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Chesterfield County Facts...

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John Rolfe depiction

The historic James River borders the county on the northeast and the Appomattox River forms the county's southern boundary.

Chesterfield County received its name from the Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, England's famed Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope.    Chesterfield was first settled in 1611 at the Citie of Henricus, when residents of Jamestown moved upstream to a "convenient, strong, healthie and sweete seate" for a new town after conditions at Jamestown were too harsh.  In May 1611, Sir Thomas Dale arrived in Virginia to find a secure and healthy area to establish a new town and principal seat for the colony.  By September 1611, he voyaged up the James River to establish the colony�s second settlement. Henricus, thus opening a new chapter in Virginia in a land that would become known as Chesterfield County.


The National Register of Historic Places in the county's rich history includes many historic "firsts," such as:


     ♣ 1611 -- Citie of Henricus was established as the second permanent English settlement in the new world

     ♣ 1612 -- Tobacco was first cultivated in America at Bermuda Hundred  (see the side bar to the right)

    ♣ 1614 - -Bermuda Hundred was the first incorporated town in America

    ♣ 1619 -- Falling Creek was the first iron furnace in the New World  

    ♣ 1622 -- Mount Malady, near Dutch gap, was the site of the first American hospital

    ♣ 1709 -- Midlothian produced the first commercially mined coal in America

    ♣ 1807 -- Midlothian Turnpike was the first paved road in Virginia

    ♣ 1831 -- The Midlothian to Manchester Railroad was the first in Virginia

    ♣ 1864 -- Bermuda Hundred Civil War Campaign - the only campaign fought entirely in one county.

Visit the Library of the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia

Join the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.

Historical Chesterfield County Fact 

  First English Settlement in Chesterfield


1Tobacco Farming in Chesterfield County612 -- Tobacco was first cultivated in America at Bermuda Hundred (Use the Photo for a larger view)

History 1749 BellThe historic Courthouse bell is the oldest County artifact in existence.  Since the razing of the 1749 Courthouse in 1916, the bell has hung in the cupola of the 1917 Courthouse for 100 years.  In 2016, It was removed for restoration.


Chesterfield County was founded on May 25, 1749, by the House of Burgesses. It was carved from Henrico County to eliminate lengthy travel by residents from the southern area to the Courthouse for business and court proceedings.


For a larger view, click on photographs.

         1749 Charter                        CHSV Logo Collage