Charles City County Historical Markers
This community acquired its name from the Barnett family and was once a major commercial center for the western end of the county. The area has been served by the post offices of Bradley’s Store (1879-1911) and Barnett’s (est. 1911). At the time of the Civil War, the area east of Bradley’s Store was known as Freetown . Landmarks have included Salem Methodist Church (1810-1948), Gillfield Baptist Church (est. 1884), two blacksmith shops, a stave saw mill, the one-room Barnetts and Waterloo schools, the Waterloo Pottery, two auto dealerships, an undertaker and several stores, including the old Adams grocery store. The area was also home to the Charles City County Canning Company, maker of 5 C’s Tomatoes. Rev. Edward Folkes, a founder of Salem Church , resided in this vicinity. Prominent homes of Barnetts include Broomfield , Rural Shades, a home of the Adams family, and West Garden , originally known as Aspen Grove. This area was formerly the site of Montpelier , the magnificent home of the Ladds, a prominent Quaker family.
This community was named for the structure which housed the post office and dance hall, built in 1886 by O.P. Binns at the terminus of an old road that led to the Chickahominy River farms Cedar Forest, Cyprus Banks, the home of the Stubblefield family, and Mattahunk, an early seat of the Duke family. The road also led to a gristmill and tobacco warehouses. Landmarks of Binns Hall have included Liberty Baptist Church (est. 1869), Gill’s Store, Piney Grove Store, the Order of St. Luke’s Hall and two one-room schools, Binns Hall and Clay Yard. Prominent area homes include Mosside, Piney Grove and two homes once owned by the Vaiden family, Poplar Springs and Meadow Springs. No longer standing are the original residences at Brown’s Quarter, Cool Springs, Myrtle Hill and the plantation of Furneau Southall, deputy-sheriff of Charles City County during the late eighteenth century.
This intersection of the Old Main Road , or Ridegpath, and the road from Soanes Bridge to Kennons, derives its name from an eighteenth-century tavern owned by the Blanks family. Blanks tavern was one of a few licensed ordinaries in colonial Charles City County . Other landmarks have included an Oldfield school, Manoah Baptist Church (1848-1933) and the first Methodist Meeting House (est. 1791), also known as Charles City Chapel. Prominent area homes have included Ballardsville and Sunnyside, the home of Charles City County physician Dr. Gideon Christian. Soldiers Rest, the home of Revolutionary War soldier “Fighting Joe Christian,” was also located in this vicinity. Area resident Lemuel E. Babcock was Charles City County ‘s delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1867 and William Page, a freedman, became a major landowner here in the years after the Civil War.
HERRING CREEK & KIMAGES:
The Herring Creek area was settled in 1619 as a portion of Westover, and a portion of Berkeley Hundred. The point where the James River Road , present-day Route 5, crossed Herring Creek was known as “The Wade.” Landmarks have included Harrison ‘s Mill, the Johnathan Samaria Lodge, New Vine Church (est. 1870) and Westover Parish Church (est. 1614). The Harrison Mill Pond was acquired by the federal government in 1934 and established as the Harrison Lake Fish Hatchery. Prominent area homes include Berkeley , Edgewood , Evelynton, Hillman’s, Neston and Westover. William Thomas was a mulatto resident of this area who served in the Revolutionary War as a servant to General Muhlenburg. Kimages developed around the wharf on the James River. Kimages School was built in 1922, burned in 1925 and rebuilt in 1926. A store served the community, and the ferry west of Kimages crossed the James River to Prince George County until 1967. During the early-twentieth century, the proposed real estate development of Berkeley Hills, which was to utilize Lake Charles as a major element of its plan, went unrealized.
The Chickahominy Indians resided near here along the river that bears their name. This area was part of Wilmington Parish and was part of James City County before 1720. In the 1800s the community acquired the name of the Holdcroft family. Mt. Pleasant Church (est.1813) was established by members of Charles City Baptist Church (est. 1776). Rev. John M. Lamb was a prominent minister who served Mt. Pleasant from 1853 until ca. 1878. Other landmarks included Holdcroft High School , a post office (1880-1953), Binns Store, Orange ‘s Store and the office of Dr. Davis. Graves Landing and Willcox Neck provided river crossings to James City and New Kent counties. The upper ferry known as Edloe’s and Cowles ferry was the site of a colonial era ordinary. Early plantations included Peace Hill and Pottersfield. Prominent residences of the area include Pleasant Hill , Sidlands, and the homes of the Parsons and Orange families.
