Saturday, January 9, 2010
Founding & History of Chesterfield County
I stumbled upon this information on the history of Chesterfield County while working on a Tiger Cub project for my son this evening and I thought that you all might enjoy it, courtesy of www.chesterfieldhistory.com:
Five days before Jamestown was settled, Sir Christopher Newport explored the James and Appomattox rivers along the Chesterfield border, and in 1610, seeking a healthier place to live, Sir Thomas Dale wrote of "a convenient, strong, healthie and sweete site to plant a new towne."
The Virginia Company of London established the Citie of Henricus, in hopes of it becoming the principal seat of the colony. The year 1701 brought the discovery of coal in the Midlothian region--the first in America--and its use in the first blast furnace
Originally part of Henrico County, Chesterfield was established in 1749. The county played an important role in the American Revolution by supplying the Continental Army. The Chesterfield County courthouse area was the training center for those soldiers.
During the Civil War, supplies were shipped to Richmond through Chesterfield. Midlothian coal mines provided the raw materials that kept the iron industries working. An obvious target for the Union army, an entire campaign was waged within the boundaries of Chesterfield.
Home of many "firsts," Chesterfield claims the first hospital, first incorporated town, first gravity-fed railroad, first school for the deaf, and the homeplace of the originators of Father's Day!