THE HISTORIC MARTIN MANSION
The Martin Mansion, home to the Woman's Club of Norfolk since 1925, is located in beautiful historic Ghent
in Norfolk, Virginia. The Alvah Martin Mansion was built circa 1909. It is a 10,000 sq. ft., 21 room,
Georgian revival and is available for a limited number of rentals per year. It is closed to events during
August. The Woman's Club purchased the Mansion in 1925 from the Martin Family. It originally
was sold in 1920 to the Virginia Club, a gentleman's organization now in downtown Norfolk.
Norfolk's Renaissance Man, Alvah Martin, the original owner of what is now
The Woman's Club of Norfolk, watched his stately mansion being built in 1909 from his family's
home next door. Alvah was an attorney, bank president, and the county clerk for 33 years.
He also served on President Taft's Executive Committee and used his influence with the President to
secure the Port of Norfolk as the port of entry for the state of Virginia. Some of the vast properties
he purchased throughout the years included the Martin Building, now serving as the
Tidewater Community College Library, and the renowned Smith and Welton building, home of the
famous White Glove Tearoom. Mr. Martin built an additional residence next to his residence
for his daughter, Faye, and her husband S.L. Slover, for whom the new Norfolk Library was named.
The Slovers raised Faye's sister's son, Frank Batten, who later became the co-founder of
The Weather Channel and founded Landmark Media Enterprises, which owned the
Virginian-Pilot and the Ledger-Star newspapers.