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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Visit Charles City County and the Charles City County Historic Courthouse

Photo credit: Mojo Hand

Location: Courthouse Road / Watermelon Fields Road
Built: 1740
Style: Federal
Architect: Unknown
Contractor: Unknown

Description: The building faces south and is a one story red colored brick laid in Flemish bond and wood structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Charles City on the north side of the courthouse. The building is “T” shaped. The south front has a porch supported by four pillars. The building has the original modillion cornice.The red colored tin roof is hipped. An addition was built in 1880 and in in 1893 by John Tyler. On the east side is the old Clerk’s Office.

Note: The courthouse is the fourth oldest courthouse in the United States. The oldest courthouse is located in King William County, VA (1725). The second oldest courthouse is in Salem County, New Jersey (1735). The third oldest is in Hanover County, VA (1737). The fifth oldest is in Richmond County, VA (1748). Because the county records were destroyed during the Civil War, the construction date of the courthouse is uncertain. It is believed that the courthouse was built in the early 1730s or 1740s. The similarity between the brickwork with that of the courthouse at nearby Westover Plantation shows that the two buildings were constructed by the same builder.

SOURCE: American Courthouses |

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