The waterfront of City Point, Virginia (present-day Hopewell) during the winter of 1864-1865.
Location in the State of Virginia
|• Mayor||Christina J. Luman-Bailey|
|• City||10.8 sq mi (28 km2)|
|• Land||10.3 sq mi (27 km2)|
|• Water||0.5 sq mi (1 km2) 4.9%|
|Elevation||50 ft (15.2 m)|
|• Density||2,193/sq mi (847/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1495714|
Hopewell is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,591. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Hopewell with Prince George County for statistical purposes.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Education
- 5 Notable residents
- 6 Media
- 7 Climate
- 8 Gallery
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The city was founded to take advantage of its site overlooking the James and Appomattox Rivers. City Point, the oldest part of Hopewell, was established in 1613 by Sir Thomas Dale. It was first known as "Bermuda City," which was changed to Charles City, lengthened to Charles City Point, and later abbreviated to City Point. (At this time, Bermuda, the Atlantic archipelago, was considered part of the Colony of Virginia and appeared on its maps.) Hopewell/City Point is the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in the United States, Jamestown no longer being inhabited.
"Charles City Point" was in Charles City Shire when the first eight shires were established in the Colony of Virginia in 1634. Charles City Shire soon became known as Charles City County in 1637. In 1619 Samuel Sharpe and Samuel Jordan from City Point, then named Charles City, were burgesses at the first meeting of the House of Burgesses.
The burgesses separated an area of the county south of the river, including City Point, establishing it separately as Prince George County in 1703. City Point was an unincorporated town in Prince George County until the City of Hopewell annexed the Town of City Point in 1923.
During the American Civil War, Union General Ulysses S. Grant used City Point as his headquarters during the Siege of Petersburg in 1864 and 1865. Grant's headquarters, which President Lincoln visited, were located at Appomattox Manor, one of the three plantations of Richard Eppes, who cultivated wheat and other grains and held 130 slaves at the beginning of the war.[dead link]
His property included most of the present day city of Hopewell and Eppes Island, a plantation across the James River from City Point. Richard Slaughter, a former slave of Eppes, escaped to a Union ship during the Civil War, as did all but 12 of Eppes' 130 slaves, choosing freedom.[dead link] Slaughter recounted his life story for a Works Progress Administration interviewer in 1936.
The City Point Railroad, built in 1838 between City Point and Petersburg, was used as a critical part of the siege strategy. It is considered the oldest portion of the Norfolk and Western Railway, now a part of Norfolk Southern.
Hopewell, part of the Eppes' plantation, was developed by DuPont Company in 1914 as Hopewell Farm, an incorporated area in Prince George County. DuPont first built a dynamite factory there, then switched to the manufacture of guncotton during World War I.
Nearly burned to the ground in the Hopewell Fire of 1915, the city prospered afterward and became known as the "Wonder City". Unlike most cities in Virginia, Hopewell was never incorporated as a town, but it was incorporated as an independent city in 1916.
After DuPont abandoned the city following World War I, moving its manufacturing facilities elsewhere and specializing in other products, Hopewell briefly became a ghost town until 1923 when Tubize Corporation established a plant on the old DuPont site. The same year, the city of Hopewell annexed the neighboring town of City Point, which enabled it to expand and thrive. The Tubize plant was later acquired by Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and was a major employer in Hopewell for decades. Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation and Hercules Chemical also established plants on portions of the old DuPont site.
1935 bus tragedy
Hopewell made national news when, on December 22, 1935, a bus plunged through the open draw of the Appomattox River Drawbridge on State Route 10 just outside Hopewell's city limits. Only one of the 15 occupants of the bus survived. The modern twin spans of the Charles Hardaway Marks Bridges were built to replace that bridge and cross the river nearby.
Hopewell is the host city of large chemical plants owned by the Honeywell Corporation, Hercules Chemical, Goldschmidt Chemical, as well as a paper mill owned by Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Recently acquired by Rock Tenn). Such industries have required the city and residents to deal with many environmental issues over the years, particularly as they learned more about the effects of the industries. The kepone debacle of the 1970s received the most national attention.
In 1977, Hopewell again made the national news due to an accident involving a drawbridge when the tanker S.S. Marine Floridian outbound under the command of a James River pilot suffered a steering malfunction just after dawn on February 24 that caused it to veer out of the channel and hit the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Bridge just east of town. The accident caused serious damage to the bridge and it was closed for months.
In 1983, Hopewell made the national news when it was discovered that Evelyn Rust Wells, an elderly woman, had been held captive in her home in the City Point section. Her captors, mostly male teenagers under 18, cashed her Social Security checks at local groceries. A local grocer noted a change in purchases from when neighborhood kids assisted Wells, and called the police. They investigated and freed Wells.
Although still an important industrial city, Hopewell has struggled with transitions through loss of jobs due to plant closures, several failed attempts at redevelopment, changes in residential housing patterns, and the costs of environmental clean-up. Much of its middle class population moved to neighboring Prince George and Chesterfield Counties for newer housing during the suburban expansion of the 1960s and 1970s. The city's housing stock is dominated by small, aged, rental properties many of which were hastily constructed by DuPont to house plant workers during the First World War, and low-income housing projects.
