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Educational | Self-guided Walk Tours | Volunteer Program

Freemason Historic District Walking Tour

The Hunter House Victorian Museum is located in the Historic Freemason District. The district obtained historic status in 1977; before that time, buildings were razed for parking lots or new office buildings. While the majority of the original houses have been demolished, those remaining give a hint of the fascination the people of Norfolk had with architecture, especially during the Victorian Era. 

A printed brochure containing a complete listing of houses along with a map is available at the museum; please pick one up during our regular hours of operation: 
Wednesday through Saturday 10 AM – 3:30 PM and Sunday 12:30 PM – 3:30 PM, April through December. 

The tour includes, but is not limited to, the following interesting homes:

The Camp-Hubbard House – Norfolk banker William Camp built this Greek Revival home in 1852. The house features a portico with paired Ionic columns. The front windows are topped with decorative stylized icanthus leaf flat lintels.

McCullough Row – Built in 1889, the row contains alternating curved and angled bays and which are unified with a stringcourse or belt course between the second and third floors. This Italianate structure is built in gray brick; flat lintels top the windows. 

Public Library – A Boston architect designed the library in the Beaux Arts style; it was begun in 1901 on land loaned by Norfolk’s Grandy family and with money donated by Andrew Carnegie. It served as the main library until 1964.

John Cary Weston House – This home was designed in the High Victorian Italianate style of architecture in 1870 for John Cary Weston of the Great Bridge Lumber and Canal Co. Elaborate detailed brick carvings over the two-story bay window are combined with an incised carved frieze under the eaves giving this home a feeling of importance. An ornamental cast iron veranda begins at the main entrance and wraps around the side of the home. 

Selden Point - This home was built in 1807 for Dr. William Boswell Selden as his country house. During the Civil War, the house was occupied by Federal forces and used as their headquarters. The house was originally a Federal style home; additions were made through the years. The gabled roof has three dormers – two are polygonal.

S. Q. Collins House – The Italianate home was built in 1885 for S. Q. Collins, partner with John Lekies of a saw mill in the Berkley section of Norfolk. The symmetrical façade has a central portico entrance with composite Corinthian columns. Segmented arched hoods top the windows.

Kenmure – The Greek Revival “Kenmure” was built in 1845 for William Wilson Lamb, a Norfolk banker and city mayor. Lamb was mayor when the city was force to surrender to Federal forces in 1862. Local lore has it that he hid the city’s Mace beneath one of the hearths in the home to keep it from the enemy.

Apartments – This row of English Queen Anne townhouses was built about 1891 for members of Norfolk’s Pickett family. John S. Pickett was the owner of a local oyster packing company. 

William S. Wilkinson House – This Italianate townhouse was built in 1885 for William S. Wilkinson a local banker and manager of the Norfolk Clearinghouse Association. The window crowns are different on each story, with the most decorative being on the first story. There are two reeded stringcourses on the front of the building.

Glisson House – This Greek Revival home was built in 1840 for Commodore Oliver S. Glisson. Glisson served in the Federal forces during the Civil War and following the war in 1865, left the city.