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Encyclopedia > Seven Cities of Hampton Roads

The Seven Cities of Hampton Roads are 7 independent cities located in the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia in the United States. Each is located along a portion of the circumferential route of the 56-mile long Hampton Roads Beltway of the Interstate Highway System, which crosses the massive harbor of Hampton Roads at two locations on bridge-tunnel structures. An independent city is a city that does not form part of another local government entity. ... Hampton Roads, from state map of pre-civil war Virginia circa 1858 Hampton Roads is the name of both a body of water and the land areas which surround it in southeastern Virginia in the USA. Hampton Roads is notable for its huge ice-free harbor, for U.S. naval... Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  Ranked 35th  - Total 42,793 sq mi (110,862 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 430 miles (690 km)  - % water 7. ... A map of the Hampton Roads Beltway (from the Virginia Department of Transportation) Hampton Roads Beltway is a loop of Interstate 64 and Interstate 664 highways which link the communities of the Virginia Peninsula and South Hampton Roads which surround the body of water known as Hampton Roads in the... The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the Interstate Highway System, is a network of freeways (also called expressways) in the United States. ... Aerial view of parallel trestles and one of four man-made islands which anchor tunnel portions of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia, longest in the world A bridge-tunnel is a water crossing facility which uses a combination of bridge and tunnel structures. ...

Contents

Listing the Seven Cities

Alphabetically listed, the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads are:

Location in the State of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Independent city Founded 1963  - Mayor Dalton S. Edge Area    - City 908. ... Motto: Americas First Location in the State of Virginia Coordinates: County Independent City Mayor Ross Kearney II Area    - City 352. ... Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia from space, July 1996 (Newport News is seen in the lower left quadrant) Newport News is an independent city located in Virginia. ... Motto: Crescas (Latin for, Thou shalt grow. ... Map Political Statistics Founded 1752 County Independent city Mayor Dr. James W. Holley III Geographic Statistics Area  - Total  - Land  - Water 120. ... Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Independent City Founded 1742 Mayor Linda T. Johnson Area    - City 1,111. ... Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ...

Other cities in the Hampton Roads region

The Hampton Roads region also includes three other much smaller cities, but these are not located along the beltway. Alphabetically listed, they are:

Motto: Nickname: Map Political Statistics Founded Incorporated Independent city Mayor James P. Councill Geographic Statistics Area  - Total  - Land  - Water 21. ... Poquoson is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula, in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. ... Nickname: The Burg Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ...

History

As the current communities in the Hampton Roads region were formed and grew from the Colonial period to statehood and modern times, the political structure of many areas in Virginia changed. Huge corporations known as citties [sic] became shires, and these became counties. Within counties, towns and cities sprung up. However, in 1871, Virginia came up with a new entity: the independent city. Not only were independent cities not located within counties (as incorporated towns in Virginia still are), but they were immune from annexation by adjacent localities, an action much-feared by those in many communities. Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  Ranked 35th  - Total 42,793 sq mi (110,862 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 430 miles (690 km)  - % water 7. ... A shire is an administrative area of Great Britain and Australia. ... A county is generally a sub-unit of regional self-government within a sovereign jurisdiction. ... An independent city is a city that does not form part of another local government entity. ... An incorporated town in the United States is a town which is an incorporated municipality, that is, one with a charter received from the state, similar to a city. ...


In the mid 20th century, a wave of consolidations of local governments led to almost the entire southeastern portion of Virginia progressively becoming a web of adjoining independent cities. Many incorporated (formally constituted) localities, including counties, cities, and towns, some over 250 years old, became legally extinct between 1952 and 1975. Of the 10 current independent cities of the Hampton Roads region, fully 8 of them adjoin others. Only the cities of Franklin and Williamsburg are surrounded by traditional counties. An independent city is a city that does not form part of another local government entity. ...


However, this transition left the region with some oddities, such as the entire Virginia portion of the Great Dismal Swamp being located entirely within cities (Chesapeake and Suffolk). It is hard to imagine a less populated portion of a traditional city, save perhaps Central Park in New York City. The Great Dismal Swamp is located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina in the United States on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. ... Location in the State of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Independent city Founded 1963  - Mayor Dalton S. Edge Area    - City 908. ... Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Independent City Founded 1742 Mayor Linda T. Johnson Area    - City 1,111. ... A Central Park landscape Central Park is a large public, urban park (843 acres or 3. ... Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1613  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ...



For a partial listing of defunct political subdivisions in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia with approximate formation and dissolution dates, see the Wikipedia article Lost counties, cities and towns of Virginia. Lost counties, cities and towns of Virginia are those which formerly existed in the English Colony of Virginia or the Commonwealth of Virginia as one of the United States. ...


Trivia

  • The oldest community in the Hampton Roads region (and perhaps the entire United States) to be chartered as a "city" is still one of the smaller. Williamsburg, earlier known as Middle Plantation, received a Royal Charter as a city from the King of England in 1722, when the region was still part of the Virginia Colony before the American Revolutionary War and creation of the United States.
  • Despite their political structure as "independent cities", many of those in the Hampton Roads region have large portions which are clearly not those traditionally considered urban in nature. The best example is the Virginia portion of the Great Dismal Swamp, which lies entirely within the city limits of Chesapeake and Suffolk. Virgina Beach and Poquoson also have large unpopulated (by people) natural wildlife areas within their city limits.

 
 

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