Norfolk, Virginia: The Sunrise City by the Sea

Norfolk, Virginia: The Sunrise City by the Sea by Amy Waters Yarsinske

“Pictures are as much a link to our past as our own birth certificates or the family tree. Abandoning or discarding photographs would be akin to discarding a vital piece of the past – who we are or where we come from.” So wrote one of Norfolk’s premier visual historians, Carroll H. Walker. As a photographer and historian, Walker dedicated his life to immortalizing, in vivid images, the quaint homes, quiet churches, and bustling businesses of his adopted seaside home. With over 300 photographs, including shots from other early Norfolk photographers Harry C. Mann, Charles S. Borjes, and H. D. Vollmer, Norfolk, Virginia – The Sunrise City by the Sea provides an intimate glimpse of Norfolk history from the 1630s to 1994, when the book was first published and four years after Walker’s death.

Get to know the people and the places of historic Norfolk – Carroll Walker’s Norfolk – the sunrise city by the sea, in this wonderful volume by author Amy Waters Yarsinske, a tribute to her friend Walker and his over fifty-year effort to preserve the ever-changing streetscapes, people and events of the city he loved for all time. Walker wrote: “In a certain sense, photography is nothing more than a means of freezing a moment of eternity, so that we always have before us a picture of some kind, the object of the camera’s eye, that never changes.”

As an aside, it is difficult to obtain a copy of this book today; it was my first work on the city that I, too, love. Norfolk is where I was born and it is the place I call home. While I have done many books on the “Sunrise City by the Sea” or, as some called it in the salad days of the twentieth century, “The Venice of the New World,” I include it here because it was – and is – such a beautiful work. You might get lucky and find a copy via a third-party seller on or I have rarely, if ever, found one of my books in a local rare and used bookshop but it is always worth the try.

Back Cover Art - Norfolk Virginia, Sunrise City by the Sea by Amy Waters Yarsinske