Newport News Virginia
About Newport News
Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the northern shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News Point on the harbor of Hampton Roads.
The area now known as Newport News was once a part of Warwick County. Warwick County was one of the eight original shires of Virginia, formed by the House of Burgesses in the British Colony of Virginia by order of King Charles I, in 1634. The county was largely composed of farms and undeveloped land until almost 250 years later. In 1881, 15 years of explosive development began under the leadership of Collis P. Huntington, whose new Peninsula Extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from Richmond opened up transportation along the Peninsula and provided a new pathway for the railroad to bring West Virginia bituminous coal to port for coastal shipping and worldwide export. With the new railroad came a terminal and coal piers where the colliers were loaded. Within a few years, Huntington and his associates also built a large shipyard. In 1896, the new incorporated town of Newport News, which had briefly replaced Denbigh as the county seat of Warwick County, had a population of 9,000. In 1900, 19,635 people lived in Newport News, Virginia; in 1910, 20,205; in 1920, 35,596; and in 1940, 37,067. In 1958, by mutual consent by referendum, Newport News was consolidated with the former Warwick County (itself a separate city from 1952 to 1958), rejoining the two localities to approximately their pre-1896 geographic size. The more widely known name of Newport News was selected as they formed what was then Virginia's third largest independent city in population. As of 2012, the city population was 183,331 ranking it as Virginia's fifth largest incorporated city by population.