Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia


MUSEUM OPEN : Tuesday-Friday 10am-4pm; Sat 11am-2pmChesterfield Museum

The Chesterfield County Museum and the Historic 1892 Jail, closed since March 2020, have reopened to the public. Both museums are located on Mimms Loop on the Courthouse Green at the Chesterfield Government Center. All programs and are free but reservations are required. Space is limited.  For details or to reserve a seat for any program call Pat Roble, 768-7311. Register for all programs one week in advance.   Saturdays, 11 a.m

The Chesterfield Museum, pictured above,  is a brick reproduction of the colonial courthouse of 1749. It sits on a tract of land that was known in the 18th Century as "Coldwater Run".   The County was basically a rural community and the Courthouse of 1749 was not only a social gathering spot, it was a political nexus.  Speeches, horse trading, games, drinking, and fistfights were standard events of each court day.  The old courthouse stood until 1917 when it was razed for a new "courthouse"  Preservationists could not save the building.  The courthouse-museum complex was a project conceived by The Bermuda Ruritan Club and later a total of ten other Ruitan Clubs were involved in the project.  Thanks to these Ruritans, the Museum was built in 1977 and officially dedicated on July 4, 1980.  Printable Map  and Museum Opening Times (PDF).  We have rotating exhibits on display for your enjoyment.

The Museum collections and exhibits tell the history of Chesterfield County from prehistoric times through the 20th century. Exhibits include early Indian culture, artifacts from the first iron and coal mines in America, which were in Chesterfield County, early household and farming tools, and a country store of the late 19th century.   The exhibits trace 400 years of Chesterfield history, describing Native American life, the Colonial period, and the American Revolutionary and Civil wars.  Described are many “firsts” that Chesterfield claims, from coal mining to iron production to the first railroad. Chesterfield County is home to the second permanent English settlement in the New World, the 1611 Citie of Henricus. ( Picture Courtesy of Pat Roble, Museum Curator and Manager)    Current programs

Renovated in 2007, the Museum houses exhibits pertaining to the history of Chesterfield County.  Rotating exhibits are themed along historical events that affected county residents.  Please take a tour of the Museum.  Admission is free but a suggested donation of $2.00 is accepted and $1.00 suggested donation for the jail.  This helps us to continue having exhibits in the museum. 

 Click on Museum picture (above ) or the old jail (right) for a virtual tour of the Chesterfield Museum and Jail Road Map.    See what the old jail may have looked as the last inmate saw it! 

Rediscover Chesterfield’s History.  In Chesterfield County, visitors can experience over 400 years of history spanning the pre-colonial era through the early 20th century. Visit our historic sites and take part in our programs and events to learn some unique firsts that happened here.

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Historic 1892 Jail

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Historic Sites Collage