Events & News

Explore with Your Library Card: Virginia War Museum

  • Saturday, April 13, 9am-4pm
  • Virginia War Museum, 9285 Warwick Blvd. 
  • Free museum admission for each guest with a Hampton Roads-area library card

Newport News is pleased to join Tidewater Area Public Libraries for the 2024 Explore with Your Library Card campaign.Visitors who have library cards for any library in Hampton Roads (public or academic) receive free admission to participating cultural institutions on the dates listed above! Visit the Virginia War Museum on Saturday, April 13 with your library card to redeem your free admission. As always, guests under age 7 are free.

A Local Legend: Homer L. Ferguson

  • Wednesday, April 17, 12pm
  • 1884 Warwick Courthouse 
  • Free

The Warwick County Historical Society invites the public to a presentation about the legacy of former Newport News Shipyard President Homer Lenoir Ferguson on Wednesday, April 17. Maritime author William Fox will share highlights of Ferguson’s 30-year tenure helming the world’s largest private shipyard, a record that remains unsurpassed.

A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Ferguson studied naval architecture at Glasgow University and held government positions as a naval constructor at several East Coast shipyards before coming to Newport News in 1905. He took charge of Newport News Shipbuilding in 1915 after the death of Shipyard President Alfred Hopkins on the Lusitania. During the world wars, he set the yard on a feverish pace to produce fighting vessels and transports for troops and materiel, collaborated with the War Shipping Board to create Hilton Village, the nation’s first Federally planned community as emergency housing for shipyard workers, and founded the Apprentice School to develop and train shipbuilders. A noted community leader, he co-founded the Mariners’ Museum with Archer M. Huntington and his wife, sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington.

The program will take place at noon in the 1884 Warwick Courthouse located at 14421 Old Courthouse Way and is free and open to the public. Prior to the presentation, guests are welcome to come for lunch at 11:30. They may bring their own brown bag or pre-order a $15 box lunch from Dino’s by calling (757) 525-7372. For more information, visit www.warwickcountyva.org.

Rail Heritage Lecture: The Train That Never Was

  • Wednesday, May 1, 7pm
  • Lee Hall Depot
  • Free admission

The public is invited on Wednesday, May 1 at 7 pm to a talk by Lee Hall Train Station Foundation President Kenneth Jones about the Chessie, a proposed streamlined passenger train developed by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in the late 1940s.  This one-of-a-kind wonder would have transformed American train travel.

The brainchild of C&O executive Robert R. Young, the Chessie was to have operated on a daylight schedule between Washington, DC and Cincinnati, Ohio.  A revolutionary new steam turbine locomotive, the M1, would have provided power, including speeds up to 100 miles per hour, covering the 666-mile route in 12 hours. Passengers would travel in unprecedented comfort: coaches would contain just 36 seats, while standard configurations at the time had between 44 and 60, and the extra space would carry luxury lounge seating. A year before the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad demonstrated its “Silver Dome” dome car, Young had planned to have domes on the Chessie.  A section of the twin-unit dining car on the train’s rear would show first-run movies.  Although the equipment was delivered, a worsening financial outlook led to the cancellation of the train before it operated in revenue service.  The C&O did operate a single test train of the Chessie, but by October 1948 the C&O had broken up the consists and was reallocating the Chessie’s equipment to other trains, if not selling it outright. 

National Train Day Celebration

  • Saturday, May 11, 10am – 4pm
  • Lee Hall Depot
  • $5.00 per person; under age 7 free

Enjoy a day of railroad fun and history with operating interactive model layouts, costumed railroad characters, historical displays, family friendly activities (music, crafts, games), giveaways, station and caboose tours, merchandise vendors and a food truck. New this year, we’re partnering with the Historic Boxwood Inn which will offer tours and a light lunch.