"A small city with a large place in history" Petersburg by b1bob
Petersburg Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 52 photos
Petersburg is at a strategic location at the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers. The Appomattox River was a transportation lifeline for central Virginia in the early 17th Century: English settlements spread slowly up the James River from Jamestown. By 1643, the English first settled this area and called it Bristol Parish. The colonial government established a fortress at the falls of the Appomattox and named it Fort Henry, from whence Petersburg would later develop first as a launching point for trade expeditions to the west and then as a tobacco warehouse centre.
Petersburg is mainly remembered for its siege during the War Between the States, but the city also played a key role in the Revolution. Petersburg was where Lord Cornwallis met with General Phillips and decided to march to Yorktown. As the 19th Century went on, the city expanded along the river between the fortress and the market area. Tobacco remained the cash crop and the advances of transport (canals, steamboats, and railroad) added to the region's industrial growth.
Due to its location at the confluence of two rivers and its importance in transport, Petersburg was critical to the outcome of the War Between the States. General Grant believed that if he could capture Petersburg, Richmond would soon fall. It took ten months to capture, but once it fell, Richmond quickly followed suit.
Since its founding early in Virginia's history, Petersburg has been the gateway to and a centre of activity for the whole of Southside Virginia. It is large enough (as of 2000: round about 38000) to offer all the goods and services the region needs, but small enough to keep its small-town Southern charm. For me personally, I must have passed by here hundreds of times on the way to Southside Virginia, but I almost never stopped. In mid-October, 2008, I took my first in-depth look together with David "Karnubawax". A year and a half later, I brought Jimmy "brazilnut30" here to do basically the same thing, but with a few different things.
This page will also contain a few tips from nearby Hopewell and Colonial Heights.
- Pros:The historical old town has been restored to its former glory.
- Cons:Outside the tourist area, crime is a big problem.
- In a nutshell:Petersburg is a great historic area that still has a long way to go.
When you tour Petersburg, visit the Siege Museum first. When you purchase your tickets for that, get the Fort Henry... more travel advice
The Brick House Run pub, at the bottom of the Friend House at Cockade Alley and Bollingbrook Street, was substantially... more travel advice
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