City County, Fox Hill, The Lay of the Land, Hampton, Virginia
by Mr. Gerard Chambers
1624, the London Company of England began colonizing the new world, and later
the King of England took over colonization. Each person immigrating to the
Colony of Virginia received 50 acres. Each person paying for transportation of a
person received 50 acres. Ship's captains brought extra people and received 50
acres for each of them. An good
example of this is Adam Thurgood, whose house is open to the public in Norfolk,
who one trip or crossing, brought 150 people and received 3000 acres of land in
the area of Lynnhaven.
The first settlement in
1607 was in Jamestown, Virginia. The
next settlement was toward Richmond and, then, back toward the Chesapeake Bay
and toward the York River. Across the York River in what is now Gloucester, was
the location of the Powhatan Indians primary Village, Werowocomoco and the
Indian territories was beyond. For twenty years settlements continued to follow
these general directions until 1634
when settlements were started in what is now Norfolk, Virginia all of the
area was known as Elizabeth City County even on the south side of the
Hampton Roads. The settlement
location was based upon the rivers because there were no
roads only Indian trails.
Tyler Street to King Street for the ferry.
County Street to Woodland Road ended at the Poor Farm (Hampton Shores
today) not until 1930 did Woodland Road connect to Fox Hill Road.
Buckroe Road ran along the back of the Plantations (Farm site) facing the water
Chesapeake Bay and Mill Creek and could be forded where Jones School is located
4. To get to
Hampton from Fox Hill: Beginning at Bloxom's Corner the intersection of Old
Buckroe Road and Fox Hill Road there were five fingers of water to cross.
Harris Creek at Bloxom's Corner
Gloria Dei Luthern Church on Fox Hill Road
Fire Station next to Syms Middle School on Fox Hill Road
Seven Eleven corner of Old Fox Hill Road and King Street
Rip Rap Road next to Pembroke Ave where Public Works Building is located and
ending at Patrick's Store.
last four fingers were from Hampton Creek.
The first recorded land grant
in Fox Hill was 1625 to Mary Flint. In 1633 Elmer Phillipps had 100 acres near
Indian Spring (Fox Hill).
point of land where Back River intersects with the Chesapeake Bay was named as
North End Point,
Miller Deans Point, and
1866, J. S. Darling came from New York in a schooner and settled in Hampton.
1878, Stern was bought out by
Darling, who had a 10 year lease of $20.00 a year on 10 acres of land for the
Meal Pressing Facility at Factory Point (processing Manhaden (Bunker) Fish) to
render fish oil and bag the dried fish scrap for fertilizer.
1826, Presson Watson sold 4 acres of land to the United States Government to
build Back River Light House. The land was high and had pine trees growing
there. Richard F. Johnson was the last light house keeper in 1945.
1930, Back River Light was the site of the Kane murder. Dr Kane was charged with
the murder of his wife. The trial was held in Hampton and the murder victim is
buried in St John's Church yard Hampton, Virginia. He was found innocent.
Bay (Hawkins Pond) was sold in 1845 by Hopkins to Horess Jett who sold in 1851,
25 acres to Mathew Lewis for $20.00. Puges Pammack (Tickle
Lancer built Grandview Hotel in 1891 on 75 acres of land. She next
bought Bloxoms, the a joining land on the shore line. She ran the Phoebus
South of Grandview Mr.
Chambers Sr. surveyed the land and found a triangle shaped embankment in the marsh. The salt works had post
with a gate that opened on high tide and closed on low tide the boards dried and
the salt collected. In 1611,
Sir Thomas Dale was tasked with building two forts at the mouth of Hampton Creek
and build salt works. It was said he was a tyrant to the people that worked for
him. This is not the salt works described in Charles Elliotts Book 'Fox Hill'.
Comfort Creek: Long Creek (Factory Point to Ditch at Buckroe Shopping Center is
not Mill Creek.)
behind Nike Site (Neighborhood Center on Grundland Road):
Several Indian artifacts have been found there by Kenneth Quinn. Property
was first owned by Joseph Bell thus
the name Bell's Island.
