Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

121-0052 J. Thomas Newsome House

J. Thomas Newsome House
Photo credit: DHR, 1993

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/12/1989

NRHP Listing Date 12/19/1990

NRHP Reference Number 90001831

This fanciful Queen Anne-style residence was the home of Joseph Thomas Newsome and his family. Newsome (1869-1942), was one of Newport News’s most respected African American civic leaders. A graduate of Howard University Law School, Newsome became one of the first black lawyers to practice before the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. An effective advocate of civil rights, Newsome is also remembered for his many and varied community efforts. He organized the Colored Voters League of Warwick County, and was editor (1926-40) of the Newport News Star, the city’s black newspaper. At the time of his death, Newsome was commissioner of chancery and a member of the Newport News Citizens Defense Policy Committee. Newsome purchased his Oak Avenue residence in 1906. The J. Thomas Newsome House is now owned by the city of Newport News and operated as the Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center.

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

Updated: January 19, 2023