Historical Significance The Dismal Swamp lies thirty miles west of the Atlantic Ocean, between the James River in southeastern Virginia near Norfolk and the Albemarle Sound near Edenton, North Carolina. To eighteenth century colonists it was the…

Historical Significance On December 9, 1775 the Continental Army won a victory at the Battle of Great Bridge, located south of Norfolk. The battle was an important turning point in the Revolutionary War, ending British rule in Virginia. Months of…

Historical Significance Sweet Briar College is located on the former Sweet Briar Plantation site, home of Elijah Fletcher and his descendants. Elijah Fletcher was born in 1789 in Ludlow, Vermont. In 1810 he traveled to Virginia to teach at New…

Historical Significance In 1937, an African-American woman, Susie Rosa Catherine Byrd (1899-1960), a teacher by profession, worked as a Federal Writer for the Petersburg District of the Negro Federal Writers' Project (WPA) of Virginia. The WPA was a…

Historical Significance Petersburg's location on the Appomattox River at the fall line (head-of-navigation of U.S. East Coast rivers) caused the city to become a strategic place for transportation and commercial activities during the early growth of…

Historical Significance Smithland was owned by the Smith family, who first settled on the land in the 1760s. The white brick mansion was built by the grandson of the original settler. The Smith family was well known in the community and hosted many…

Historical Significance In 1640, five years after being freed from slavery himself, Anthony Johnson (born in Angola, Africa), acquired a black slave named John Casar (sometimes Casor or Gesorroro). In 1648, Johnson, who had come to the Eastern Shore…

Historical Significance Enslaved labor was essential to the functioning of Shirley Plantation. African Americans tended the fields, harvested the crops, maintained the house, cooked the meals, and provided the majority of skilled labor, including…

Historical Significance The Reynolds Homestead is the former Rock Spring Plantation House, the birthplace and boyhood home of tobacco manufacturer R.J. Reynolds. Built in 1843, the two-story brick home has been restored to its nineteenth century…

Historical Significance The Ravenscroft neighborhood was incorporated into Petersburg in 1784 and developed soon after. It is bounded on the west by Halifax Street, an important early transportation and commercial corridor leading from Halifax,…