Kempsville, Virginia
Kempsville, VA Events Directory
About Kempsville, VA
Unincorporated community
Kempsville is located in Virginia
Location within the Commonwealth of Virginia
Kempsville is located in the US
Kempsville (the US)
Coordinates: 36°49?37?N 76°09?37?W / 36.82694°N 76.16028°W / 36.82694; -76.16028Coordinates: 36°49?37?N 76°09?37?W / 36.82694°N 76.16028°W / 36.82694; -76.16028
Country United States
State Virginia
Independent city Virginia Beach
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 o Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 23464, 23462

Kempsville is a formerly unincorporated community located in the former Princess Anne County, Virginia. In modern times, it is a community within the urbanized portion the independent city of Virginia Beach, the largest city in Virginia.


Kempsville was originally named Kempe's Landing, subsequently called Kemp's Landing. It was a colonial port of entry at the head of the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River. [1]

Kemp's Landing was laid out into half acre lots which were sold at public auction after being advertised in the Virginia Gazette. The purchasers held the lots subject to building within three years a dwelling house at least 20 feet square with a brick chimney.[2]

Tugs and sailing vessels (frequently two masted schooners) often came to Kempsville. A large drawbridge crossed the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River where the much smaller bridge of Princess Anne Road now crosses the river. [3]

Kempsville was the shipping point for most of the products of Princess Anne County. The County was then a very large producer of corn and wheat. Several large warehouses lined the banks of the river which was then much wider than today. Great quantities of oak "knees" and all kinds of timber were shipped from Kempsville to Norfolk Navy Yard. [4]

Until 1861 Kempsville was quite a busy place. It had a tobacco warehouse and an inspector whose salary was £35 a year. The warehouse receipts were used as currency. [5]

However, the growing of tobacco made little headway in the sandy soil of Princess Anne County. [6]

A canal company was incorporated to connect the headwaters of the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River with the headwaters of the Lynnhaven River. The Commonwealth of Virginia government bought part of the stock of the canal company, but the Civil War put an end to digging of the canal and it was never finished. [7]

From 1762 to 1770, George Logan, a Scot, was the Princess Anne County High Sheriff. From 1772 to 1775, George Logan was one of the Princess Anne County Justices. During the Revolution, George Logan was a Loyalist. [8]

On November 14 or 15, 1775, John Ackiss, the son of a former member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and six others were killed by Colony of Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore's British forces during the "Battle of Kempe's Landing." These seven men were the first American Revolutionary War casualties in Virginia. In 1929, the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a plaque "Skirmish of Kempsville" near the site.

On November 16, 1775, Lord Dunmore entered Kempsville in triumph. Dunmore captured the Colonial Commander then set up his headquarters at Logan's home. Those who swore an oath of allegiance to King George III wore a red badge on their breasts. [9]

After the November 16, 1775 Battle of Kempsville, George Logan entertained Lord Dunmore at his home. This house became the home of Dr. R. E. Whitehead. [10]

In 1778, the Princess Anne County Court House was moved to Kemp's Landing from New Town. From 1778-1824, Kempsville was the location of the county seat of Princess Anne County. [11]

On August 13, 1779, nine African slaves were sold at public auction at Kempsville. They had been taken by the Continental frigates Boston and Deane then transported in the privateer Enterprise. [12]

Also on August 13, 1779, a British sloop of war the "Mermaid," was sold at public auction at Kempsville by order of the Admiralty Court then held at Hampton. [13]

On May 5, 1783, the town of Kempsville was incorporated in Princess Anne County, Virginia. [14]

On September 5, 1814, during the War of 1812, the Princess Anne County Court ordered that its records be moved to safety in North Carolina. On March 6, 1815, the Court ordered the clerk to retrieve its records from North Carolina. On July 28, 1815, the Court allocated money to six men to retrieve the records. [15]

In 1824, the county seat of Princess Anne County was moved to its current location at Princess Anne, Virginia. [16]

In July 1843 the construction of Emmanuel Episcopal Church was completed on land that had been donated by David Walke. On November 27, 1843, the Right Reverend William Meade consecrated the Emmanuel Episcopal Church building. [17]

Portions of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church's outer walls are original. The cemetery on the church grounds includes the graves of nine veterans of both the Confederate States of America and United States of America Armies who fought in the American Civil War. It also contains the more recent grave of Allen Jones "Al" "Two Gun" Gettel, a local boy that made his first pitch on the ball fields now preserved as Kempes Landing Park, who grew up to be a major league pitcher for the New York Yankees, the Cleveland Indians, and the Chicago White Sox over a 10-year career (1945-55). [18]

The Princess Anne Academy was located at the old jail in Kempsville. The Academy closed in 1850. The ancestors of many of the prominent families of the city of Norfolk and Princess Anne County attended the Academy. For example, in December 1835 then again in 1838, the Academy's principle trustee, Mr. Rogers, advertised in the Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald for a teacher for 1836 then 1839 of Latin, Greek, English, and Math, including the elements of Euclid if required. [19]

