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
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
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.
was added to the State's Historic Landmark Register on May 6,
2007, and to the National Register for Historic Properties on August
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.