One of Norfolk’s earliest post-World War II developments – the Poplar Hall neighborhood – is named in honor of this rugged brick house at the western end of the drive. “At the west end of Poplar Hall Drive just beyond the white, split-rail fences and down the narrow, oyster shell driveway, are 12 acres of tranquility….” In February 1761, The Hoggard family bought the 200 acres along Broad Creek from Lewis Thelaball for 235 pounds sterling. They built a slate-roofed, brick Georgian brick home there shortly afterward., overlooking Broad Creek. On both sides of the historic home are groves of stately trees which lend an air of rural tranquility. The tract was known for its stately poplar trees, which were said to have been planted as a symbol of loyalty to the British crown. Local historical accounts note that its Broad Creek waterfront was the site of one of the first three shipyards in America. The Hoggard family owned the farm from about 1799 until 1952. During the Revolutionary War, British troops were quartered in Poplar Hall. They returned during the War of 1812, when they burned three ships and broke into the closets in the house. During the yellow fever epidemic of 1854, many Norfolk families sought refuge with the Hoggard family, and Poplar Hall’s lawn was covered with tents. During the Civil War a garrison of 16 Union troops and an officer were living on the plantation. The Union forces correctly suspected that blockade runners were using Broad Creek, and they attempted to stop the evasions. Union troops seized the meat in the smokehouse and hauled it away by boat. Lucy Hopper, a slave, intercepted some of the provisions on their way to the boat and hid what she could for the family’s use. Lucy also smuggled food to Horatio Cornick Hoggard, a Confederate soldier who hid in the woods when he came home on furlough and found Union soldiers on the grounds. Except for raiding the food stores of the plantation, the Union troops did no harm. The acres then, “sort of dozed off for more than a century, undisturbed by the outward push of Norfolk…,” until 1952 when it was sold to William B. Copeland. The Poplar Hall neighborhood took its name from the old homestead.
Poplar Hall - Private Residence
400 Stuart Cir., Norfolk, VA 23541