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City Point History

Early 1600s - English settlement at “Bermuda City,” somewhere between City Point and Broadway Landing—as many as 119 people according to John Rolfe.

1700s - Tobacco warehouses at City Point.

1781 - Part of Benedict Arnold's expedition of British troops passes through City Point.

Early 1800s - City Point becomes a port of entry with a U.S. Customs office. The area's post office moves to City Point from across the river at Bermuda Hundred.

1826 - Town of City Point is incorporated (the lot at 500 Prince Henry Street is within these old town limits).

1836-1850s - City Point Railroad Company forms and soon begins to operate one of the nation's earliest lines, between City Point and Petersburg.

1840 - Town population 300.

1862 - Union naval officers are ambushed after coming ashore to give medical aid to civilians. Small skirmish with Confederate soldiers occurs.

1864 - General Butler's Army of the James occupies the area. Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant sets up his headquarters at Appomattox Manor. As the Union army lays siege to nearby Petersburg, City Point temporarily becomes one the busiest ports in the entire world. Union army also sets up a 6,000 bed hospital.

Civil War views of City Point

1864, 1865 - Presidential visits from Abraham Lincoln.

1870 - City Point becomes a small town again, with only 300 residents.

Views of City Point in the late 1800s

Late 1800s - Short-lived sturgeon packing plant.

1910 - Population still about 300.

1912 - E.I. DuPont de Nemours Co. buys 800 acres at nearby Hopewell Farm. Seeking to build a dynamite plant, the company is attracted by the good deep port and rail facilities.

1914 - DuPont buys 1600 acres of the Eppes estate and builds the largest guncotton plant in the world: instant boom town.

1915 - Fire destroys 300 buildings; quick rebuilding. 40,000 employed in Hopewell.

1916 - City of Hopewell incorporated.

1918 - End of World War I; guncotton plant shuts down.

1920s - Other industries, such as artificial silk (Tubize) and chemical manufacturing (ANCO, now Allied Chemical) replace DuPont.

1942 - Camp Lee, next to Hopewell, has military population of 45,000.

1980 - Hopewell population 23,400.