Indian Stone (a cooking place like a Dutch oven) mentioned in a land grant. The
hot stones were used to cook deer meat. The location is the south line of
Edmund's property on Hall Road toward the southeast near the shore line.
Fox Hill Academy is difficult to locate, Joseph Phillips gave the land.
Trustees were Joseph Phillips, Joe and James Phillips, William
Ironmonger, William Latimer, and Giddens. These people owned land on Harris
Creek side and area around Bloxom's
Corner not in Fox Hill.
Hubbard (1827 -1856), lived at 170 Beach Road. His home was called Lillliputts.
It is believed his wife was from Fox Hill and you know what
happened, the man moved to Fox Hill. He was a Doctor, teacher and a
surveyor. His compass has silver
plating and was made by Alexander McGary in New York.
He used a Jacob staff and set the compass on a pole - no tripod used. The
compass that was on display today will be given to the Hampton Museum and
pictures were taken for our book.
The surveyor's chain is not really a chain. Since the 15th century the King set
the standard a pole will be 16 Vi feet (4 poles became a chain (66 foot long) in
100 links of chain). The surveyor used two farm boys and swore them in as chain
holders. The surveyor with the compass measured the property.
The chain has points known as trees (three tips that look like a metal
tulip at pole intervals). Other surveyors were (1854) Mathew Herbert, Surveyor
139 acres Elizabeth City County
Virginia lived Saunders Road on the Crandle Farm, and
(1858) William Ivy (member of the Old Dominion Dragoons) lived on Parrish
Ave in Newport News, Virginia.
Benjamin Phillips bought the Cooper Farm and owned where Baron
Elementary School is located
on Fox Hill Road. He came to Elizabeth City County with seven brothers and they had originally come from England
by way of Accomac.
brothers bought land in Fox Hill between Woodland Road and Hall Road.
One of the brothers went to Warwick County to settle. These men were
known for being large in statue. Elmer Phillips who was a very powerful man, son
owned a wind mill which was 12 foot off the ground on Wind Mill Point in Fox
Hill (There is a replica in Williamsburg of the Wind Mill). When Mr. Chambers
surveyed this land the stones were still present on the site.
will of Thomas Fenn who was a Revolutionary War Soldier left his farm to nine
slaves. Fenn Point (Cosby Land today) is on Harris Creek side of Harris Creek
but part of the farm was in Fox Hill where the Nike sit on Wind Mill Point Road
is located. All nine slaves took his name and Mariah Fenn inherited the Fox Hill
site making her the first black to own land in Fox Hill.
two British sailors jump ship (Tyier and Weston) and changed their
name so not to be hung as deserters. The story goes that Weston drowned
in a mud puddle on his farm in Poquoson and Tyler became Johnson.
Fence (The Fox Hill Gate) made
of logs ran from Harris Creek to Point Comfort Creek because the land was under
open range law that meant cattle roamed
freely and all animals were branded. (This is my so many homes had picket fences
around the houses.
many places were named Fox Hill, when it came time for a post office all the
names were taken. Fox Hill's post office was named Rip Rap Virginia.
The August gust, people in Poquoson lost cattle to drowning.
1889 April gust was another storm
Watson sold four acres to U.S. Government to build Back River Light house. His
son John H. Watson and his grandson Richard H. Watson owned Bloxom's Corner to
Hall Road and up Fox Hill Road for quite a distance the house was located behind
the Peak home on Fox Hill Road today.
Chambers Sr. kept a diary from 1888 to 1950 and Mr. Chambers Jr. has continued
to keep this diary even today. The following is an entry from that diary.
Feb 1916, Beatrice, Gerard Jr. went to divide Bloxom estate (Watson
1. Georgie E. Copeland
2. Martha Copeland
3. Nannie B. Weber
5. Louisa Peak
Gerard Jr. was 7 years old and passed the hat that held the slips, A - E
to divide the Watson estate among the heirs named above.
In the year 1850 there were 40 farms in Fox Hill.
Mr. Gerard Chambers Sr.
wrote a description of the land in Elizabeth City
County in Survey Book 1, Public Records.