The Fort Nelson Chapter House is an
architect-designed one-and-one-half story building exhibiting
characteristics of a Colonial Tidewater House. Constructed in 1935,
the building features a symmetrical façade with a central entrance
sheltered by a Classical overhang supported by scrolled brackets.
The building is wood frame clad in weatherboard resting on a brick
foundation. The roof is side-gable clad in composite shingles with
symmetrically-placed gabled dormers situated on each pitch of the
roof. An exterior brick chimney is located on the north elevation.
The interior of the building yields a large meeting space occupying
more than half of the building’s main story at the north end. There
is a fireplace on the north wall with a Classically-inspired mantel.
At the south end of the interior there is a kitchen and dining area.
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
The Fort Nelson Chapter Chapter House is situated within the
Westhaven neighborhood in the City of Portsmouth. The neighborhood
is characterized by early 20th century domestic buildings of the
Craftsman and Colonial Revival styles. The house is located at
506 Westmoreland Avenue on the northwest corner of the intersection
of Westmoreland Avenue and King Street near the west boundary of the
neighborhood near the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River.
PLOT OF GROUND AND CHAPTER HOUSE WAS PRESENTED TO FORT
NELSON CHAPTER DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BY
JEROME P. CARR IN HONOR OF HIS WIFE MARTHA WOMBLE CARR,
REGENT AND AS A TOKEN OF DEVOTION AND GRATITUDE TO THE
MEN AND WOMEN OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION WHO, THROUGH
THEIR COURAGE AND SACRIFICE, GREATED THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA AND ITS CONSTITUTION, WHICH GAVE TO POSTERITY
THE GREATEST MEASURE OF LIBERTY, PEACE, OPPORTUNITY,
PROSPERITY AND PROGRESS THE WORLD EVER KNEW. SEPTEMBER
The announcement of the construction of the Chapter House and
presentation of the deed to the trustees of the Fort Nelson Chapter
of the DAR was made during the meeting at the home Mrs. Jerome P.
Carr, Regent of the Chapter on September 3, 1935. The lot on which
the building is situated was subdivided from a larger lot owned by
the Carrs that they acquired in 1911. The Trustees were men who were
husbands of the members of the Fort Nelson Chapter. According to the
deed, the property was deeded pursuant to conditions established by
the Carrs. Restrictions included no dancing was permitted and the
property could not be used to secure any debt for the first
twenty-five years of the Chapter’s ownership of the property. Mr.
Jerome Carr, who was a member of the SAR, donated the house and lot
in honor of his wife, and also donated some furnishings for the
house. At the October 1935 State Board Meeting of the DAR, the
State Historian announced that the Fort Nelson Chapter DAR had
received a gift of a Chapter House. It is also noted at this meeting
that it was the first in the state.