One of Virginia’s Most Historic Counties
The artifacts and exhibits in the Prince George County Regional Heritage Center tell the story of the county from its earliest beginnings to the present day. Founded in 1702, the county’s borders originally stretched to North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to being noteworthy for its large land area, Prince George has produced many fascinating people and possesses a rich and immersive history.
Native son, Edmund Ruffin was a noted scientist and agriculturalist who is credited with new farming methods that saved farmland throughout the region. Ruffin was also an ardent secessionist who was present at Fort Sumpter when the first shot of the Civil War was fired. During that war, much of what now comprises the city of Petersburg and Dinwiddie County was within the borders of Prince George. Much of the fighting in the Petersburg Campaign occurred on Prince George County soil. The “Beefsteak Raid”, a daring cavalry attack orchestrated by Confederate General Wade Hampton to capture 2,500 head of cattle from the Union Army, took place along the shores of the James River in Prince George. This epic story and others like it are represented and related in the Heritage Center by illustrative and explanatory artifacts and exhibits.
The Center’s exhibits tell the fascinating story of the County’s history from prehistoric, through first inhabitants to 20th century immigration, and all of the wars that have touched its soils. African-American history, Czech and Slovak heritage, religions, education, many generations, all represented and presented in the Heritage Center state-of-the art exhibits and programs. Located in the 1883 courthouse, the old courtroom is also open to visitors.
Did You Know?
Prince George County is named after Prince George of Denmark, the consort of Queen Anne. Together they ruled Great Britain until his death in 1708.