New Kent County Historic Milestones

Pre Contact Era: The Chickahominy Indian Tribe has been a part of this land as long as the river bearing its name has been flowing to the sea.

1607: Captain John Smith was captured by Indians on the Chickahominy River in New Kent County.

1654: New Kent County was chartered by the Virginia House of Burgesses as Virginia's 12th County.

1676: Bacon's Rebellion ended at Brickhouse in New Kent County.

1691: The current courthouse location was chosen for the New Kent County seat. A courthouse and ordinary were constructed.

June 2, 1731: First Lady Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was born at Chestnut Grove
Plantation in New Kent County.

1748: Cumberland, then a colonial town on the Pamunkey River was considered to replace
Williamsburg as the capitol of the Virginia Colony.

January 6, 1759: Martha Dandridge Custis and George Washington were married probably at her home at White House.

1781: The Washington Rochambeau Wagon Train passed through the County on its way to Yorktown camping at Harfield, three miles west of New Kent Courthouse, and at what is now Barhamsville. Generals Washington and Rochambeau coming from Mount Vernon crossed the Pamunkey River at Ruffin’s Ferry, stopped at Frank’s Tavern (at Saude Creek Vineyards) and passed through what is now Barhamsville.

1782: The French Army, divided into four sections marched north through the County camping at Barhamsville, Ratcliffe House, and Harfield.

March 29, 1813: First Lady Letitia Christian Tyler was born at Cedar Grove in New Kent County.

1862: Following the Battle of Eltham’s Landing and the skirmish at Slatersville, the jail at the Courthouse was burned by order of General J. E. B. Stuart to keep the corn supply from falling into Union hands. Federal Troops occupied Cumberland Landing and White House Landing and established a hospital at Talleysville. In June 1862, Stuart led his troops on a ride around the Union Army through Tunstall Station, Talleysville and Providence Forge.

1909: The historic New Kent courthouse and jail were constructed.

1930: The historic New Kent School was constructed.

1968: The decision in Green v County School Board of New Kent County was handed down by the United States Supreme Court. The school desegregation case is considered second in importance only to Brown v Board of Education.

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