Mathews County

Mathews County (HM1F36)

Location: North, VA 23128 Mathews County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 28.016', W 76° 26.685'

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Historic Sites

Mathews County has numerous historic sites that reflect a rich history dating to the first English settlement early in the 1640s. Formed in 1791 from the Kingston Parish section of Gloucester County, Mathews County is named for Gen. Thomas Mathews, then speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.

The courthouse square in the Mathews County seat features two original jails, the court house, and the clerk's office. The Confederate monument was erected in 1912. Tompkins Cottage and Thomas James Store, two of the oldest buildings in the courthouse area, are nearby.

New Point Comfort Lighthouse is the third oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned it in 1804. The 55-foot-high octagonal structure sits on an island that was separated from the mainland during the hurricane of 1933.

Kingston Parish was established in 1652 and managed both ecclesiastical and civil affairs. The church, built early in the 1700s, had fallen into ruins by 1841. It was restored as Christ Church through the efforts of Capt. Sally Tompkins's sister Elizabeth. Both women are buried in the churchyard. Christ Church was rebuilt following a fire in 1904; its rector then was the Rev. Giles Cooke, a former member of Gen. Robert E. Lee's staff during the war.

In July 1776, Gwynn's Island was the scene of the Battle of Cricket Hill, where Gen. Andrew Lewis and Virginia militia forced the royal governor, Lord Dunmore, to abandon Virginia. Gwynn's Island, as well as Williams Wharf and Fitchett's Wharf, illustrate Mathews County's shipbuilding and seafaring traditions.

(upper left) Mathews Court House Confederate Monument, photo ca. 1912
(lower right) New Point Comfort Lighthouse, photo ca. 1885
(upper right) Kingston Parish Church, painting ca. 1850
All images courtesy Mathews County Historical Society
HM NumberHM1F36
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Year Placed2014
Placed ByVirginia Civil WarTrails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 3:14pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 372238 N 4147652
Decimal Degrees37.46693333, -76.44475000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 28.016', W 76° 26.685'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 28' 0.96" N, 76° 26' 41.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1140-1198 Windsor Rd, North VA 23128, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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