The Historic City of Petersburg, VA

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The historic nature of Petersburg, VA and yet another reason why you should consider purchasing a home in the City of Petersburg, VA during your home search....

Petersburg, Virginia


Petersburg, Virginia CountryState Founded  - Mayor  - City  - Land  - Water  - CityTime zone  - Summer (DST) ZIP codesArea code(s)FIPS codeGNIS ID Website
-  City  -
Downtown Petersburg

Nickname(s): The Cockade City
Location in the State of Virginia
Coordinates: 37°12′46″N 77°24′1″W / 37.21278°N 77.40028°W / 37.21278; -77.40028
United States
December 17, 1748
Annie M. Mickens
23.2 sq mi (60.1 km2)
22.9 sq mi (59.3 km2)
0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2)
Elevation 134 ft (40 m)
Population (2004)
 Density 1,411.9/sq mi (545.2/km2)
 Metro 1,126,262

Petersburg is an independent city in Virginia, United States located on the Appomattox River and 23 miles (37 km) south of the state capital city of Richmond. The city's unique industrial past and its location combined to create wealth for Virginia and the region. The city's population was 33,740 as of the 2000 census, predominantly of African-American ethnicity.

The location on the Appomattox River at the fall line (head-of-navigation of the U.S. east coast rivers) early in the history in the Colony of Virginia caused Petersburg to become a strategic place for both transportation and commercial activities, as well as the site of Fort Henry. As railroads emerged beginning in the 1830s, it became a major transfer point for both north-south and east-west competitors. The Petersburg Railroad was one of the earliest predecessors of the modern-day CSX Transportation (CSX) system. Several of the earliest predecessors of the area's other major Class 1 railroad, Norfolk Southern (NS), also met at Petersburg.

Seen by Union leaders as key to the fall of the Confederate capital city of Richmond (due to the railroad network), during the American Civil War (1861-65), it was the site of nine months of trench warfare known as the Siege of Petersburg. There are many battlefield sites throughout the city and adjacent areas. At about this time, Petersburg became home to one of the oldest free black settlements in the state at "Pocahontas Island." In the post-Bellum period, largely through the funding efforts of former Confederate General, railroader, and legislator William Mahone, an historically black college which later became Virginia State University (VSU) was established in nearby Ettrick in Chesterfield County. Also nearby, Richard Bland College, a junior college was established originally as a branch of Williamsburg's College of William and Mary.

Among the city's significant properties is Battersea, a Palladian-style house (built 1767-1768) which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), as is Petersburg National Battlefield. Numerous historic properties and districts are associated with the downtown area and Pocahontas Island along the river became a National Historic District. Two Baptist churches in the city, founded in the early 19th century, are among the oldest black churches in the nation.[3] In the 20th century, these and other black churches were leaders in the national Civil Rights Movement that achieved historic legislation for civil and voting rights.

Although the river is no longer navigable, Petersburg remains a transportation hub. In the 1950s, it was the southern terminus of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, predating the U.S. Interstate Highway System A network of area highways include U.S. Interstate Highways 85, 95, and 295, and U.S. highways 1, 301, and 460. Both CSX and NS rail systems maintain transportation centers at Petersburg.

In the early 21st century, Petersburg leaders were stressing its historical attractions and industrial sites with access to an exceptionally wide transportation network as economic growth areas, joining substantial expansion of activities at nearby Fort Lee, home of the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army.

Reposted from the following source:,_Virginia