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Henrico’s Milestones

Timeline of Henrico’s Milestones

1611 – Sir Thomas Dale established the second permanent English settlement Henrico, in honor of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of King James I.

1611 – Sir Thomas Dale established Henrico Parish Church at Henricus. Its first minister, Reverend Alexander Whitaker converted Pocahontas to Christianity.

1611-1614 – John Rolfe introduced the first successful English Colonial tobacco crop at Henricus.

1613 – Sir Thomas Dale established Bermuda Hundred, an incorporated town, and the first system of private land tenure in English America between 1611 and 1614.

1614, April 5 – Pocahontas married John Rolfe.

1622, March 22 – The beginning of the Anglo-Powhatan War.

1634 – Henrico designated as one of the eight original shires.

1676 – Bacon’s Rebellion: Nathaniel Bacon of Curles Neck led western settlers in raids against the Indians and Gov. Berkeley, who favored conciliation with the Indians. Bacon’s sudden death ended the rebellion and many of his followers were hanged.

1680 – Varina was established as a town and became the civil, judicial and ecclesiastical center of Henrico County. The town included the first courthouse and jail, dunking stool, tavern, ferry and racetrack.

1702 – First coal mined in Henrico at the Richmond Coal Basin.

1771 – Henrico Quaker and farmer John Pleasants, Sr. died. His will stated that his slaves be freed at age 30. Some of the freed slaves settled nearby on his son Robert’s land to form the Gravely Hill community, now known as Gravel Hill.

1776, June 6 – Work first began on Westham Foundry. Ordnance and ammunition production began in Feb. 1779 during the Revolutionary War; heavy artillery began the following month.

1776, Aug. 5 – Declaration of Independence was publicly proclaimed at the door of the Henrico Courthouse.

1779, June 12 – General Assembly voted to move capital from Williamsburg to Richmond, which was still under Henrico jurisdiction.

1782 – 1784 – John Marshall, U.S. Chief Justice from 1801-1835, represented Henrico County in the House of Delegates. Marshall owned Chickahominy Farm in Henrico.

1786 – Tuckahoe Creek coalfield was first discovered.

1800, Aug. 30 – Gabriel Prosser, a slave on Henrico’s plantation Brookfield and owned by Thomas Prosser, planned the largest slave rebellion to date.

1834 – The first railroad constructed through Henrico County, known as the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac (RF&P) was chartered.

1862, June 1 – Dabbs House in eastern Henrico is Gen. Robert E. Lee’s first headquarters as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.

1862, June 29 – Railroad artillery was first used in warfare in Henrico. A siege gun was mounted on a flat car behind a shield of rails and pushed by a locomotive. It was used again during the Battle of Savage’s Station.

1864, May 11 – The Battle of Yellow Tavern took place in western Henrico County. Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded.

1864, Sept. – The Battle of New Market Heights took place in eastern Henrico. The Medal of Honor was awarded to 16 Union soldiers for their bravery; 14 were African-American.

1865, April – Mayor Mayo of Richmond surrenders the city to Union forces near Tree Hill Plantation in eastern Henrico County.

1870 – Henrico County was divided into four townships, which later became districts.

1890 – Edmund Sewall Read founded the first streetcar suburb in Highland Springs.

1908 – Virginia Estelle Randolph became the nation’s first Jeanes Supervising Industrial Teacher; her teaching methods were copied worldwide. Born to former slaves, Randolph opened the Old Mountain Road School for black children in 1892 and later conducted the first Arbor Day program in Virginia.

1927, Oct. 15 – Byrd Field, named after famous aviator Richard E. Byrd, officially opened (now Richmond International Airport). Charles A. Lindbergh circled and landed the Spirit of St. Louis for the airport’s opening.

1934 – Exactly 300 years after becoming one of the original shires, Henrico became the only county in Virginia to adopt the county manager form of government.

1943, Nov. 26 – The U.S.S. Henrico was commissioned in full. The ship earned three battle stars in World War II, nine battle stars in the Korean War, and one campaign star in the Vietnam War.

1943-44 – During World War II, the U.S. Army took over Byrd Airfield. The 1896th Engineer Aviation Battalion built a decoy airfield near the small town of Elko.

1956 – Willow Lawn Shopping Center opened, making it the first shopping center in the Richmond Region.

1958 – African-American singer/songwriter Tommy Edwards of Henrico County released a No.1 hit, “It’s all in the Game.”

1962 – Plans for construction began for the Civil Defense Emergency Operating Center located at Dabbs House. It was completed in 1965.

1974, Dec. 2 -The courthouse at Parham and Hungary Springs roads was dedicated.

1981, March 21 – Judge F. Ballard Baker signed an order declaring the county immune from annexation.

1984, Dec. 12 – Board of Supervisors officially designated the current county seal designed by County Planning Administrator W. B. Wilkins. Described as “a circle containing the right profile of Pocahontas, Indian corn and tobacco plants with the following words: City 1611, Shire 1634, Manager 1934, County of Henrico, Virginia.”

1988, Dec. 13 – The Eastern Government Center on Nine Mile Road was dedicated.

2008, Oct. 1 – The U.S. Postal Service officially recognized Henrico, Va. as a mailing address.

2010, Sept 17 – Henrico County opens its first Tourist Information Center.

2011 – Henrico County celebrates its 400th anniversary.

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