Lifestyles & Community
Building on three centuries rich in history, culture, and economic success, Chesterfield County has become an ideal place to live, work, play and raise a family. With reverence towards the past, plans for the future, and a continuing attention to quality of life amenities, Chesterfield will continue to provide a healthy environment for businesses and families alike.
Opportunities abound for personal well-being in the area. Major medical facilities, cultural amenities, public libraries, a wide range of housing options, and a reasonable cost of living provide a quality of life that satisfies natives and newcomers alike.
Convenient Central Location
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 MSA. In 2016, the MSA had an estimated total population of nearly 1.3 million people. Chesterfield’s population is the largest in the area. Chesterfield’s land area encompasses 437 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.
Some History about Chesterfield
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.
An Exceptional Environment
For both residents and visitors, Chesterfield provides a healthy environment in which to work and play. An exceptional geographic location and efficient land use planning allow for a wide assortment of recreational and athletic activities. Chesterfield’s central location gives its residents easy access to both mountains and seashore. The Blue Ridge mountains are only an hour and a half to the west and Virginia beaches are just two hours east.
A temperate climate, free of seasonal extremes, makes Chesterfield a comfortable place to live and work. Four full seasons, with long springs and autumns, permit an active lifestyle during most of the year.
Comprehensive land use plans have preserved the natural beauty of the county while allowing progressive development of residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Long-range, transportation planning has created efficient highway and expressway systems, free of the gridlock and long commuting times that characterize other metropolitan areas.