Portsmouth's history dates back to 1620, when English shipbuilder John Wood petitioned the King of England for a land grant to build a shipyard. Plantations sprang up and the area saw heavy involvement in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Residents and tourists alike can stroll through remnants of this city's storied past by visiting the Olde Towne Business and Historical District. Here you'll find the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is the second oldest building in Portsmouth, VA and built by both free men and slaves. Pass House was taken over by Union troops from 1862 to 1865. The Hill House is a four-story beauty that dates back to 1825 and reminds Portsmouth, VA residents of one of its well-established families.
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