Welcome to the...
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.
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,
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
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.
Monday - Saturday
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
(Closed from 12 - 1:00)
Sundays 1:00 - 5:00
267 Church Street
Surry, VA 23883
"The Old Clerks Office" - circa 1825
(In front of the Old Courthouse)