Monday, April 27, 2009

Already Missing Petersburg, Virginia

I don't officially move until this Friday, but with so much going on in the next day or two I thought I'd take the earliest opportunity and express my fondness for the town I have called home for the last three years.

Petersburg is no stranger to hard times. It was bombarded in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and has suffered through deterioration and neglect, but like a battered old car that only needs some work to become a classic, Old Towne Petersburg is slowly making the return to former days of glory.

Although many of the original buildings have been modernized and or raised, a large number of historic buildings still remain and help tell the story of Petersburg as a colonial and antebellum town. The number of different architecture styles is amazing. There are Georgian, Federal, Gothic Revival, Italianate, and numerous vernacular styles. One of my favorite buildings is the Trapezium House; so named because there are no right angles in the house. Legend has it that the builder's West Indian servant thought right angles harbored bad spirits. Other notable houses include Centre Hill Mansion (President Lincoln visited there just several days before his assassination), the Exchange Building (now the Siege Museum), Violet Bank (General Lee's headquarters for a time), Blandford Church and Cemetery, the Petersburg Courthouse (pictured above), and host of other historic church buildings.

Like many historic towns, antique shops are in abundance in Petersburg, but a number of new restaurants, businesses, and entertainment venues have moved in to the Old Towne over the past few years as well, such as The Brickhouse Run, and Sycamore Rouge.

Of course, I enjoy visiting the battlefields that are seemingly everywhere around the area. Petersburg National Battlefield, Pamplin Historical Park, Ream's Station, Hatcher's Run, Five Forks and others are well preserved and offer interpretive programs and or signs to learn more about Petersburg's important role in the Civil War.

If you get a chance to visit Petersburg, please do. There is so much to see and do and you will help contribute to the continued efforts to help preserve this old American town. You can find out more information at:

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