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Norfolk: 1906 Annexation

In 1866, Lycurgus Berkley founded the Town of Berkley in an area which had been settled in the early 1700's when the bourough of Norfolk had selected the site for its municipal magazine. Colonel William Byrd of Westover Plantation, who was in the area at the time, referred to the site in his journal as "Powder Point." It was also known as "Ferry Point" in the late 18th century because of a ferry which ran between the Berkley side of the Elizabeth River, and the County Dock on the Norfolk side of the Elizabeth River. Berkley was a self-sufficient town with its own post office, cemetery, and the Merchants and Planters Bank which mainly served the towns residents. It was centered around industries which included an iron foundry, cotton knitting mills, lumbering firms, and shipbuilding. In 1906, the Town of Berkley was annexed to the City of Norfolk.

Hardy Field in Berkley, had long been a fashionable neighborhood with substantial homes. The Hardy family estate, a Greek Revival Mansion called "Riveredge," stood in Berkley until the 1930's. This was the birthplace of Mary Pinckney Hardy, the mother of General Douglas MacArthur. A memorial to Mary Hardy MacArthur stands at the northern end of S. Main St. on the former site of the Hardy family estate. Still standing in Berkley is the Norfleet House, a Queen Anne/Colonial Style home built between 1900-1910 for a physician named Julian Norfleet. The home was occupied by his family through the 1950's.

In modern terms, the boundaries are: It is bounded on the north by the eastern branch of the Elizabeth River, and on the west by the southern branch of the Elizabeth River. It is bounded on the east and the south by the City of Chesapeake.

Beacon Light
Hardy Field

Civic Leagues:

  • Beacon Light/Berkley Civic League, Inc. – Mr. Kenneth Alexander; 122 E. Berkley Ave, Norfolk, 23523; 534-1859
  • Berkley Community Civic League – Mr. Theodore R. Lewis, Sr.; 1012 Grayson St., Norfolk, 23523; 545-6532
  • Hardy Field Civic League – Mr. Therman Ames, 310 Hardy Ave, Norfolk, 23523; 545-4492

Horace Downing Branch

Museums & Historic Sites:
Berkley Park
Bowling Green Recreation Center
Mary Hardy MacArthur Memorial

Recreation Center:
Berkley Recreation Center

Diggs Park Elementary School
Lake Taylor Middle School
Lake Taylor High School
St. Helena Elementary School

Article researched by:
Stephanie Formby, ODU Student InternKaren Volkman, ODU Student Intern

Article written by:
Karen Volkman, ODU Student Intern

Statistics compiled by:
Karen Volkman, ODU Student Intern


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