MOUNT ZION & RUSTIC:
The Mount Zion and Rustic communities were established on opposite banks of Morris Creek , earlier known as Tanks Paspahegh, the Indian name, Moyses Creek, after Theodore Moyses who patented land there, and Moses Creek . Before 1720 this area was part of James City County and Wallingford Parish. During the 1700s several homes of the Dancy family stood nearby. Micah Church (est. 1850), a post office at Apperson’s Store (1850-71), later the store of Graham Walker, Sr., were also located in this area. Mt. Zion Church moved here in the 1880s from a location along present-day Route 5 and the present structure was located on the site of El Bethel Methodist Church. Local schools included Walkers and Mt. Zion , the surviving schoolhouse was built in 1915 through the efforts of the Home Mission Society. A landing on the Chickahominy River was known as Little Egypt. Prominent homes are located north of Morris Creek and include Eagle’s Nest, Cary Hill, Forest Level and Mt. Airy, a seat of the Southall family. South of Morris Creek were located Flowery Hill, Haystack and Pigs Point.
NEW HOPE & COURT HOUSE:
Since the establishment of the Court House during the mid-eighteenth century this area has served as a community center for the entire county. During the Revolution and the Civil War the area was the site of military encampments. A tavern built in the colonial era was destroyed by fire and replaced by a house and store owned first by the Nances and later by the Majors. Landmarks in the Court House area have included a blacksmith shop, county jail, post office (est. 1803), Hubbard’s store, Greenway School , Charity School (est. 1810) and Charles City High School (est. 1924). Prominent area homes include Greenway, Mons Sacre, Woodpark and the Brown-Jones House. The area east of the Glebe Creek was known as New Hope . Area landmarks have included the store of Fielding Lewis, the Glebe Lane School , Waddill’s Mill and Haupt’s Store, earlier known as Major’s Store. Prominent area homes include the Glebe of Westover Parish, Little Glebe, Bush Hill, the home of several doctors, and Millford, the home of Edmund Waddill, a longtime clerk of the court.
OLD QUAKER SETTLEMENT – ADKINS STORE:
This community was the site of a Quaker settlement in the eighteenth century and the Weyanoke Quaker Meeting House and graveyard. The meetinghouse was the Upper Quarter gathering place for the Yearly Meeting of Virginia Quakers. The area has since become the center for the Chickahominy Tribal community. Landmarks have included Ladd’s Store, Charles City Poor House, Hopewell Methodist Protestant Church (1835-72) and the home of Rev. John Bowry, the birth site of missionary Lott Cary. Area homes include Willow Banks and Portobello, a home of the Ladd family. One prominent local minister, Rev. D. W. Cotman, pastored three churches in this vicinity. Residents of the neighborhood established Cedar Grove Church (est. 1874) and Samaria , first established in 1845 and reorganized in 1901 as the church of the Chickahominy Indian Tribe. The community was served by three schools, Alpine, Bethel and Samaria , and Adkins Store, earlier known as Binn’s Store. The area was briefly served by the Thera post office.
Roxbury was named for a nearby plantation in New Kent County and reached by Longbridge over the Chickahominy. This community was the site of a colonial era tavern and the only railroad station in Charles City County . Roxbury post office (1883-1953) succeeded earlier post offices at Waddill’s Store (1853- 56), Edna Mills (1856-66) and Nance’s Shop (1876-83). Homes in this vicinity have included Laurel Hill and Green Meadow, the residence of Quaker minister James Ladd. L.M. Nance, Commonwealth Attorney (1882- 1923) and member of the Virginia Senate resided in this area, as did William H. Adkins (1853-1921), chief of the Chickahominy Tribe. This neighborhood has been home to Hughes Store and the first meetinghouse of the Charles City Baptist Church (est. 1776), first pastored by Rev. Joseph Bradley. Other churches later established here include Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church (1876-1948) and Union Baptist Church (est. 1862). The Civilian Conservation Corp and the schools of Mt. Pleasant , Roxbury and Union Baptist were also located here. R.G. W. Jones, the first black elected to represent Charles City County in the General Assembly also lived nearby.
This area was one of the centers of Charles City ‘s free black community before the Civil War and was named for Ruth Brown with the establishment of the post office in 1880. Abraham Brown, a major landowner of the area, founded Elam Church in 1810, one of the oldest regularly organized black Baptist churches in Virginia . His son, Reverend Samuel Brown, was a prominent local minister. Following the Civil War local residents established a cooperative store, the Mercantile Cooperative Company, and two schools, Bull Field Academy (1881-1911) and the Ruthville Training Center (1911-30). A.Q. Franklin, who served in the House of delegates (1889-1891) and W.S. Brown, first black member of the Board of Supervisors (1891-1904) were local residents. Dr. C.S. Franklin, a renowned dermatologist, resided at Cedar Grove. The area was formerly known as Vaiden’s Crossroads and included Vaiden’s Store and Boss Ferguson’s Northwood Academy .
