Whitehead House, 1791

Whitehead House, 1791 (HMNGM)

Location: Norfolk, VA 23510
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 51.008', W 76° 17.228'

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Patrick Parker, a wealthy merchant, built a Georgian style home here in 1791. Later occupants of the house included Hugh Blair Grigsby and John Boswell Whitehead, sons of Elizabeth McPherson. Elizabeth's first husband was the Reverend Benjamin Grigsby. Their son Hugh (1806-1861), the famed Virginia historian, spent his boyhood in the house. After Benjamin Grigsby's death, Elizabeth married Dr. Nathan Colgate Whitehead, in whose family the house remained for three generations. Their son John was Norfolk's mayor from 1870 to 1872 and from 1874 to 1876. According to anecdote, when the Freemason Street Baptist Church was built across the street, Dr. Whitehead worried that the large steeple would fall and damage his property during a storm. He was told, "The devil would never think to look for a Presbyterian elder under a Baptist steeple." The steeple did fall in 1879, without damage to property or Presbyterians. The last tenant of the house was the Norfolk Boys' Club, which occupied the building until 1933, when it was torn down to make way for a parking lot for Freemason Street Baptist Church.
Placed ByCity of Norfolk
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 6th, 2014 at 6:00pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 385248 N 4079020
Decimal Degrees36.85013333, -76.28713333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 51.008', W 76° 17.228'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 51' 0.48" N, 76° 17' 13.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401 E Freemason St, Norfolk VA 23510, US
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