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

Urbanna, Virginia

The Museum in the Streets®

Urbanna, Virginia Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, November 25, 2021
1. Urbanna, Virginia Marker
Welcome to Urbanna, Virginia
Along this walking tour you will find illustrated panels presenting many lively stories and facts about the town, its buildings, its residents and their lives. Urbanna's origin goes back to June 1680, when Virginia's Colonial Assembly's Act of Cohabitation encouraged the establishment of 19 tobacco port-of-entry towns throughout the colony. The act specified that each county set aside 50 acres for a port and market town and authorized payment of 10,000 pounds of tobacco for payment for the land to Ralph Wormeley of Rosegill. The establishment of Urbanna, however, was delayed as Wormeley accpeted for the land but discouraged development by sending his slaves across the creek to dissuade surveyors and settlers. After 25 years, on October 23, 1705, the Assembly in Williamsburg officially created a town in Middlesex County, naming it Urbanna, meaning "City of Anne" in Latin to honor the reigning Queen Anne of England. Within the town a custom house and public tobacco warehouses were established and built to inspect, register and store tobacco. The town prospered during the Colonial period as tobacco
Urbanna, Virginia Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, November 25, 2021
2. Urbanna, Virginia Marker
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trade brought Scottish factors (businessmen) from Great Britain. Middlesex County moved its seat to Urbanna in 1848 and it remained here for 104 years. Throughout its history, Urbanna's citizens experienced our nation's journey through wartime and peace.

The British raided and pillaged the town during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. During the Civil War, Union gunboats and troops occupied Urbanna. After the war, a new economy grew. New York, Connecticut and New Jersey oystermen came south to harvest and purchase oysters to feed the population centers of the North. Urbanna's deepwater harbor was ideal for large oyster boats and an oyster based economy evolved, which lasted for nearly 100 years. This sparked industrial growth along the towns waterfront as broom factories, tomato and vegetable canning factories, oyster shucking houses, an ice plant, flour mills and other businesses grew. Throughout the years, Urbanna Creek and the Rappahannock River have attracted tourists and those seeking to enjoy water recreational activities. Fishing, crabbing, boating, and swimming have added to the economic life of the community for generations and defined the quality of life for the people who have made Urbanna their home. Over the centuries, the towns people have survived national, social and economic upheavals, and, today, the town is one of the oldest surviving
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English settled colonial towns in North America.
Erected by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number Map.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureAnimalsColonial EraIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the The Museum in the Streets®: Urbanna, Virginia series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1680.
Location. 37° 38.183′ N, 76° 34.492′ W. Marker is in Urbanna, Virginia, in Middlesex County. Marker is on Cross Street (Virginia Route 227) just south of Virginia Street (Virginia Route 602), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Virginia St, Urbanna VA 23175, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Colonial Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Old Middlesex County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Virginia Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Urbanna Museum & Visitors Center (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sandwich (about 300 feet away); Coca-Cola Bottling Plant (about 500 feet away); Cross Street (about 500 feet away); Tobacco Was Money (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Urbanna.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 86 times since then and 53 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Dec. 4, 2022