Charles City County, Virginia is conveniently located between Williamsburg and Richmond. The Native American influences, colonial history and natural beauty make Charles City County a unique and attractive place to live. Hundreds of years before the first Europeans settled in Charles City County Algonquian speaking native peoples migrated from the North to the Charles City region. Around 1613 settlements began to appear on the shores of the James River. Tobacco plantations grew and during the 1600’s and 1700’s African slaves were brought to the Charles City County. This began a strong influence of African culture on the region. In the 1800’s slavery ended and the Civil War brought many changes to the lives of Charles City County residents. Logging, fishing and small-scale farming were the main livelihood of the county until the 1900’s. Although in modern times few residents still live off the land, water or forests, Charles City County still has a strong tie to the land and the history that has been made on Charles City soil.
European, African and Native American: The People of Charles City County
Until the European settlers sailed down the James River in the early 1600’s Charles City County was home to the Chickahominy, Paspahegh and Weyanock tribes. The Chickahominy Tribe is the second largest tribe in Virginia with approximately 800 members. The Tribal Center is a meeting place for the tribal members and the community lives mainly on a high ridge near the river. Tribal families also own 5-acre lots of farmland in close proximity the Tribal Center. A chief, two assistant chiefs, and Tribal Council comprised of both men and women lead the Chickahominy Tribe. Council members are elected and culture and traditions are passed from parent to child. Every year the Chickahominy host a Pow-Wow that includes traditional dress and tribal dances in the fall. Three to Five thousand visitors attend the annual event. There are also other events like the annual Crab Feast in October and Six Nations Pow-Wow in May. In 1618 the first African slaves arrived in the Charles City region. Charles City County became one of the first areas of America where European, African and Native American cultures interacted. During the last 400 years Charles City County residents have learned to build community together despite the painful and bloody collision of these three cultures. Local residents are proud of the contributions made by all of the ancestors that lived in Charles City throughout American history. There are millions of Americans whose bloodlines are linked to this area and Charles City County takes pride in this aspect of the community.
Coming Home: Relocation to Charles City County
There are many reasons residents choose to move to Charles City County. Many individuals and families are looking for a quality of life they can’t find in larger metropolitan cities in the area. Charles City County has an almost nonexistent crime rate and living in harmony with nature is essential. Rural living is popular and large tracks of land and homes built on larger properties are available. Private estates and affordable land for building can be found in the region. There are many opportunities for homebuyers interested in building or living green and fostering an environmentally friendly lifestyle. In close proximity to Charles City County one finds all of the exciting shopping and entertainment choices associated with areas like Williamsburg, Norfolk, Richmond and even Virginia Beach. Charles City County offers the best of both worlds for homebuyers interested in escaping to a more rural and relaxed setting but want easy access to the cultural, social and professional power of bigger towns and cities.
The Waters of Charles City County: The James and Chickahominy Rivers
Charles City County Virginia is a rural paradise similar to what the settlers found 400 years ago. Perfectly located between the bustling excitement of metropolitan areas to the East and West, Charles City County is home to many varieties of birds, wildlife and plant species. Charles City County does not have any stoplights and has a small population, but nature is plentiful and enjoyable. Residents of the region can hike, fish, bird watch, bike, canoe, hunt or visit historical locations. In the county 204 square miles of land are bounded by the James River on the south and the Chickahominy River on the east and north. Turkey Island Creek borders the west.
The Gift of Nature in Charles City County: Outdoor Recreation
Residents of Charles City County love outdoor recreation. The natural beauty of the woods and rivers are a large part of the quality of life families and individuals living in the county cherish. The Charles City County Recreation Center serves county residents by providing a Social Center that houses a kitchen, swimming and wading pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields, playgrounds and picnic shelters. The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network connects more than 140 museums, parks, refuges, historic sites and water trails around the Chesapeake watershed. The Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area is 5,217 acres bordering the Chickahominy River of woodlands, tidal creeks and marsh. Harrison Park, a 19-acre community athletic park, features a bike and jogging trail, picnic pavilion, small shelters, tennis courts, football/soccer field, basketball court and playground. Residents can also visit the Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park, a 24-acre site on the James River with a picnic area, comfort station, fishing pier, wooded trails and short swamp boardwalk, is home to blue heron and eagles. The U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery? is a 400-acre site that includes a 90-acre lake accessible to fishing. Organizations such as the James River Association, the Kittiewan Wildlife Preserve and the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences work to protect the James River, Virginia’s largest aquatic ecosystem and one of the most important rivers on the east coast.
Caring for the Land: The Life of Farmers in Charles City County
Charles City farmers are known for their commitment to acting as good stewards of the land they live and work on. Farmers in the region are responsible for developing leading technology to control runoff from grain cultivation. Ninety percent of crop acreage in the county is part of a never-till cropping system. This system virtually eradicates erosion even during heavy rainfall and is part of a long term strategy to sustain a healthy Chesapeake Bay.
Community Services in Charles City County
The community of Charles City County has access to a wide variety of services and activities from the Boy Scouts of America to the Chares City Athletic Association to the Charles City County Center for Local History. Clubs and social groups of all kinds offer a way for residents to interact and participate in hobbies and projects together. Charles City County is also home to a professional Volunteer Firer Department, which provides Emergency Medical Treatment as well. The Heritage Public Library, open to all residents of Charles City County, hosts a wonderful collection of books, tapes and videos. Computers with Internet are also available to library cardholders.
For more information about Charles City County please visit http://www.charlescity.org/. For more information about real estate, investment property or relocation to Charles City County please contact Elaine.