Dammed in 1930
Newport News was a small community located in Warwick County until late in the 19th century. Established as a town in 1880, it was incorporated as a city in 1896. Warwick County, one of the eight original Virginia shires formed by 1634, became extinct in 1952 when it was designated the city of Warwick. It merged with Newport News in 1958.
In 1624, Governor Sir Francis Wyatt granted Edward Waters a patent for 100 acres between Waters Creek and Blunt Point. Waters had served on the ill-fated voyage of the ship Sea Venture
under Sir George Somers in 1609. After the vessel wrecked off Bermuda, the survivors constructed the ship Deliverance
and sailed on to Virginia. It was this wreck that William Shakespeare immortalized in his play, The Tempest.
Waters continued to serve at sea until his marriage to Grace O'Neil in 1618. The couple settled on his patent six years later and then acquired another hundred acres in Buckroe. Before his death in 1629, Waters served as a member of the House of Burgesses, a militia officer, and a justice. His name remained linked to the waterway until the creek was dammed in 1930. A gristmill was erected on Waters Creek sometime in the seventeenth century, and successive mills (including Causey's Mill, completed in 1866) operated there until the late nineteenth century.
Ownership of this land passed through several families until the twentieth century. William Whitby received a patent in 1652 for a 1,300-acre tract, including this property, on Waters Creek. In 1675, John Langhorne purchased this tract from William Whitby, Jr. Six years later, Langhorne acquired another 690 acres. The Langhorne property of 1,990 acres was included in a new patent dated September 11, 1681. The Langhorne family owned this land for another five generations, with their family seat located near the mouth of Waters Creek on the James River. John Mallicote purchased the property from William Langhorne in 1815. The Mallicote family retained this tract until John Gambol purchased it in 1845. He died seven years later, and the land remained with his descendants until the Mariners' Museum acquired it in 1930.