SANDY POINT & CHERRY HALL:
Originally home to the Paspahegh Indians, Sandy Point was settled in 1617 as Smith’s Hundred and after 1619 known as Southampton Hundred. St. Mary’s Church was established here prior to Powhatan’s Uprising of 1622. During the Revolutionary War local militia units were encamped on the James River . Prominent area homes have included Teddington and Tomahund, seats of the Lightfoot family, Byrdwood and The Rowe. Landmarks have included the Trees Point Pottery, Bethany Church (est. 1869), post offices at Teddington, Trees Point and Oldfield, and schools at Banbury Farm (est. 1878) and Renwood (est. 1910). A ferry crossed the James River at Sandy Point until 1942, and nearby Barrett’s Ferry crossed the Chickahominy River until 1939. A store at the Sandy Point wharf stood until 1955. Inland from the James River during the 1800s the cross- roads community that developed around Cherry Hall Plantation included Graves Shops and Rural Shades Academy . Nearby stood the first Lower Church of Westover Parish (ca. 1735-1805) and Jerusalem Church (est. 1873). The store of W.T. Haynes served this community until ca. 1930.
STURGEON POINT & KENNONS:
Kennons originally took its name from the plantation of the Kennon family. Kennons Creek, originally known as David Jones Creek, served as a boundary for the early Wallingford Parish. Kennon’s Landing was the terminus for the Meadow Road , as well as rail lines that carried out timber to the river. Landmarks of Kennons have included Fort Pocahontas , a brickyard, the post offices of Kennons (est. 1850), Wilson ‘s Landing (1865-79) and Sturgeon Point (est. 1879). The area also included two schools and the Order of St. Luke Hall. Prominent homes in this area have included Cambridge , Farmers Rest, Farmington , Milton , Sherwood Forest , Sellwood, Stonehenge and Lion’s Den, the home of Lyon G. Tyler, President of the College of William and Mary. Members of the Major family of Oak Hill have served as clerk of the court and sheriff. Rev. George Washington Marrow (1848-1926), a freedman was a prominent minister who resided in this area.
SWINEYARDS & WILLCOX WHARF :
This area was settled before 1622 by George Swinehow. Tobacco warehouses and docks were located at Swineyards and Willcox Wharf . A post office was established at Swineyards in 1848 and later located at Willcox Wharf . Landmarks have included Bethany Presbyterian Church (est. 1869), Little Elam Church (est. 1886), Bethany School , later known as the Little Elam School, Little Elam Pilgrim School, Taylor Male Female Seminary (est. 1847), Woodburn School (est. 1886), a general merchandise store operated first by the Willcox family and later by H. C. Bourne. Prominent area homes, have included the home of H. C. Bourne, now known as Indian Fields Tavern, Auburn, Buckland, River Edge, Colesville, which served as Grant’s headquarters and Woodburn, the home built by John Tyler in 1813 and later owned by Judge Isaac Christian. The homes of Indian Fields, Center Farm, Buckland, the home of James M. Willcox, formerly stood in this vicinity.
WAYSIDE & GRANVILLE :
Wayside was settled after 1613 as part of West and Sherly Hundred. Landmarks have included St. John’s Church , established in 1897 by the Rev. John Jones, a post office at Shirley and the Shirley Mill. In 1921 the Wayside Community Club assisted in erecting a new building for the Wayside School (est. 1893). Two earlier schools in the area were closed following the Nat Turner Insurrection. Prominent area homes include Dogham, Eppes Island , High Hills, Shirley, Upper Shirley, Riverview and Westberry. In this area stood the Forest , “The Wedding Place” of Thomas Jefferson and Martha Wayles Skelton. Granville, once known as Mt. Prospect , was served by the post offices of Granville Mills (1804- 22), Malvern (1836) and Hardens (1877-85). Landmarks have included the Haxall Saw Mill, Gill’s Store, Grace Chapel (est. 1890) of Westover Parish, Granville School , Millwood School and the Kings Daughters Fresh Air Camp. Prominent area homes include Granville and Hardens.
WEYANOKE & PARRISH HILL:
The Weanoc Indians gave this area its name. The Minge family settled much of the Weyanoke peninsula during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Landmarks have included Weyanoke Parish Church, Tyler’s Mill, a steamboat landing, a post office at Yeardley’s and St. Thomas Chapel (1845-1922) of Westover Parish, better known as Mapsico Church, the second sanctuary being built in 1856. Prominent area homes include Kittiewan, North Bend , Upper Weyanoke and Weyanoke. The Parrish Hill community, also known as Jamestown , developed along the creek named for the Parrish family. Community landmarks have included Parrish Hill Church (est. 1873) and Parrish Hill School (est. 1874) whose 1917 building was constructed with the assistance of the Rosenwald Fund. Area homes have included Edge Hill and Burlington , built by the Major family, and later the home of John Munford Gregory, governor of Virginia (1842-43). The area also includes the archaeological landmark site of the home of Aaron Hilton, a freedman known for his knowledge of the care of sheep.