Did you know South Norfolk (U.S.) is three miles south of the larger city of Norfolk along the Southern Branch Elizabeth River? South Norfolk home building began en masse on what was once farm land in 1900, however there are homes that date back to the 1700s.
At one time, South Norfolk had its own mayor, and police and fire departments. The flag at left is a reproduction of the city flag, which was once displayed in the Mayor’s office. It was designed by an Oscar Smith High School student and represented the commerce of South Norfolk at that time.
South Norfolk became an incorporated town in Norfolk County in 1919. Within three years, it became an independent city.
In the early 1920s, streetcars ran from Ocean View in Norfolk to South Norfolk. There was a ferry that docked at the end of Indian River Road and crossed the Southern Branch Elizabeth River to Portsmouth.
The much larger independent city of Norfolk expanded rapidly into the adjacent communities after World War II. Although Virginia cities cannot annex each other, Norfolk’s expansion threatened South Norfolk’s viability as a separate community. The final straw came when Norfolk tried to annex the remaining portion of Norfolk County that bordered South Norfolk. This would have resulted in South Norfolk being completely surrounded by Norfolk. In 1963, after a referendum in South Norfolk and Norfolk County and with approval from the Virginia General Assembly, South Norfolk and Norfolk County merged to form the independent city of Chesapeake in 1963. The new name was also selected through a voter referendum.