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Old Posted Mar 23, 2020, 9:47 PM
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xzmattzx xzmattzx is online now
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Yorktown, VA

Yorktown is an unincorporated community on the northern shore of the Lower Peninsula, also called the Virginia Peninsula, and is the seat of York County. The population is around 200.

Yorktown is named for York, in northern England. York was settled across from Gloucester Point, on a strategic point on the river so that points upstream were controlled.

Yorktown is most famous for the Battle of Yorktown, which was the end of the American Revolutionary War. Yorktown served as the headquarters for British General Charles Cornwallis in 1781, when the siege of the city took place. Surrender terms for the Revlutionary War were negotiated at the Moore House, east of Yorktown.

After the Revolutionary War, the town remained small and quiet. The state capital had moved from nearby Williamsburg to Richmond in 1780. Agriculture also moved westward into the Piedmont area of Virginia, and beyond to Kentucky, especially when mixed crops relaced tobacco as the staple.

During the Civil War, Yorktown was a defensive position for the Confederate Army. The Yorktown area also played a role during World War I, with land to the east becoming a mine depot. After World War I, heritage tourism became a primary industry of the small community of Yorktown. Colonial National Monument was established in 1930, when Jamestown National Monument was combined with the historic sites of Williamsburg and Yorktown. Colonial National Monument became Colonial National Historical Park in 1936.


The York County Courthouse, on Alexander Hamilton Boulevard. The courthouse was built in 1997.



On the eastern edge of town, at the end of Colonial Parkway, is Colonial National Historical Park.



By the visitor's center is largest section of the main British defensive line fieldworks from the Siege of Yorktown.



The Yorktown Victory Monument, on Main Street near Zweybrucken Road. The monument was dedicated in 1884.



The monument uses a shaft of Maine granite, standing 84 feet tall, topped with a crowning figure.



The figure capping the monument is Liberty. The 14-foot tall statue was damaged by lightning in 1956 and subsequently replaced.



The Dudley Digges House, on Main Street. The house was built in 1760.



The Hornsby House, on Main Street. The house was built in 1934, and is now a bed & breakfast.



The Session-Sheild House, on Main Street. The house was built in 1760.



The Thomas Nelson House, on Main Street. The house was built in 1730.



The house is believed to have served as Lord Cornwallis' headquarters during the Battle of Yorktown. The cannonball in the side wall reflects the damage that the house took during the Siege of 1781.



Behind the house is a sunken garden.



The Smith House, on Nelson Street. The house was built in 1750.



The Ballard House, on Nelson Street. The house was built in 1709.



A house on Nelson Street.



The Cole Digges House, on Main Street at Read Street. The house was built in 1730.



The Custom House, on Main Street. The building was used by Richard Ambler, and was built in 1721.



A building on Main Street.



The Somerwell House, on Main Street at Church Street. The house was built in 1781.



The Swan Tavern, on Main Street. The tavern was built in 1935, replicating a tavern from 1722 that was burned down in 1863. It is now an antique store.



York Hall, on Main Street. The former York County Courthouse was built in 1955. It served as county courthouse until 1997. The building is now the York County Historical Museum.



Grace Church, on Church Street. The church was built in 1687, with the walls made of Yorktown marl, a mixture of slabs of shell deposits with muck and clay. The church burned in 1814, was used again in 1848, was damaged in the Civil War, and repaired again in 1871. Only the marl walls are original from the 17th century.



An art gallery on Ballard Street. In front is a stone marking the site of the house of Nicholas Martiau, a French Huguenot who immigrated to Jamestown and lived in Yorktown in the 1650s. Martiau is the earliest American ancestor of President George Washington.



A bed & breakfast on Ambler Street.



The Great Valley, between Read Street and Comte De Grasse Street. The pathway linked Main Street with the waterfront, providing direct access to Thomas Nelson's house and compound from the river.



Archer Cottage, on Water Street. The house was built in 1815.



Cornwallis' Cave, along Water Street. The manmade cave was formed by quarrying for building material. It was named for a legend that Lord Cornwallis took shelter here during a bombardment. The cave was actually used for food storage, and was a munitions storage area for the Confederate Army during the Civil War.



Businesses on Water Street.



Along the York River is a recreational beach, formed with the use of stone jetties.



Riverwalk Landing, on Water Street. The complex provides retail space along the York River.



A freight shed, at Riverwalk Landing. The shed was built in the 1930s by the National Park Service as a ferry depot.



A statue of George Washington and Francois De Grasse, at Riverwalk Landing. The sculpture was dedicated in 2005.



Also at Riverwalk Landing is a replica of an 18th century cannon. The original cannon was pulled up from the York River in the 1930s, and was moved to the Mariners' Museum in Newport News in 2015.



The Yorktown Windmill, on Water Street. The windmill was built in 2011, and is a replica of the William Buckner Mill.



The George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge, over the York River. The double-swing-span bridge was built in 1952, and rebuilt in 1995.



The bridge carries US Route 17 across the York River, connecting the Virginia Peninsula with the Middle Neck. The bridge is the only public crossing of the river.

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Old Posted Mar 24, 2020, 10:47 PM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is online now
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When I lived in DC I regret not ever traveling down to that area of Virginia. I'd like to visit Yorktown someday, along with other historic sites like Williamsburg.
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