Markers of History

Snarfing historical markers as a Markeroon

Town Back Creek and Stone Bridge

without comments

Three mark­ers today, all from the very short block of City Hall Avenue between Monticello Avenue and Granby Street.

Downtown Norfolk Historic MarkersCannonball Trail
Town Back Creek and Stone Bridge

Location: City Hall Ave & Monticello Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510

Visited: July 3, 2009, 2:05pm

Transcription of marker: Town Back Creek, extend­ing east­wardly from the Elizabeth River almost to St. Paul’s Church, was the north­ern end of the orig­i­nal town of Norfolk. By the early 1800’s new res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment had occurred north of the creek. Two early foot­bridges con­nected this newer area to the old town, one at Catherine (now Bank) Street in 1798 and one at Granby Street in 1801. In 1818 – 1819 the one at Granby Street was replaced by Stone Bridge. It was built by William H. Jennings  and was dis­tin­guished by an arched rise at its cen­ter. The bridge remained a local land­mark until 1884 when fill­ing of Town Back Creek to Granby Street was com­pleted. City Hall Avenue was devel­oped in 1885 as a grand boule­vard from the City Hall (now MacArthur Memorial) to Granby Street. Most of the remain­der of Town Back Creek was filled by 1905 and City Hall Avenue was extended west­ward. Major con­struc­tion at this cor­ner included the Monticello Hotel in 1898 and the Royster Building in 1912.

My impres­sions: Coming into a new place, it is quite hard to think of an urban down­town area as ever hav­ing been any­thing else. In most cases, very few traces of that ear­lier time remain, other than a river or rail­road that may run through or past the city. Today, I would not have known that bridges were once needed in what is now down­town Norfolk. Always inter­est­ing to see those mark­ers which are reminders of things we can’t see today.

Markeroni sta­tus: Direct-logged.

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