Henrico County Historical Society
PO Box 90775   Henrico, VA 23273   (804)501-5682   hchsinfo@yahoo.com
Open by appointment only

Henrico County Historical Society's motto, which is Preserving the Past in the Present for the FutureSkipwith Academy in Three Chopt District, Henrico County, Virginia.Log Cabin in Tuckahoe District, Henrico County, Virginia.Mankin Mansion in Fairfield District, Henrico County, Virginia.Dorey Barn in Varina District, Henrico County, Virginia.Bethlehem Church in Brookland District, Henrico County, Virginia.

Henrico County




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Varina District

Henrico County consists of five magisterial districts: Brookland, Fairfield, Three Chopt, Tuckahoe, and Varina.

In 1610, John Rolfe came to America and settled on what is now known as Varina Farm. In route to Virginia, Rolfe had landed on the Bermuda Island and took great interest in the type of tobacco grown there. When he arrived in Virginia, he began cultivating a type of tobacco that was a cross between Indian tobacco and Bermuda tobacco. The end result was a tobacco crop that was very similar to tobacco being grown in the Spanish Varinas. Rolfe named his tobacco plantation Varina, because of this similarity. It was there that he lived with his wife Pocahontas, the Indian Princess. The Indian Massacre of 1622 ended the settlement of Henricus and a tiny village grew up on Rolfe's Plantation called Varina or Henrico Parish. Varina was the first County seat of Henrico and the first courthouse was built there. Originally the name Varina denoted an area of some 18 by 25 miles in measurement. Later, when this area became known simply as Henrico, Varina usually referred to the farm. General "Dutch" Butler, a Union commander during the Civil War, set up his headquarters in Varina while he tried to cut a canal through Dutch Gap. Varina was also a place for prisoner exchange between the North and the South during the war, but then it was called Aiken's Landing.

Varina District Map, Henrico County, Virginia.

   Varina District Historic Sites:

Highland Springs Historic District:

The Varina District also includes the Highland Springs Historic District. The website describes:

"The Highland Springs Historic District is located along Nine Mile Road about 4 miles east of the City of Richmond and is composed of 1,400 properties, including 15 blocks of the Nine Mile Road commercial corridor and surrounding residential properties. Development of the residential area began in 1890 with the purchase of a large tract of farmland by Edmund S. Read and the construction of an electric trolley line from Richmond to Seven Pines National Cemetery. The majority of the houses in the district are single family dwellings dating to the period starting just after World War I and up to the mid-twentieth century and represent a variety of residential architectural styles. The district also includes commercial and community buildings, a water tower, seven undeveloped park preserves, and Bonanza Springs, one of the many springs in the district that inspired the community's name."

Recognizing the area's unique history and intact architectural character, Henrico County requested and substantially funded listing of the district in the Virginia Landmarks Register in late 2017 and the National Register of Historic Places in May 2018."

The Architectural Styles page describes some of the architectural details common to chronological eras of when Henrico County's structures were built.

(County of Henrico)

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