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The Fort Nelson Chapter NSDAR was formed on May 9, 1896 at the house of Mrs. Charles R. Nash. The chapter chose the name Fort Nelson in recognition of the American Revolutionary fort that was constructed to protect the harbor between Portsmouth and Norfolk. 

Charter members were: Mrs. C. R. Nash, Mrs. James. Maupin, Mrs. J. F. Croker, Mrs. T. H. Wright, Mrs. J. C. Cresap, Mrs. Alex Butt, Mrs. C. W. Murdaugh, Jr., Mrs. John Lejeune, Mrs. Charles Parrish, Miss Tuna Marshall, Miss Annie Hume, and Miss Esther M. Wilson.

Fort Nelson Chapter members were quite active from the outset. They collected funding for various patriotic events, including support for the Virginia House at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. In 1906 the Chapter erected a memorial cannon at the site of Fort Nelson. The group also assisted at the Virginia House during the 1907 Jamestown Exposition.  The Chapter donated a portrait of Chief Justice Marshall by Mrs. Jeffery Montague for the Virginia Room at NSDAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. and solicited members for the Red Cross during World War I.  In 1924, the Chapter had a pyramid dedicated to General Lafayette in the City of Portsmouth. Another memorial dedicated to Richard Dale was erected within a greenway in the City of Portsmouth.

The Chapter House is located at 506 Westmoreland Avenue near the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River. The building’s construction period was between September and December of 1935, with a formal dedication on December 3, 1935. It was added to the State's Historic Landmark Register on May 6, 2007, and to the National Register for Historic Properties on August 8, 2007.

Fort Nelson chapter members of the 21st Century carry on the legacy bequeathed by their early founding members and celebrate their long history as Virginia Daughters.


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This page was updated on October 10, 2014
Linda Thorson, Webmaster

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