Train Station
Downtown - 23rd Street
Newport News, VA 23607


Early 1900s Early 1900s
About 1900 Before 1908 Early 1900s Early 1900s
Aerial View It appears to have been taken from the Casino Grounds, but not up on the hill, but at street level. Note the five-masted schooner moored at the piers.    
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 11/03/03 and
of Ron Miller ('59) of NC - 01/17/08
Thanks, Gentlemen!
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 11/21/07
Thanks, Dave!
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 11/09/03
Thanks, Dave!
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 11/28/03
Thanks, Dave!

Hi Carol -- ran across this quite by accident, while looking for something else! (Ain't that always the way it happens?!) The good cap'n (Dave Spriggs - '64 - of VA) sent you a photo or postcard a couple of months back, showing the old C&O depot in the background with a clock tower. Nobody seemed to know much about it.
Here's a postcard from circa 1900 showing the original buildings, with clock tower. Ta-da!!
Found a little history of the station along with it, too. The original depot was built in 1892 with the clock tower, as seen in this photo. The building on the left was apparently "baggage claim", for lack of a better term.
The clock tower portion of the station was removed sometime during WWI. Unfortunately no reason was available in this source.
The original station was then torn down in 1940, replaced by what is there now. I assume that the "baggage claim" building was also removed at that time??
Anyway, at least we know some of the history of the clock tower portion of the depot now. A search through old newspapers would probably give the reason for the tower's removal.
- Ron Miller ('59) of NC - 01/17/08
WOW! Thanks, Ronnie!

Before 1915 Before 1915 Saturday, October 28, 2000 Saturday, April 3, 2004

This remaining section of the once glorious old station
now serves as a restaurant.

"...the same view (as the image above) (or close to it) today"
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 10/24/03
Thanks, Dave!
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 11/21/03
Thanks, Dave!
Carol Buckley Harty ('65)
of NC - 05/01/03
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 04/03/04
Thanks, Dave!

The old C & O Terminal Building served as the focal point for the steamers that arrived, and of course the passengers trains that arrived in Newport News. Steamer passengers could transfer to the train for points west, and likewise the arriving rail passengers could transfer to the steamers for Norfolk and points south. It was a marvelous event when the Powhatan Arrow pulled into the station, blowing the whistle and ringing the bell, and letting off steam as she came to a stop on the pier adjacent to the steamer.

 After the steamers stopped running, the trains ran for many years and this was their terminus for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad on the Peninsula. I used to carry Western Union telegrams to the C & O offices from the arriving ships as to the estimated time of arrival so crews could get prepared to meet the vessel. It was so exciting, for back then the telegram was the only means available to give the stevedores and longshoremen a "heads up" of their arrival in our port. The Virginia Pilots also received such messages. It really made a "telegram boy" feel a part of a thriving economy during an exciting time. We used to compete to see how quickly we could make it to the C & O offices from the Western Union offices at Washington Avenue and 27th Street. We hit a clock going out, and hit it coming back in from the dispatch delivery, to see who could make it in the shortest time and thereby be the declared winner. "Three atta boys" from the dispatcher was reward enough in those days.

The wooden bridge at the end of West Avenue over the tracks to the C & O Building was built by the Corps of Engineers, and my wife's (Eva Ellis - Class of '61) grandfather, Carl Floyd, was in the Army during World War I and helped to build that bridge, which last several generations. He settled in Newport News and went into the construction business and married and raised his family
in Hampton.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 05/31/04
What a fabulous story!  Thanks, Joe!

My middle sister, Nancy Madagan Van Orden (Class '61) and I visited about two years ago. She could not recall seeing this "Special" building for me. I filled her in on the times I hung around waiting for the steamer to arrive or the train to arrive. I could recall servicemen coming through the station in World War II. She was sad that she never saw the station in operation. She told Judi Hawley (Class '61) about our little visit, and Judi made me promise to show it to her on our next trip down to the Peninsula. She missed seeing this building also. It was a restaurant then.
Seeing it in it's full usefulness was a sight. All the excitement, and lovely ladies in their beautiful dresses and hats, and the men in their suits and hats, for travel back then was a big deal. Folk actually dressed up to travel. So many servicemen and servicewomen were heading back to their duty stations or home on leave, and they were a most jubilant group.

I thought those riding the steamer and trains must be really wealthy to be able to travel in such style - silver service in the dining cars, with white table clothes and napkins, served by waiters in white jacket uniforms.  It was a graceful time. I was awe struck to just see it through the windows, from the bridge over the tracks.The Peninsula was a port of debarkation for our military troops headed to Europe, and Port Stuart (JEB Stuart, General, CSA) later Stuart Gardens was temporary military housing for those moving troops onto ships bound for Europe. I lived on Roanoke Avenue at 24th Street, and the conveys would back up past our house. The ladies took the troops water and cookies and milk as they waited in line in their trucks. The conveys were there on a daily basis.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 05/31/04
Thanks, Joe!

"The Orange Blossom Special" midi courtesy of
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 07/04/03
Thanks, Dave!

Tile Image courtesy of The Good Old Days in Hampton and Newport News, Parke Rouse, Jr., The Dietz Press, Richmond VA., 1986,
thanks to Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/01/03
Thanks, Dave!

Animated Train clip art courtesy of - 05/03/03

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