Skip to main content

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

VA 47 and VA 40 run through Charlotte Court House.
 In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.
 
Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally named Charlotte Courthouse at the turn of the 20th Century.  However, that was not the last name change for the Charlotte County Seat.  In 1989, Charlotte Courthouse became Charlotte Court House, which it remains today.  Fittingly, there are still many listings of 'Charlotte Courthouse' today. 

The Charlotte County Courthouse built in 1823.
Charlotte Court House saw minimal action during the Civil War.  In June 1864, a Union foraging party entered the town after destroying rail lines in nearby Keysville, Meherinn Station and Burkeville Junction.  The brief Union occupation went rather uneventful and many residents were relieved when Union forces did not burn any parts of the town down.

Within the courtyard of the Charlotte County Courthouse sits a Veterans and Confederate Soldiers Memorial.

Today, Charlotte Court House is a charming small village that takes pride in their history.  There are numerous historical building within the town.  In addition to small inns, shops and restaurants.  In recent times, the 1993 movie "Sommersby" was shot here.

A small general store in Charlotte Court House.

Site Navigation:

Comments

Chris Brown said…
OMG! I am moved to see my home town talked about ANYWHERE! I LOVE THIS PLACE! I learned a few things too! Lol. Thank you for doing this.It makes my American heritage feel that much more American!

Popular posts from this blog

The New PA 48 - The Unbuilt Eastern Allegheny County Freeway

From the 1950's to the 1980's, there was a proposal to build a 4-lane expressway paralleling PA Route 48.  This proposed highway was officially known as the "North-South Parkway", but locally known as the "New 48".  Sadly, this route never came to be; however, it is the predecessor of another highway, The Mon-Fayette Expressway.  The "New 48" was a highly debated route that really never got beyond the planning stages.  There are very few remnants of construction left.

History:
Originally proposed in the post-war Pittsburgh, the "New 48" was a lot of talk, but it really never saw much work done.  Most of the discussion, planning, land acquisitions and right-of-way clearing occurred in the 1960s.  The "New 48" would also have gone by the term "North-South Parkway".  This was the term for the highway used in White Oak: A Master Plan done by the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Commission in 1960. (1)

The early 60s would see muc…

Hunting for forgotten history; Old US 99 in Fresno

Coming back from my Great Lakes Trip the other day I encountered this sign goof at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport which incorrectly displays US Route 99.





That little US 99 sign was the inspiration I needed to start tracking all the former alignments through the City of Fresno.  Fresno in general has had a huge shift in highway layouts over the decades which is something I intend to finish with California 41 and 180 perhaps later this month.  Based off my research I came with the following three maps progressing northward through Fresno showing every iteration of US 99 before it was downgraded to a State Highway in 1967.




Essentially the route alignment history of US Route 99 in Fresno is as follows.

1926-1930 Alignment 

Progressing northward into Fresno US Route 99 would have followed:

Railroad Avenue
-  Cherry Avenue
-  Broadway Street
-  Divisadero Street
-  H Street
-  Belmont Avenue
-  Golden State Avenue

1930-1934 Realignment off of Railroad Avenue

Sometime between 1930 to …

The William Flinn (not Flynn) Highway - Pittsburgh's Misspelled Street

For decades if you traveled along PA Route 8 in Pittsburgh's North Hills suburbs, you would have noticed signs that read "William Flynn Highway" at every intersection.  Even today, many businesses and residences have their addresses listed as XXXX William Flynn Highway.  However, it's not William Flynn Highway, it is William FLINN Highway - and the gentleman who it is named for has a long and storied past in Pittsburgh's infrastructure history.

William Flinn was born in England in 1851; however later that year, his family emigrated to the United States and would settle in Pittsburgh.  A 10 year-old school drop out, Flinn grew interested in politics and would join the Allegheny County Republican Party in 1877 as a ward commissioner and a seat on the Board of Fire Commissioners.  Flinn would serve in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and Senate from 1877 to 1902. (1)

Flinn along with James J. Booth would found the Booth and Flinn construction firm in …