TRUXTON DISTRICT, PORTSMOUTH
Rising from fields of waving corn, in the 1910s, Truxtun began as a village called U.S. Housing Project 150C, designed as a grand effort by the Virginia native, President Woodrow Wilson to house colored workers in a segregated, but caring manner. Named for Admiral Truxtun of the U.S. Navy, it was a model town that consisted of 250 houses, each having 5 rooms. All interiors were the same, while exteriors were built to have minor variations of their frame and brick foundation. Lot sizes were 28’ x 100’ for single homes. The Two-family type home had 40’ x 100’ lot. Each had a full bathroom, electric lights and running water -- uncommon amenities for most of the South.
Although a cinema and YMCA never materialized as planned, a high school was built on the corner of Deep Creek Blvd and Portsmouth Blvd (map). Truxtun also boasted of spacing houses eleven feet apart for air flow and ventilation. Utility poles were positioned behind the houses. Green space was provided as common public space. And a church steeple overlooks the houses, giving the appearance of God protection. All homes have nice views from their diversified arrangement of porches and gables. Dewey Street, was the first street built in Truxtun and many Black leaders in the region called it home.
As desegregation and suburbanization drained Truxton of school-age kids, Truxtun High School fell victim to neglect. It was demolished by the city of Portsmouth in the late 1990s, despite protest by the community, which today mourns its loss.
Many homes are occupied by descendants of the original family members and tent revivals with vendors are held on some weekends. Community led efforts resulted in Truxtun being added to the Virginia Landmark Register in 1980 and being designated on the National Register of Historic Place in 1982.