When you move to Petersburg Virginia, you’re going to be facing some interesting issues. Although the city is surrounded by rivers such as the Appomattox and James, the overall feeling is peaceful. In addition, there are plenty of jobs to keep you busy. The main problem, however, is the high crime rate. Fortunately, Petersburg has a few steps in place to make sure you and your family are safe. Below, you’ll find some information about the city’s finances and history.
The city is located on the Eastern Seaboard, halfway between New York and Georgia. It sits at the intersection of Interstates 95 and 85 and is 21 miles south of Richmond. As part of the Richmond-Petersburg Metropolitan Statistical Area, Petersburg is one of 13 jurisdictions that make up the metropolitan statistical area. Petersburg is part of the Appomattox Basin, which also includes Southeast Chesterfield County. Its population is around 33,458, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The city is situated on the Appomattox River, which marks the fall line, the boundary where the Piedmont region meets the coastal plain. The fall line is usually prominent where a river crosses a rocky boundary and is often associated with waterfalls and rapids. This line made it difficult for river boats to travel inland, so settlements were established where rivers crossed the fall line. These settlements were also the only way to get to Petersburg’s historic sites, such as the King James Church and the Elizabethan Theater.
During the 1880s, a coalition of black Republicans and white Populists gained control of the state legislature and invested in public education and welfare. A memorial service to George Washington was held at the town’s church in 1799. During the Civil War, the town served as a hospital and telegraph station. Today, it honors thousands of Civil War soldiers. The church also features stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
The town prospered until the late 1980s. However, the closing of a cigarette factory in Petersburg, Brown & Williamson, and the restructuring of railroads forced many to move out of town. In addition, post-World War II highway construction encouraged development outside of town. This added problems to the community. In the 1960s, middle class families migrated from the city to newer, mostly white suburbs. Later, the region’s economy grew, and the population shifted to the Richmond metro area.
For outdoor recreation, visitors to Petersburg, VA should consider spending some time on the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 35-mile multi-purpose trail on the bed of a former railway. The scenic trail is popular with cyclists, walkers, and equestrians. It is easy to ride a bike and offers beautiful scenery. When the leaves change colors in the fall, the scenery is especially gorgeous. These activities will be particularly fun if you’re traveling with children.
As an area of the state, Petersburg has many historic sites that are worth visiting. The Petersburg Central Lunatic Asylum was established in 1851 and moved to Mayfield Farm in 1882. Today, the Central State Hospital provides mental health care services to residents. The city struggled to adapt to the major economic changes that occurred in the 20th century. In addition to the decline of the railroads, industrial restructuring and suburban development took jobs away from Petersburg. As a result, many residents chose to move to new housing and suburbs outside of the city.