It Happened in Virginia

It Happened in Virginia

It Happened in Virginia

It Happened in Virginia


Offers a look at approximately 30 events that shaped the Old Dominion, from the first years of the English settlement to the recent discovery of far earlier habitation.


Virginia is a beautiful state, with almost one-third of its area protected in state or national forests or parks. Virginia has barrier islands, seacoast, coastal plains, piedmont, mountains, and valleys. Throughout the state are historic buildings and battlefields.

Virginia was the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America (Jamestown) and was for the next 200 years the most populous colony and state. But war, economic changes, and the westward movement changed that.

The first settlers encountered Powhatan Indians, members of the Algonquin Nation. As settlers moved westward and northward, they met other tribes as well. Some of the most beautiful place-names in Virginia, such as Shenandoah and Chesapeake, come from Native American words. Today, two tribes still own reservations in King William County, the Mattaponi and the Pamunkey.

In King James I’s original land grant to the London Company in 1609, the territory of Virginia stretched north and south of Point Comfort on the Atlantic Ocean for 200 miles, then west and northwest to the Pacific Ocean, encompassing three-quarters of the present United States and much of what is now Canada. After England relinquished the area west of the Mississippi in 1763, Virginia still included territory northwest to the Great Lakes. Virginia gave up claims to this vast Northwest Territory when it joined the other former colonies to form the United States of America.

Geologically, Virginia has some unusual formations— Natural Bridge, Natural Tunnel, and Natural Chimneys—where ancient seas once washed and shaped the limestone. in Fairystone State Park in Henry County, crystals in petrified wood . . .

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