9401 Courthouse Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832-6685
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Chesterfield County lies in east-central Virginia between the City of Richmond to the north, and the Petersburg-Colonial Heights area to the south. Chesterfield is included in the Richmond-Petersburg Metropolitan Area which, in 2000, had a total population of 965,115. Chesterfield's land area encompasses 446 square miles. The James River borders the county on the northeast and the Appomattox River, which divides the independent cities of Colonial Heights and Petersburg, forms the county's southern boundary.
Chesterfield County, Virginia was formed from Henrico County in 1749 and received its name from the Fourth Earl of Stanhope, England's famed Lord Chesterfield.
Chesterfield has historically been a leader in industry. Falling Creek was the birth place of two great American industries, iron and coal. The first iron furnace in the United States was built in Chesterfield. Opechancanough's Indians put an end to the Falling Creek iron works in the Great Massacre of 1622 in which iron workers and their families were killed and the iron furnace was destroyed. The iron works site remained a wilderness until 1928 when DuPont erected its $10 million fibers plant nearby.
The first recorded commercial coal mines in North America were operating in the northwestern part of the county by 1709. This is the first record in the United States of coal being mined for purposes other than local use.
The first train in Virginia, the gravity-mule-drawn Chesterfield railroad, hauled coal from the Midlothian area coal mines to the wharves on the James River in the Manchester area. While the railroad was hauling coal across the northern part of the county, Appomattox River water was a source of energy that turned the southern part of the county into a textile center. The Ettrick Manufacturing Company and the Matoaca Manufacturing Company (among the first cotton mills in the south) provided a livelihood for hundreds of people in the county.
In keeping with its historical past, Chesterfield County continues to embrace industry. Both new and existing industry in the county are encouraged to grow and expand. Chesterfield has been and continues to be a "First Choice Community" for business and industry.