Historical Smithfield, Virginia

Pagan River

Pictured is the Pagan River near Jamestown. Smithfield was first colonized in 1634 and occupied an Indian site called Warascoyak, also spelled Warrosquoyacke, which was first a county of that name. It was renamed Isle of Wight County in 1637. The town itself was established as a seaport ca 1752 by Arthur Smith IV. An area called “Wharf Hill” was established as a waterfront for industries and served during the Revolutionary War as a harbor for patriots to receive arms and supplies. It was this dock which was used in the “Show Boat” a famous drama of the 20th century. The famous landmark of the Old Brick Church near Smithfield, built ca 1632, features a graveyard vandalized during the Revolutionary War as an insult to the Loyalists of Great Britain. An interesting note is that during the reign of King George, Virginians were required to attend church and pay a tithe in tobacco.

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