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Overview

Introduction to Portsmouth, Virginia

Portsmouth is a city in southeastern Virginia situated on the Elizabeth River. The city is located less than three miles from the city of Norfolk. In fact the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, one of the Navy's premiere shipbuilding facilities, is actually located in Portsmouth. Major highways servicing Portsmouth include Interstates I-264 and I-664; as well as U.S. Routes 17 and 58.

Portsmouth's location as an East Coast deep water port has influenced its history throughout its centuries of growth. Founded as a town in 1752 by William Crawford, a wealthy merchant and ship owner, Portsmouth derived its name from the English naval port of the same name. In fact, many of the streets of the new town reflected its English heritage. The town suffered an epidemic of yellow fever in 1855 which killed 1 of every 3 citizens. Three years later it became an independent city, separating from Norfolk County. Portsmouth played a key role in the Civil War. In 1862, the Confederate ironclad warship CSS Virginia, rebuilt using the burned-out hulk of the former USS Merrimack, engaged the Union ironclad USS Monitor in the famous Battle of Hampton Roads. Until 1963 Portsmouth had served as the county seat of Norfolk County but in that year the County consolidated with the City of South Norfolk to form the new City of Chesapeake. Plans are currently being discussed to forge a measure of consolidation between the neighboring cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk.

Things to See and Do in Portsmouth

Portsmouth has lots of attractions, many of which are clustered within easy walking distance of each other. The Cedar Grove Cemetery, established in 1832, is the oldest city-owned cemetery in Portsmouth and is listed on the Virginia and national registers of historic sites. The Children’s Museum of Virginia includes a planetarium, a rock-climbing wall, a giant bubble-making station, and features the Lancaster Antique Toy and Train Collection, one of the most incredible model train collections in the world. The Naval Shipyard Museum contains a vast array of vessels from pleasure craft to carriers as well as an interesting collection of antique cannons. The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum offers visitors the opportunity to feel what it's like to drive a stock car on a professional track or announce the play-by-play of an historic game from a broadcast booth. For performance arts, the city boasts the Commodore Theatre, a luxuriously restored 1945 Art Deco-style motion picture theater with upholstered seating and crystal chandeliers, which shows first-run movies while serving light dinners. One of Portsmouth's annual events is the TodiMusicFest, the American counterpart to the UmbriaMusicFest in Italy. The summer festival features lots of music and high quality entertainment.

Fans of pro sports in Portsmouth can root for a Class Triple-A minor league baseball team headquartered in neighboring Norfolk. The Norfolk Tides, who compete in the International League, serve as the principal farm team for Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles. Until 2007, the team had been a longtime affiliate of the New York Mets, an affiliation which lasted from 1969 to 2006. The Tides play their home games at Norfolk's Harbor Park. Also in Norfolk are the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League (AHL). The Admirals, a farm team of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning, play at the city's Norfolk Scope arena.

Demographics

People

Total Population96,071
Male Share of the Population48.2%
Female Share of the Population51.8%
Senior Citizens13.8%
Employed Population 16+43,324
Age of the Population35

Families

% of people married36.9%
Average household size3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher21.1%
Median Earnings25+$33,203
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$20,056
Median Earnings With High School Degree$30,174

Wealth

Median Family Income$56,377
% Above Poverty Level81.8%
% Below Poverty Level18.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time24 minutes
% Working from Home2.4%
% Walking and Biking to Work4.5%
% Using Public Transportation2.7%

Housing

People Living Alone31.6%
Median Gross Rent$977
Median House Value$169,400

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)53.4%
English5.9%
German5.4%
Irish5.4%
African4%
Italian1.9%
French Except Basque1.2%
Polish1.1%
Scottish1%
West Indian0.6%
Dutch0.6%
Greek0.4%
Swedish0.3%
Norwegian0.3%
Welsh0.3%
Hungarian0.3%
Canadian0.3%
Czech0.2%
Jamaican0.2%
Russian0.2%
Portuguese0.2%
Ukrainian0.2%
Haitian0.1%
British0.1%
Lithuanian0.1%
Australian0.1%
Arab0.1%
Austrian0.1%
Finnish0.1%
Slovak0.1%
Swiss0.1%
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Portsmouth Almanac

CategoryValue
County Portsmouth city, Portsmouth City
Standard Zip Codes23701, 23702, 23703, 23704, 23707, 23708, 23709
P.O. Box Zip Codes23705
Phone Area Codes757
Time ZoneAmerica/New_York
Approximate Latitude36.81
Approximate Longitude-76.37

Portsmouth Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationNORFOLK INTL AP
Distance9.1 miles
Jan Temp32 to 48 F
Apr Temp48 to 67 F
Jul Temp71 to 87 F
Oct Temp53 to 69 F
Annual Precip45.7 inches
StationSUFFOLK LAKE KILBY
Distance16.1 miles
Jan Temp30 to 49 F
Apr Temp47 to 70 F
Jul Temp69 to 88 F
Oct Temp50 to 71 F
Annual Precip48.7 inches
StationBACK BAY WILDLIFE REFUGE
Distance25.2 miles
Jan Temp32 to 50 F
Apr Temp47 to 68 F
Jul Temp70 to 87 F
Oct Temp54 to 72 F
Annual Precip45.9 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Chesapeake233,194$80,359
Hampton136,789$60,491
Newport News181,606$59,079
Norfolk245,724$53,219
Suffolk87,061$76,246
Virginia Beach449,733$79,014

