Naval Station Norfolk will present the original chart drawn by Chaplain David Phineas Adams in 1816 to the Navy History and Heritage Command in a ceremony April 29.
In 1815, a board of Navy Commissioners was formed from the most distinguished and senior officers of the Navy to help direct the administration of an expanding Navy. The board ordered an extensive survey, led by CAPT Arthur Sinclair and Adams to seek locations as alternatives to the Gosport Navy Yard in Portsmouth due to navigational concerns.
In 1816, Adams laid out the defense of the lower Chesapeake and recommended sites, based on surveys, for Naval activities.
The original chart was found in Sept. 2013 hanging in David Adams Memorial Chapel by Naval Station Norfolk’s current Command Chaplain, CDR Denis Cox. The chart was sent to Williamsburg to be restored and will be presented to the Navy History and Heritage Command. A replica of the chart will remain in the chapel.
David Adams Memorial Chapel was built in 1941, holding the first service on Christmas Eve. It was officially dedicated as a house of Divine Worship Feb. 15, 1942. It is believed that Chaplain William W. Edel, Command Chaplain at the time at Naval Station Norfolk, and Chaplain Corps Historian, hung the original Adams chart in honor of the chapel’s namesake.