County Offices
10900 Courthouse Road
Charles City 804-829-9201

Chamber of Commerce
201 E. Franklin Street
Richmond 804-648-1234

One of the original shires created in 1634 by the General Assembly of Virginia, Charles City County now provides many unique areas and residential choices. For example, historic Ruthville was originally founded by free Blacks prior to the American Revolution. This welcoming community still takes pride in its character as a small and closely knit neighborhood of friendly residents who enjoy family-oriented activities that are often centered around church and school events.

Along the Route 5 corridor, newcomers will discover some of the South’s most gracious and historic plantations. Included are well-known tourist attractions such as Belle Air, Berkeley, Evelynton, Shirley, and North Bend plantations. Bed and breakfast inns and popular restaurants in this charming area dot the peaceful countryside that is now included on the Civil War Trails. Located to the south and east of Richmond, Charles City County showcases a breathtakingly beautiful landscape of forests and rivers. The region is bordered by the Chickahominy River to the east and north and the James River to the south and west. This water-rich environment makes Charles City County an ideal location for facilities like the Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery. It also ensures an abundance of first-rate water sports and opportunities for boating and fishing. Only seven miles along the county’s border is actually connected to land—the section that touches neighboring Henrico County. In addition to the beauty of waterways, nearly 75 percent of the county’s land mass is heavily wooded.


Charles City County serves as a tranquil “bedroom community” for the majority of its residents. Approximately 80 percent of the working population are employed by companies that operate outside the county borders. Major employers within the county include communications, public utilities, transportation, government, manufacturers, and a rapidly growing service sector. Most famous for its historic plantations, Charles City County has always enjoyed a brisk revenue from tourism. The region’s potential has not escaped the attention of business and industry, evidenced by the development of the 160-acre Roxbury Industrial Park that is nestled in the northwest section of the county. Just five minutes from Interstate 64 and a 15-minute drive from the Richmond International Airport, this business center enjoys ideal transportation amenities. The CSX rail line traverses the region, and Charles City claims its own port.

Although the Charles City Medical Center in Ruthville provides residents with basic medical and dental services, more than 20 hospitals are scattered throughout the Richmond and Petersburg metropolitan areas. The nationally acclaimed research hospitals of Richmond, Southside Medical Center in Petersburg, and Williamsburg Community Hospital in Williamsburg are all available within a reasonable drive from home for a full complement of services.

Area youth receive a quality education in Charles City County Schools, where the strong core curriculum combines with a variety of extracurricular activities and special programs for gifted and challenged students. The opportunities for vocational, technical, and career training are abundant in the Metropolitan Richmond area. An outstanding selection of universities and colleges, both public and private, are located  within an easy commute. Among the many possibilities are the University of Richmond, the Virginia Commonwealth University, the College of William and Mary in nearby Williamsburg, and Virginia State University in Petersburg.


The unique region we know today as Charles City County represents a veritable treasure trove of historic findings and discoveries, where the secrets of the ages have been remarkably preserved. The county’s nearly 300 archaeological sites continue to provide important data regarding the development of early man and Native American culture as well as the introduction of Europeans and African-Americans into the New World. The exhausting research and painstaking digs in this region have led experts to the discovery that the peninsula was actually inhabited as long ago as 8,000 B.C. Sites like Weyanoke and Eppes Island have preserved the traces of ancient civilizations from prehistoric and Middle Archaic periods.

Our own nation’s connection with this area began with John Smith’s visit shortly after his arrival in Jamestown. Colonists were soon to follow. Rich in natural resources, this vast acreage of riverfront and woodland offered timber for homes and open space for crops. In fact, many of the region’s residents actually descended from yeoman farmers, indentured servants, slaves, free Blacks, and Native Americans who once fished the rivers and tilled the soil. This intimate connection with the past explains why Charles City County residents are so committed to preserving the area’s historic and environmental legacy.

The remnants of yesterday that are scattered throughout the county reach beyond the Revolutionary era to the Civil War. Among the many sites attached to this tragic hour in American history is the all-but-forgotten Fort Pocahontas, where 1,500 United States African-American troops soundly defeated an attack by 2,500 Confederate troops under the command of Major General Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of General Robert E. Lee.

Newcomers will find a friendly community dedicated to maintaining a fine balance in every aspect of life. Reverence for the past is balanced against the needs of the present and a vision for the future. The relaxed pace and friendliness of rural living is balanced against growth and progress. The Charles City Social Center — serving as a focal point of community activities and events — was built on county land that hosted fairs and social events for decades. The social center complex combines with area parks to offer a swimming pool, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, softball fields, soccer/football fields, jogging trails, and biking paths. A local favorite is the Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park, a waterside park with picnic areas, fishing pier, and trails with observation decks. Even more options for outdoor enjoyment are available at the Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area, providing a full 5,300 acres of property for public hunting, boating, fishing, hiking, and nature study.

Homes in Charles City County range from vintage older models in long-established residential neighborhoods to fine estates surrounded by ancient trees and greenery. If your dream home is not on the market when you arrive, the county offers abundant options for expansive lots and new custom homes. Wherever you choose to settle, you will enjoy a dimension of tranquility that seems all but lost in today’s fast-paced world. Few locales in the nation can offer the quality of life you’ll discover in this serene retreat, where the chirp of birds and crickets replace the din of city traffic.

In spite of its rural flavor and charm, the county is just 30 miles from Richmond, 15 miles from Hopewell and the Tri-City area, and 25 miles from Williamsburg. When you consider the area’s good schools, country atmosphere, and unspoiled beauty, it is little wonder that Charles City County planners are preparing for the inevitable growth and expansion that will continue for decades.

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