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. 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.

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.

THIS 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 3, 1935


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.

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