Fort Norfolk History - 1858
By 1858, the earthen rampart west of the gatehouse had been filled and reconfigured to allow for the creation of a large below-ground cistern or "reservoir." To effect this change it was necessary to extend the masonry revetment at the northwest corner of the gatehouse. This work is laid in five-to-one bond and is manifestly later than the masonry from the Army period.
During the three years preceding the outbreak of the Civil War, three significant improvements were added to Fort Norfolk: a stone pier, a seawall, and a short rail way track that connected the magazine and the "filling house" with the new pier. In 1858, Calvin Brown, the Gosport Navy Yard's civil engineer, produced a plan that shows the proposed construction of the pier and the seawall. The railroad track appears to have already been built replacing the "plank cartway" that led to the old wooden wharf (Brown 1858) (see above).
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Source of Information
A CULTURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN OF FORT NORFOLK, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District by the College Of WILLIAM & MARY, November 1995 under Contract No. DACW65-94-Q-0075.
David A. Clary's Fortress America: The Corps of Engineers, Hampton Roads, and United States Coastal Defense (1990)
William Bradshaw and Julian Tompkins's Fort Norfolk, Then and Now (n.d.).
The Norfolk Public Library vertical file of recent newspaper articles on Fort Norfolk. Including articles by James Melchor of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that describe archaeological and architectural findings on the fort property.