The unique region we know today as Charles City County represents a veritable treasure trove of historic findings and discoveries, where the secrets of the ages have been remarkably preserved. The county’s nearly 300 archaeological sites continue to provide important data regarding the development of early man and Native American culture as well as the introduction of Europeans and African-Americans into the New World. The exhausting research and painstaking digs in this region have led experts to the discovery that the peninsula was actually inhabited as long ago as 8,000 B.C. Sites like Weyanoke and Eppes Island have preserved the traces of ancient civilizations from prehistoric and Middle Archaic periods.
Our own nation’s connection with this area began with John Smith’s visit shortly after his arrival in Jamestown. Colonists were soon to follow. Rich in natural resources, this vast acreage of riverfront and woodland offered timber for homes and open space for crops. In fact, many of the region’s residents actually descended from yeoman farmers, indentured servants, slaves, free Blacks, and Native Americans who once fished the rivers and tilled the soil. This intimate connection with the past explains why Charles City County residents are so committed to preserving the area’s historic and environmental legacy.
The remnants of yesterday that are scattered throughout the county reach beyond the Revolutionary era to the Civil War. Among the many sites attached to this tragic hour in American history is the all-but-forgotten Fort Pocahontas, where 1,500 United States African-American troops soundly defeated an attack by 2,500 Confederate troops under the command of Major General Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of General Robert E. Lee.
Newcomers will find a friendly community dedicated to maintaining a fine balance in every aspect of life. Reverence for the past is balanced against the needs of the present and a vision for the future. The relaxed pace and friendliness of rural living is balanced against growth and progress. The Charles City Social Center — serving as a focal point of community activities and events — was built on county land that hosted fairs and social events for decades. The social center complex combines with area parks to offer a swimming pool, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, softball fields, soccer/football fields, jogging trails, and biking paths. A local favorite is the Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park, a waterside park with picnic areas, fishing pier, and trails with observation decks. Even more options for outdoor enjoyment are available at the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area, providing a full 5,300 acres of property for public hunting, boating, fishing, hiking, and nature study.
Homes in Charles City County range from vintage older models in long-established residential neighborhoods to fine estates surrounded by ancient trees and greenery. If your dream home is not on the market when you arrive, the county offers abundant options for expansive lots and new custom homes. Wherever you choose to settle, you will enjoy a dimension of tranquility that seems all but lost in today’s fast-paced world. Few locales in the nation can offer the quality of life you’ll discover in this serene retreat, where the chirp of birds and crickets replace the din of city traffic.
In spite of its rural flavor and charm, the county is just 30 miles from Richmond, 15 miles from Hopewell and the Tri-City area, and 25 miles from Williamsburg. When you consider the area’s good schools, country atmosphere, and unspoiled beauty, it is little wonder that Charles City County planners are preparing for the inevitable growth and expansion that will continue for decades.