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Isle of Wight County
Area 314 Square Miles
One of the original Shires formed in 1634. Its name was at first Warrascoyack, changed in 1637 to Isle of Wight. Of the oldest churches in the United States is in this county.
Founded about 1643 and formerly known as Chuckatuck Church. The present building, the third on or near the site was built in 1755 and is the second oldest church building in Nansemond County. Renamed St. Johns Church in 1828.
In 1868, the formerly enslaved Rev. Israel Cross founded Mount Sinai Baptist Church in a log building here on Benjamin Howell's land. He allegedly never closed a sermon without saying, "Buy some land, build a home, and get some education." In 1871…
The first Ruritan Club was founded here in Holland, Va., on May 21, 1928. Ruritan is an organization of rural leaders striving through community service, fellowship and good will to make the rural community a better place in which to live.
James Bowser, a free African American born in Nansemond County about 1763, was one of many black Virginians who served in the army or navy of the United States during the Revolutionary War. He enlisted in the 1st Virginia Regiment of the Continent…
On 10 May 1779, during the Revolutionary War, a British expeditionary force commanded by Gen. Edward Matthews disembarked in Portsmouth to capture the major Tidewater Virginia towns. About 200 Nansemond County militia under Col. Willis Riddick imm…
William Byrd II visited the swamp, just to the south, in 1728 while he was surveying the boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina. Byrd, and later George Washington, advocated construction of a canal through the swamp. Washington and his …
Before 1781 John Yeates established two free schools in this neighborhood, one on each side of Bennetts Creek. By his will September 18th 1781, he left his property for the use of these schools. They continued until 1861 and were sold in 1866 unde…
Three miles east, Benedict Arnold, returning from his Richmond raid, crossed the river there, January 16, 1781; Cornwallis, going to Portsmouth, crossed there in July 1781.
Hobson is an example of an African American oystering village that developed during the last quarter of the 19th century on the James River, the Chesapeake Bay and their tributaries. As in other watermen communities, people also farmed and worked …