A Great Place to Live!

Chesterfield County has been named the "17th Best Place to Live in America." The County is bordered by two rivers, the James River and the Appomattox River.

Chesterfield County played an important role in the history of Virginia and the United States. From being the location of an English colony in 1607, to the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, Chesterfield County has been an important place.  Chesterfield County is in the greater Metropolitan Richmond, Virginia area.  The population is just over 300,000 people, which makes it the third largest county in the state of Virginia.

Since 2000, the county has grown by over ten percent.  This is very large growth, and it is because the County has become a very desirable place to live.  There is a wonderful quality of life which includes parks, schools, cultural activities and history. 

The county seat is Chesterfield. Much of the northern part of the County is considered part of metro Richmond's South Side.  Towns and communities include Bellwood, Bensley, Bermuda Hundred, Bon Air, Centralia, Chester, Chesterfield Court House, Enon, Ettrick, Matoaca, Meadowbrook, Midlothian, Mosley and Winterpock.

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History
Originally the area was occupied by Native American Indians.  In the 1600's, English settlers began to settle in the area.  Chesterfield County was formed in 1749 by the Virginia General Assembly.  Chesterfield County is named after a former British Secretary of State, Philip Stanhope, fourth Earl of Chesterfield.   Chesterfield cigarettes were named after the county, since this was an important tobacco area.

Coal was mined in Midlothian in the 18th century. The Manchester Turnpike toll road was the first gravel road of length in Virginia, in 1807.  The Chesterfield Railroad was the first railroad in Virginia, transporting coal from mines in 1831.  The Powhite Parkway Extension was built and opened in 1988. Pocahontas Parkway, also known as State Route 895, connects the junction of Interstate 95 and State Route 150 in Chesterfield County.  

In 2005 the Borough of Gravesham in Kent, England agreed to a community link with Chesterfield County. Gravesend, on the River Thames, is where Princess Pocahontas was buried after she had died on board a ship in the river.


Historic photo of the Skinquarter House in
Chesterfield County, Virginia

Historic photo of Dunlop Mills, South Richmond,
Chesterfield County, Virginia

Schools
Chesterfield County Public Schools is the local school system, and has received the U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Award.

Parks and Recreation
The Chesterfield County Department of Parks and Recreation manages more than thirty public parks which include over three thousand acres of green space, sports complexes, and playing fields.

Pocahontas State Park is a 7000 acre park just five miles from the Chesterfield County Courthouse.   The park has picnic shelters, a heritage center and an amphitheater complex, which are available for meetings, conferences and special events. The park also has a swimming pool, boating, bicycling, hiking, and individual and group camping. Pocahontas State Park is considered one of the top ten campsites in the United States.

An 1817 plantation house named Castlewood is home to The Chesterfield Historical Society. Castlewood has a five part building plan that bears no likeness to any other recorded dwelling in Virginia. 

Magnolia Grange is a Federal style plantation house built in 1822. It was named for the circle of magnolia trees that once graced its front lawn. Today it is a house museum that interprets life at a 19th century country plantation and home to the Chesterfield Historical Society gift shop.

Archives image of the estate known as Ampthill, Richmond vicinity, Chesterfield County, Virginia

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Countywebsite.com 2008