Originally known as Fort Calhoun, the forbidding island defense work of Fort Wool was begun in 1819, along with Fort Monroe opposite, to protect the entrance to Hampton Roads harbor. Robert E. Lee, then an army engineer, supervised its completion in the 1830s. Its name was changed to Fort Wool in 1862 in honor of Maj. Gen. John Wool, commandant of fortifications at Hampton Roads. From Fort Wool, President Lincoln watched the embarkation of Union troops to seize the city of Norfolk. Abandoned in 1886, the fort was reactivated and expanded during both world wars, so that it now possesses a variety of military engineering works. Conspicuous among them are the sinister World War II watchtowers. Fort Wool was abandoned once again in 1953, with ownership reverting to the Commonwealth in 1967. In 1985, the fort was deeded by the state to the city of Hampton, which opened it to limited visitation.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark