Located in heart of the Chesapeake Bay at the zero milepost on the Intracoastal Waterway, Portsmouth's five historic districts and its thriving downtown are living landmarks, reminding onlookers of the gracious living, perilous times, and exciting events that often played a crucial role in the life of the nation. Here the last Colonial governor of Virginia took refuge, and here Lord Cornwallis garrisoned his British troops before going to Yorktown, where his defeat gave birth to the United States. Here the first ironclad ship, the first battleship, and the first aircraft carrier were designed and built, and here the wounded from all of America's wars since 1830 have been brought to recover at Portsmouth's naval hospital. Vintage photographs within these pages capture the everyday lives of almost four centuries of residents. The ferries that connected Portsmouth to nearby Norfolk, the trains that made it the gateway to the South, and the city's center-its commercial district-all come alive through the images. Focusing on the Olde Towne historic district, the Naval Hospital, the Naval Shipyard, and the downtown area district, this volume provides a tour of the quaint structures of the oldest part of the city and preserves part of the nation's heritage.