Virginia Counties
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Virginia Counties

The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into ninety-five counties and thirty-eight independent cities, which are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.

City of Petersburg, Virginia

City of Petersburg Education, Geography, and HistoryPetersburg, Virginia City Hall

Petersburg is an independent city in the state of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 32,420. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines Petersburg (along with the city of Colonial Heights) with Dinwiddie County for statistical purposes. It is located on the Appomattox River and 23 miles (37 km) south of the state capital of Richmond. The city's unique industrial past and its location as a transportation hub combined to create wealth for Virginia and the region.

Etymology - Origin of City of Petersburg Name

Petersburg was formed from parts of Dinwiddie, Prince George, and Chesterfield counties. A garrison and fur trading post called Fort Henry was established in 1645 on the site of the Indian village of Appamattuck. The present name, suggested in 1733 by William Byrd II, honors Peter Jones, Byrd's companion on expeditions into the Virginia backcountry


County QuickFacts: City of Petersburg

Petersburg City History

Fort Henry, Virginia (later known was Petersburg) was established in 1645 as a garrison and trading post. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Petersburg, Virginia was incorporated as a town in 1784. Began in 1645 as a garrison and fur trading post and called Fort Henry. Later known as Peter's Point. Incorporated as a city in 1850. The towns of Blandford, Pocahontas, and Ravenscroft were annexed in 1784. Portions of Dinwiddie and Prince George Counties were annexed in 1970. Petersburg was formed from Portions of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, and Prince George Conties and sits at their junction. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.2 square miles (60.1 km2), of which, 22.9 square miles (59.3 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km2) of it (1.29%) is water.

Petersburg is located on the Appomattox River at the fall line, which marks the area where an upland region (continental bedrock) and a coastal plain (coastal alluvia) meet. The fall line is typically prominent where a river crosses its rocky boundary as there are rapids or waterfalls. River boats could not travel any farther inland, making the location the head of navigation. The need of a port and abundant supply of water power causes settlements to develop where a river crosses the fall line.

The most prominent example of fall line settlement was the establishment of the cities along the eastern coast of the United States where the Appalachian Rise and the coastal plains meet.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Chesterfield County, Virginia - northwest
  • Colonial Heights, Virginia - north
  • Dinwiddie County, Virginia - west, southwest
  • Prince George County, Virginia - east, southeast


Higher education

The area is served by three schools of higher education:

John Tyler Community College
Richard Bland College
Virginia State University

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