Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Historic District

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The linear Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Historic District in the modern day city of Chesapeake is significant for transportation, engineering, and military history, with the period of significance being 1775–1953. The beginning date includes the Revolutionary War Battle of Great Bridge, fought there in 1775. Later, the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal, completed in 1859, provided an inland route for maritime traffic between Norfolk and Portsmouth and North Carolina’s Albemarle Sound. The canal is significant for several engineering advances: it was the first Virginia canal built entirely with steam-powered dredging equipment, and the Great Bridge Lock was the largest such lock on the East Coast. In 1913, the federal government purchased the canal. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has since constructed a maintenance complex; the 600-foot-long Great Bridge Canal lock that replaced the 1859 lock in 1932; the 1943 Great Bridge Bridge; and the 1951 North Landing Bridge. The Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal remains a major transportation artery for commercial traffic.

Last Updated: January 29, 2024

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

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


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