Portsmouth Public Libraries

Portsmouth Public Library
601 COURT STREET
Portsmouth, Virginia
(757) 393-8365

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Portsmouth Hospitals

Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center
(Non-profit)
3636 High Street
(757) 398-2200
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
(Government - Federal)
620 John Paul Jones Circle

Portsmouth Public Schools

Douglass Park Elem
34 Grand St
ZIP: 23701
(757) 393-8646
Primary
Total Enrollment 774
Hodges Manor Elem
1201 Cherokee Rd
ZIP: 23701
(757) 465-2921
Primary
Total Enrollment 545
Lakeview Elem
1300 Horne Ave
ZIP: 23701
(757) 465-2901
Primary
Total Enrollment 525
Olive Branch Preschool Ctr
415 Mimosa Road
ZIP: 23701
(757) 465-2926
Primary
Total Enrollment 197
Simonsdale Elem
4841 Clifford Street
ZIP: 23701
(757) 465-2917
Primary
Total Enrollment 717
Victory Elem
2828 Greenwood Drive
ZIP: 23701
(757) 393-8806
Primary
Total Enrollment 534
Wm. E. Waters Middle
600 Roosevelt Blvd
ZIP: 23701
(757) 558-2813
Middle
Total Enrollment 602
Woodrow Wilson High
1401 Elmhurst Ln
ZIP: 23701
(757) 465-2907
High
Total Enrollment 1363
Cradock Middle
21 Alden Ave
ZIP: 23702
(757) 393-8788
Middle
Total Enrollment 617
Cradock Technical & Career Center
4300 George Washington Highway
ZIP: 23702
(757) 393-8117
James Hurst Elem
18 Dahlgren Ave
ZIP: 23702
(757) 558-2811
Primary
Total Enrollment 712
Churchland Academy Elem
4061 River Shore Rd
ZIP: 23703
(757) 686-2527
Primary
Total Enrollment 727
Churchland Elem
5601 Michael Ln
ZIP: 23703
(757) 686-2523
Primary
Total Enrollment 822
Churchland High
4301 Cedar Ln
ZIP: 23703
(757) 686-2500
High
Total Enrollment 1362
Churchland Middle
4051 River Shore Rd
ZIP: 23703
(757) 686-2512
Middle
Total Enrollment 916
Churchland Preschool Ctr
4061 River Shore Road
ZIP: 23703
(757) 686-2533
Primary
Total Enrollment 180
Churchland Primary & Intermediate
5700 Hedgerow Ln
ZIP: 23703
(757) 686-2519
Primary
Total Enrollment 578
Brighton Elem
1100 Portsmouth Blvd.
ZIP: 23704
(757) 393-8870
Primary
Total Enrollment 517
Emily Spong Preschool Center
2200 Piedmont Ave.
ZIP: 23704
(757) 393-5247
Primary
Total Enrollment 149
I.c. Norcom High
1801 London Blvd
ZIP: 23704
(757) 393-5442
High
Total Enrollment 1207
Park View Elem
260 Elm Ave
ZIP: 23704
(757) 393-8647
Primary
Total Enrollment 593
John Tyler Elem
3649 Hartford St
ZIP: 23707
(757) 393-8879
Primary
Total Enrollment 710
Mount Hermon Preschool Center
3000 North St.
ZIP: 23707
(757) 393-8825
Primary
Total Enrollment 186
New Directions Center
401 West Road
ZIP: 23707
(757) 393-8728
Portsmouth Re-ed
2801 Turnpike Rd
ZIP: 23707
(757) 399-4306
Westhaven Elem
3701 Clifford St
ZIP: 23707
(757) 393-8855
Primary
Total Enrollment 547

Portsmouth Private Schools

Alliance Christian Schools
5809 Portsmouth Blvd
ZIP: 23701
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 191
Central Christian Academy
1200 Hodges Ferry Rd
ZIP: 23701
Elementary
Total Enrollment 60
Joyous Sound Education & Enrichment Center
205 Gust Ln
ZIP: 23701
Elementary
Total Enrollment 13
Portsmouth Catholic Regional School
2301 Oregon Ave
ZIP: 23701
Elementary
Total Enrollment 133
Tinker Bell Daycare
21 Mohican Dr
ZIP: 23701
Elementary
Total Enrollment 11
Portsmouth Christian School
3214 Elliott Ave
ZIP: 23702
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 627
Christopher Academy
3300 Cedar Ln
ZIP: 23703
Elementary
Total Enrollment 92
Sweethaven Christian Academy
5000 W Norfolk Rd
ZIP: 23703
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 196
Toras Chaim
3110 Sterling Point Dr
ZIP: 23703
Elementary
Total Enrollment 70
Court Street Academy
447 Court St
ZIP: 23704
Elementary
Total Enrollment 109
St Mark Christian Academy
2714 Frederick Blvd
ZIP: 23704
Elementary
Total Enrollment 59
Sources :
Study Online in Portsmouth
Historic Portsmouth

photo

Old Court House c1905.

Select a photo to view (Source):

Old Court House c1905.

Trinity Church c1905.

Court Street Baptist Church between 1900 and 1906

Additional Resources
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