Mid-Lothian Mines Park
For generations of early Chesterfield County residents, the area around Midlothian was known for its coal and its railroads. Today, this site is among the county's treasured parks.
It is here where coal was first disovered in the early 1700s. During the Revolutionary War, coal pits from Chesterfield County supplied a cannon factory near Richmond with fuel to manufacture ammunition for the Continental Army. As the mining industry grew, coal from Midlothian was shipped throughout the nation.
The Chesterfield Rail Road began service in 1831 and was the first railroad in Virginia. In the mid-1830s, a vein of coal 36 feet thick was found in the Mid-Lothian Mine, and this mine soon became the largest in the county.
Coal continued to be mined in the Midlothain area by a number of companies until the early 1930s. Today, Mid-Lothian Mines Park is a 44-acre preserve. Dedicated to the residents of Chesterfield County, past and present, the cut-stone ruins of the mines, surrounded by beautiful woodland and walking trails, stand in remembrance of the courage, innovation and sacrifice of those whose work so long ago heralded the beginning of an American Industrial Revolution.
Tuckahoe Plantation is the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson and is a National Historic Landmark.
In 1745 Peter and Jane Jefferson moved to Tuckahoe with their children, including two-year old Thomas, to care for the plantation and the Randolph children, who were orphaned at Tuckahoe after the untimely death of both their parents.
This was where Thomas Jefferson spent his youth at Tuckahoe and recieved his first education in the small one-room school house that still stands today. It is interesting to note the architectural features of Tuckahoe, including elaborate cornices, alcoves, grand staircases, and domed ceilings that may have influenced Jefferson's thoughts of architecture.
The mansion was built in the era of great plantations in Virginia, during the 17th and 18th centuries. There were few towns and cities in the colony, therefore, plantations developed as economically and geographically independent entities. At its height, Tuckahoe consisted of 25,000 acres that farmed tobacoo, livestock, and wheat with three mills on the property.
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