercial, and government units. The Library of Virginia and Newport News Public Library entered into a partnership to film select records of the Old Dominion Land Company that are housed at the Newport News Public Library System. The collection was not filmed in it's entirety, only select sections of the collection were filmed and are noted in the following finding aid. A copy of the entire original finding aid produced by Newport News Public Library is available: "A Finding Aid to the records of the Old Dominion Land Company/Newport News Public Library System" [Z1346 .N55 F49]. Also available is, "The Map Collection of the Old Dominion Land Company Records/Newport News Public Library System" [Z6027 .V81 M29 1982]
  • The collection was arranged by the Newport News Public Library System and was maintained in the original order established by the Old Dominion Land Company. The records include abstracts, account books, agreements, by-laws, charters, contracts, correspondence, deeds, journals, insurance policies, inventories, lawsuits, ledgers, menu cards, minutes, newspaper clippings, photographs, reports, stock certificates, and tax records. The papers range from 1828 to 1949 although the bulk of collection consists of the administrative files dating from 1900 to 1930, and the abstracts and deeds dating from 1870 to 1890. Also included are the records of the Hotel Warwick, Newport News Light and Water Company, Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, and the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
  • Of particular interest is the documentation of land acquisitions on the Virginia Peninsula. A special enterprise of the Old Dominion Land Company was the Newport News Light and Water Company under whose auspices the Land Company acquired a great deal of watershed property throughout the Peninsula and set up the nucleus of the present day water works owned by the city of Newport News. The abstracts and deeds are also of note because of the invaluable genealogical information and tracing of land holdings. For a detailed scope and content note, series description, and historical background note please refer to the finding aid, which is available online and in the repository
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Biographical or historical data
  • During the late 1860's financier Collis P. Huntington's attention was brought to the plight of the debt-ridden Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad which stretched, at that time, from Richmond to Covington, Virginia. In 1869, he and a number of others formed a syndicate to purchase controlling interest in the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and he was elected President. In 1872, the decision was made to locate the Atlantic terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad in Newport News. Eight years later on 19 October 1880, the Old Dominion Land Company was chartered to secure railway right-of-ways on the Peninsula.
  • In 1882, the Land Company began work on the Hotel Warwick which was formally opened on 11 April 1882. Destined to play an important part in the development of the city, the hotel was a popular refuge for travelers to the area for decades thereafter. Located on the banks of the James River close to the hotel were a casino, bowling alley, and pleasure pier which provided a great deal of entertainment to both residents and visitors.
  • Fulfilling its purpose of developing and selling real estate in Newport News and other areas of the Peninsula, the Land Company distributed a circular to attract new residents and industries in 1883. It had already begun to establish a number of community facilities and by the early 1890's had given land for and/or assisted with the creation of a Union Chapel, Newport News' first bank, the Warwick County Courthouse, schools, and other vital commercial, civic, and government units. Later land donations included the site for Riverside Hospital, the public library and Huntington Park. Either by direct contract or through the influence of the Old Dominion Land Company, a number of piers were constructed near the terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.
  • In 1886, a shipyard was established as a repair plant for vessels calling at the port. Later to be named the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, it was built on land owned by the Old Dominion Land Company and directed by some of the Land Company officials including Huntington, Gates, and Orcutt. Land Company officials recognized that a sufficient supply of fresh water was essential to the development of a city. In the late 1880's, they were the moving forces in organizing the Newport News Light and Water Company which remained closely associated with the Land Company from its inception on 8 August 1889, until it was purchased by the city of Newport News in 1926. Land Company officials were intimately involved in the incorporation of the city. On 16 January 1896, Newport News became a first-class city and withdrew from Warwick County.
  • During the second half of the 1910's, the United States Government entered into a number of leases and purchase agreements with the Land Company. Newport News was a major point of embarkation during World War I, and thousands of soldiers were stationed at Camps Hill, Stuart, and Alexander- all built on land owned by the Old Dominion Land Company. After the war, most of these lands were put to other, more peaceable uses.
  • In 1932, nearly all of the income-producing properties had been sold, and Land Company officials were finding new markets for unimproved property. By 1939 the company was liquidated, and the Hotel Warwick was the only valuable piece of property remaining. During the 1940's, the predominance of transactions carried out by the Land COmpany concerned the Hotel Warwick. Liquidation was completed in 1948.
Cataloging source
Location of originals duplicates
Newport News Public Library System;
Old Dominion Land Company records, (microform)
Microfilmed as arranged by the Newport News Public Library System
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Governing access note
There are no access restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Newport News Public Library System
Organization method
Organized into the following series: Series I. Administrative records in numerical order; Series II. Administrative records in alphabetical order; Series III. Loose Administrative records; Series IV. Financial records; Series V. Personnel records; Series VI. Real estate; Series VII. Maps; Series VIII. Hotel Warwick records; Series IX. Newport News Light and Water Company; and Series X. Miscellaneous material.
Reproduction note
Terms governing use
Should you wish to quote from or reproduce images of any of the materials, you must write to Newport News Public Library System, 700 Town Center Drive, Suite 300, Newport News, Virginia 23606, requesting formal permission to do so. Please note that you do not have to obtain permission if you are quoting fewer than fifty words, or if you are only citing the document. Images made with microfilm-reader printers are for research use only and may not be used for publication without permission.
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Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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