Chesterfield marks centennial of historic courthouse – Progress Index

Bell ringing, navy band and shows featured throughout a ceremony at Chesterfield County Courthouse

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY — The county rang within the outdated on Thursday, tolling 100 peals as half of a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Historic 1917 Courthouse on the Historic Courthouse Inexperienced.

Led by Chesterfield Historic Society of Virginia co-chairs George “Buddy” Cranford and Liess van der Linden-Brusse, the occasion commemorated the centennial anniversary of the day the cornerstone for the courthouse was laid in 1917. The courthouse sits on the footprint of the unique 1749 colonial courthouse.

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VIDEO: As half of the centennial celebration, the unique 1749 courthouse bell was faraway from the cupola of the 1917 courthouse. It was cleaned, stabilized and preserved earlier than being positioned on everlasting show within the Chesterfield County Museum.

In 1916, plans have been made to demolish the 1749 courthouse and exchange it with a bigger, extra trendy constructing. This choice was met with opposition from some residents, ensuing within the first preservation debate, which ended when the Board of Supervisors voted to assemble the brand new constructing. Eight months later, the brand new courthouse opened. The Chesterfield County courts system nonetheless makes use of the courthouse to listen to instances.

“Over time, there’s been so much of repairs and arduous work put into holding this facility an energetic, main landmark on this group,” mentioned Thursday's keynote speaker, retired Chesterfield County Administrator Lane B. Ramsey. “Through the 35 years I labored within the county, I checked out this courthouse on daily basis, and I nonetheless drive by a number of instances a day and at all times look over at this lovely constructing standing right here. It definitely is a landmark that we must always all be proud of.”

As half of the centennial celebration, the unique 1749 courthouse bell – the oldest historic artifact within the county (and three years older than the Liberty Bell) – was faraway from the cupola of the 1917 courthouse. It was cleaned, stabilized and preserved earlier than being positioned on everlasting show within the Chesterfield County Museum as half of the “Ringing within the Courthouse Centennial” exhibit.

A alternative iron bell, made round 1860, was put in within the cupola. Barry Hopkins of Hopkins Welding fabricated the “arm” for the alternative bell, and in addition helped set up the 1749 bell within the County Museum.

The alternative courthouse bell was rung 100 instances simply earlier than 2 p.m. to open the ceremony.

Attendees included representatives of Chesterfield County regulation enforcement, a number of judges together with Vanessa Jones and retired Choose Bonnie Davis, state Sen. Amanda Chase, County Administrator Joseph Casey and U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-seventh).

Since 2017 additionally marks the 100th anniversary of Fort Lee, 100 troopers representing WWI draftees and shows of tactical automobiles from the 508th Transportation Firm have been half of the occasion. The Fort Lee 392nd Military Band carried out, and there have been shows from the U.S. Military Quartermaster Museum, the Chesterfield Historic Society of Virginia and Midlothian Masonic Lodge No. 211.

The courthouse is listed as a Chesterfield County Historic Landmark, a Virginia Historic Landmark and on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.

• Kelsey Reichenberg could also be reached at kreichenberg@progress-index.com or 722-5109.

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Chesterfield marks centennial of historic courthouse - Progress Index