In 1850 a number of prominent citizens of Kempsville advocated for a turnpike road from Norfolk to Kempsville. However, the road was not constructed until 1871 or 1872. [20]

After Reconstruction, during an election, several African Americans were killed and many wounded in a riot. A number of European Americans were brought before the court but nothing came from this proceeding. [21]

In 1897, the tavern that had been erected on the former Court House land was destroyed by fire. [22]

In 1922, the former Court House and jail were still in use. The former Court House was remodeled in 1902. [23]

In 1922 Kempsville was a "beautiful little country village" with two churches, a few stores of general merchandise, and a modern brick school building. This farming community had extremely fertile land that mainly grew potatoes, cotton, corn, and many truck crops. [24]

In 1963, when the "new" city of Virginia Beach was created from the merger of the small resort city of Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County, Kempsville became a borough of the new city.

Kempsville grew in population during the explosive economic growth of the 1960s and 1970s. Kempsville transformed into a sprawling suburban community of the largest independent city in Virginia.

Many of the important historical buildings of Kempsville were either moved or torn down during this transformation. Only two buildings remain from the Revolutionary War period, including the 1734 Carraway House on South Witchduck Road. [25] and the 1769 Pleasant Hall. [26]

Present day

Kempsville is one of seven residence districts in the City of Virginia Beach, and is thereby associated with one seat on City Council. Although the official land area of the Kempsville district is small relative to the size of the City of Virginia Beach, Kempsville's historical influence stretches the entire span of Princess Anne Road from the Norfolk border to the Courthouse and Pungo areas of the city.


The community of Kempsville operates under the Virginia Beach City Public School System. There are three high schools, two middle schools, and eight elementary schools, respectively: Kempsville High School, Tallwood High School, Salem High School, Kempsville Middle School, Brandon Middle School, Larkspur Middle School, Arrowhead Elementary, Centerville Elementary, Fairfield Elementary, Kempsville Elementary, Kempsville Meadows Elementary, Point O' View Elementary, Providence Elementary Tallwood Elementary, and Woodstock Elementary.

Public Safety

The 4th Precinct is based in Kempsville giving the community police protection by the Virginia Beach Police Department. Fire protection is provided by the Virginia Beach Fire Department through Fire Station 9 and Fire Station 10 in the VBFD system. The Kempsville Volunteer Rescue Squad provides ambulance transportation and EMS services as part of the Virginia Beach Department of EMS.


The two major shopping centers in the Kempsville community are located directly across the street from each other on the Southwest and Northwest Corners of the Kempsville Road and Providence Road intersection. They are Providence Square and Fairfield Shopping Centers, respectively. These areas are home to several restaurants including Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Moe's Southwest Grill, AJ Gator's Sports Bar, Frankies Place For Ribs, Papa John's, McDonald's, Wendy's, YNot Pizza, and Subway. They also house the grocery stores Kroger and Food Lion as well as some businesses such as banks, dental offices, Madison Jewelers, QW Alterations and Kitchen King Cabinets. About .1 mi north from the Kempsville Road and Providence Road intersection is the 4th VBPD Police Precinct Station, which is located next to the Kempsville Public Library. Also, across Kempsville Road is the Kempsville Presbyterian Church.


Some notable Kempsville neighborhoods include Larkspur Farms, Carolanne Farms, Bellamy Manor, Fairfield and Point O' View. The neighborhood of Point O' View is situated on the banks of Kemps Lake that formed from the Construction of Interstate 264/Virginia Beach Express Way. Kemps Lake provides an ideal environment for watersports with its deepest point of 19 ft.

Road Construction Project

A major road construction project was completed involving Princess Anne, Kempsville Rd, and Witchduck Rd. The Witchduck Road portion and this intersection is one of the busiest corridors in Virginia Beach.

Kempsville Rd./Witchduck Rd. has been widened to 3 lanes in each direction (north and south) with a new intersection of Princess Anne Rd, Kempsville Road and Witchduck Rd. The widened road extends from the Interstate 264 overpass on Witchduck Rd. south bound to the Kempsville Rd/Princess Anne Intersection at the heart of the Kempsville Community.

Now that this road project is completed, a Historic Kempsville Retail District is anticipated to be built in the area surrounding this intersection featuring colonial architecture with retail shopping. The plans for this retail district were envisioned before the recent[when?] economic downturn, so much of the proposed new development in the area may take much longer to come to fruition than originally conceived.

On the southeastern corner of the new intersection, construction of the Kempes Landing public park has been completed with a small lake, strolling walkways and a large gazebo resembling the one at James and Dolley Madison's Montpelier estate located in Orange, Virginia. Though construction of the park is complete, there is currently very limited public access to the property as construction is in progress nearly.


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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