Welcome to history.

Coastal Virginia is where it all got started, and the Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum are here to keep the Spirit of America alive and well.

 This group of devoted community members, some of whose families have been involved for generations, was created to promote and support the Naval Shipyard Museum and now the Lightship Portsmouth Museum.


Lightship Portsmouth Museum


Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum

The Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum were originally created to promote and support the Shipyard Museum. At the request of the City, the Friends added the Lightship Portsmouth Museum to their portfolio of support in 2020.

Over the years the Friends have provided funding to restore artifacts, created new exhibits, provid storage for artifacts not on display and acquire new items for its two Museums. The Friends have also provided Docents for tours and have run a Lecture Series for the Shipyard Museum.

From the Beginning

Portsmouth is one of the nation's oldest working ports and is still used today in much of the same way it was 300 years ago.

While there is no single perfect source on the history of Portsmouth, a decent start is the Public Library's Esther Murdaugh Wilson Memorial Room web-site.

Gosport 1781.png

A Plan of Portsmouth Harbor 1781 (Library of Congress)

We support and maintain the artifacts of 

The US Navy's oldest and largest shipyard.

photo credits Portsmouth, VA Flicker