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UPDATE 3/24/20

On Thursday, March 12, 2020 Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth due to COVID-19. Although would love to be able to invite our guests to visit Surry, Virginia at this time, we know how necessary it is to stay in place - for the health of our loved ones and our nation.

During this time of uncertainty, we encourage you to delay the plans you may have made to visit Surry - opting instead to visit in the late spring, summer or fall. Our businesses and attractions are planning to offer you the warmest welcome once normal activity returns!

Although many of our businesses and attractions are closed to the public at this time, you can still get out for some fresh, country air by visiting the some of our outdoor spaces; and you may still support local business by taking advantage of take-out and curbside service:

Chippokes Plantation State Park - park and trails, Farm and Forestry Museum are open; please deposit $7 entrance fee per vehicle at the gate; please be mindful of social distancing recommendations
Bacon's Castle and Smith's Fort - grounds are open; please be mindful of social distancing recommendations
Hampton Roads Winery - providing "old-fashioned car-hop service; just without the roller skates."
Farmer Joe's Greenhouse & Florist - curbside service available (please call ahead); vegetable plants, onions and potatoes for planting; fresh tomatoes and eggs available for purchase; please be mindful of social distancing recommendations

When normal activity resumes we hope you will plan a visit to Surry, Virginia. Come, "Savor the Secrets of Surry" - which one of our secrets will become your new passion?

Pat Bernshausen, DMO
Tourism Coordinator
(757) 294-0644

Important Announcement

After careful consideration of all the facts and the Governor's directives, Surry County has made the decision to temporarily close our Visitors Center. The ultimate goal, of course, is to keep our visitors and staff healthy, reduce the opportunity for contamination, and decrease the chances of exposure. For the well-being of all, we feel that this decision is the most responsible option.

Additionally, most of the tourism attractions in Surry County have reached similar conclusions, and have announced temporary closures and cancellation of indoor activities and programming. Ferry service to and from Surry via the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry is limited to hourly service, and guests are requested to remain in their vehicles.
Guests are advised to call ahead to businesses and attractions before making the trip to Surry. Additional information may be obtained from the Surry County Tourism Coordinator, Pat Bernshausen, by calling (757) 294-0644.

Thank you! Stay safe & stay well.



 

Welcome to the...
Surry Side!

Beginning in 1607, Jamestown settlers affectionately called the opposite shore of the James River the "Surrey Side" to honor their homeland.

The Jamestown colony was perceived as a miniature London, because it lay on both sides of the James River as London lies on the Thames. The section of London south of the Thames is in the shire of Surrey, so settlements on the south side of the James River were referenced as "over on the Surrey side". The name "Surry" was retained when the county was chartered in 1652.

Indigenous Native American tribes under the Powhatan Confederation occupied this area. They regarded it as sacred tribal land, and grudgingly gave way as the Jamestown colonists settled here and began what we know as English North America.

 



Prior to the Civil War, Surry County
had the largest population of freemen in the country. Today, many of these same families can trace their heritage to the Jamestown era of the 1600s and ancestors who were never slaves. Land and cemeteries are still owned by descendants of the original families.
For more information, contact the
African-American Heritage Society
757-294-5152.



Civil War History - The Confederacy considered Surry County's riverfront the most defensible section of the James River and fortified Jamestown Island and Swann's Point. The Union found Surry to be an integral part of their communications between Fortress Monroe in Hampton, VA, and City Point, outside Petersburg. An underwater telegraph cable was laid from Jamestown to Swann's Point and continued to City Point by land.

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Captain John Smith Ferry in 1925