Chesterfield County Museum and Historic Jail
6813 Mimms Loop Chesterfield, VA 23832
The COUNTY MUSEUM
No entry fee, donations welcome
A replica of the first Chesterfield County courthouse of 1749, the County Museum brick design was selected in 1976 as the American Bicentennial project for the county. It opened on the Fourth of July, 1980. The original courthouse bell dating from 1749 was placed on permanent display in the County Museum in 2017. The Museum contains three galleries:
The Story of Chesterfield County depicts the history of the area between the James and Appomattox Rivers from the era of Pre-Contact through today.
The General Store is a reproduction of a typical Chesterfield country store at the turn of the 20th Century that served as the hub of the county’s rural community.
The Rotating Exhibit gallery displays temporary exhibits featuring commemorations specific to Chesterfield County.
The HISTORIC 1982 JAIL
Tours of the Historic 1892 Jail start at the County Museum.
Adjacent to the County Museum, the Historic 1892 Jail is commonly referred to as the “Old Jail.” A two-story granite and brick building, it served as the county prison until 1962. During the 1940s, the jail also served as Police headquarters and housed the county communications center. In 1982, it was designated a museum and made available to the Chesterfield Historical Society of VA as its first head office location.
Upstairs, original iron-barred cells still enclose metal bunks, primitive ablution facilities and graffiti. Downstairs, the space is used for temporary exhibits. The front porch features a stone step preserved from the first Chesterfield County courthouse of 1749.
MUSEUM OPEN :Wednesdays 10am-4pm & Saturdays 10am-2pm
The Chesterfield County Museum and the Historic 1892 Jail, closed since March 2020, have reopened to the public. Both museums are located on Mimms Loop on the Courthouse Green at the Chesterfield Government Center. Unless otherwise noted, all the following programs are FREE but reservations are encouraged. Space is limited. For reservations, please call: Bryan Truzzie 804-751-4946. Face masks and social distancing are required.
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY MUSEUM PROGRAMS
Register for all programs one week in advance.
Saturdays, 11 a.m.
May 15 - History of Heirloom Herbs
Explore the historical uses and folklore of herbs that have been used as air freshener, insect repellent, medicinal and culinary uses. Discover how herbs were an important part of life for centuries and in different cultures. Participants will have an opportunity to experience different herbs and make an herbal sachet.
June 12 - America’s Doughboys and the National Pastime in the Great War
This presentation by Alexander Barnes, Command Historian with the Virginia National Guard, recounts the story of how baseball played an important role in entertaining the troops during WWI. Playing wherever they could find enough room to throw a ball, the Doughboys brought the game with them into the front lines and then into the occupation of Germany. Sharing their military service, in combat and on the baseball diamond, were a number of famous professional ball players, managers, lawyers, politicians, and even an umpire.
July DATE TBD - Apples to Appleseed: How Cider and John Chapman Shaped the Early Frontier
This lecture will explore a brief history of the apple and apple cider, and dive into the history behind Johnny Appleseed. Attendees will learn about the origins of the apple, its unique contribution to English North American culture and development, and how Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) sprouted from his roots in a modest New England family to grow into to one of the greatest legends our country has ever known.
August 7 Toys and Games of the Past
Drop in anytime between 11a.m. and 1p.m. All ages are invited to have fun and learn about traditional children’s playthings such as Jacob’s ladder, knucklebones and quoits. Test your skill with the cup and ball, attempt to knock over all nine pins in a game of “skittles”. Make a whirligig toy to take home. This fun-filled family event will also present the history behind some toys and games of long ago.