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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Charles City in Charles City County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Three Courthouse Essentials

 
 
Three Courthouse Essentials Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 28, 2009
1. Three Courthouse Essentials Marker
Inscription. A clerk’s office, jail and tavern were located at every courthouse. The purpose of the clerk’s office and the jail are obvious, but can you guess why the tavern was just as essential? In the colonial era courts met infrequently, and lawyers and litigants often traveled song distances to attend. Without a tavern those attending court would have had no place to dine or lodge during the days of the court session.

The original clerk’s office was replaced in 1901 with the building that now houses the visitor information center. It was an example of early fireproof construction designed to protect the county’s important legal records. For many years it was the county’s only office building where even the Board of Supervisors held its meetings.

(sidebar)
Discovery Center
The tavern was a gathering place for lawyers. Can you find the tavern bill for a former Virginia Governor?
John Major Tavern & Lodging Account, 1794.Courtesy Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
 
Erected by Charles City Courthouse, Waste Management.
 
Location. 37° 20.5′ N, 77° 4.338′ W. Marker is in Charles City, Virginia, in Charles City
Charles City County Courthouse & Clerk's Office. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 28, 2009
2. Charles City County Courthouse & Clerk's Office.
The Clerk's Office is now a Visitor Information Center.
County. Marker is at the intersection of Courthouse Road (Virginia Route 155) and Watermelon Fields Road on Courthouse Road. Click for map. The marker is on the lawn of the old Charles City Courthouse. Marker is in this post office area: Charles City VA 23030, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Shifting Ground (a few steps from this marker); America’s 3rd Oldest Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Eye Witness to a Revolution (a few steps from this marker); Charles City C. H. (approx. 0.2 miles away); New Hope & Court House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Greenway (approx. 0.6 miles away); North Bend (approx. 1.2 miles away); Kittiewan and Doctor Rickman (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Charles City.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a "Robert K. Sneeden watercolor of Charles City tavern, 1862. The tavern above was built at the same time as the courthouse, but was lost to fire during the Civil War. Courtesy Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia."
On the lower right is a period photo of "The Charles City jail, photographed June 13, 1864, had a second-story debtor’s room and an exercise yard. Courtesy Library of Congress."
 
Categories. Antebellum South, USNotable Buildings
 
John Tyler marker near the Clerk's Office. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, March 28, 2009
3. John Tyler marker near the Clerk's Office.
To commemorate the efforts of John Tyler, native son, President of the United States 1841-1845. Chairman of the Peace Convention, 1861. To preserve the Union and to prevent war between the states. Erected 1961.
Charles City Court House, Virginia. View of jail. image. Click for full size.
By Timothy H. O'Sullivan, June 13, 1864
4. Charles City Court House, Virginia. View of jail.
Library of Congress LC-B811-0779
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 711 times since then and 70 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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