Hopewell has encouraged re-development along its waterfront areas along the James and Appomattox Rivers, in the downtown area, and the City Point Historic District, as well as the sites of several long vacant industrial plants. Due to its hasty construction as a mill town during the First World War, Hopewell had a large number of kit homes that were hauled in and erected in neighborhoods laid out by DuPont known as "A Village" and "B Village". The city has a surviving group of Sears Catalog Homes, with several available for exterior viewing on a self-guided tour. The city also has numerous Aladdin Kit Homes; at one time, it may have had the most such homes in the nation. Because residents moved to newer houses and the Aladdin Homes were abandoned and deteriorated, many have been razed.
In late 2012, press reports indicated the city had the highest rate of violent crime on a per captia basis in the state.
In September 2010 a series of explosions occurred at a new ethanol plant that had recently been constructed on a site formerly occupied by a Firestone facility. The plant had not yet become fully operational when the explosions occurred. There was no loss of life due to the accident, but shortly after the explosion Osage BioEnergy, the owners of the $150 million facility, announced that the plant was for sale. The ethanol plant never became operational nor did it bring the jobs and tax revenue to the city that its promoters promised. As of 2013 the facility was sitting idle and the city of Hopewell was taking legal action to recoup unpaid taxes on the property.
The Hopewell Bureau of Fire serves the city with two fire stations in the City Point, and Oaklawn areas. Built in the 1940s and 1930s respectively, they have housed the cities firefighters as they serve. Each station houses a Fire Engine and an Ambulance staffed 24 hours a day. Station 1 in 2009 received Quint 1(Engine and Ladder) to replace the old Ladder truck that went out of service. Working in 3 shifts of 24 hours each the city is protected by 25-40 firefighter and officers. While never able to compete with the salary of some of its neighbors, Hopewell fire was known as a hard fighting, resourceful and respected department. In recent years however under the care of Fire Chief John Tunstall, a severe decline in the fire department has been noted. Rapid turnover rates, and an ever younger department has left the city with very little experienced firefighters. The vast majority of firefighters currently serving the city have less than 5 years experience. Due to ever stricter policies, overuse of punishment techniques and firehouses that have been denied refurbishment by the senior officers, the turnover rate is no surprise. Evidence of mold, and use of asbestos products endanger the health of firefighters who spend 24 hour shifts in the stations. A new station for the city has been rumored, however it has been 10 years to no avail.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.8 square miles (28.0 km2), of which 10.2 square miles (26.4 km2) are land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (4.9%) is water.
- Chesterfield County, Virginia - north
- Prince George County, Virginia - east, south, west
- Charles City County, Virginia - northeast
National protected area
As of the census of 2000, there were 22,354 people, 9,055 households, and 6,075 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,182.3 people per square mile (842.9/km²). There were 9,749 housing units at an average density of 951.7 per square mile (367.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.1% White, 43.5% Black, 0.8% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. 3.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 9,055 households, out of which 32.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 21.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.94.
The age of the population is spread out, with 26.7% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there are 87.7 males. For every 100 women aged 18 and over, there were 82.2 men.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,196, and the median income for a family was $38,043. Males had a median income of $30,835 versus $23,398 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,338. About 12.5% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.6% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.
The following are schools in the Hopewell, Virginia school division.
- Carter G. Woodson School
- Dupont Elementary School
- Harry E. James Elementary School
- Patrick Copeland Elementary School
All of the schools above are accredited by the Virginia Board of Education and by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Woodlawn Christian Learning Center (Also serves as an Early Childhood Education Center)
- Lead Center - Open to surrounding counties
- Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts And Technology Petersburg, VA, Open to students entering the 9th grade, with approval of passing through the admittance process.
- Sam Bass, NASCAR artist, graduated from Hopewell High School.
- Tawana Brawley - alleged victim of racially motivated rape and battery
- Samuel Face, American inventor, was born in City Point.
- William Haines, actor and interior designer, ran a dance hall in Hopewell in 1914 while in his early teens.
- Curtis W. Harris - civil rights activist and lieutenant of Martin Luther King
- Dorothiea Hundley (aka Seka), adult film actress, attended Hopewell High School.
- Monsanto Pope - former defensive tackle for the Denver Broncos
- Jered Stanley, former professional baseball player, played for the Boston Red Sox AA farm team The Greenville Drive.
The Hopewell News, operated by Lancaster Management Inc., is an 8,000 circulation thrice-weekly newspaper that covers local events . For about 80 years, the Hopewell News was a Monday-Friday afternoon paper. Facing declining circulation and ad revenue, it cut back to three times per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and later cut back again to twice weekly (Tuesday, Friday). In fall 2010, the paper expanded back to three times per week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). The paper appears to have had a vague merger with its sister publication, The News~Patriot, as its inside pages are branded "Hopewell News/News~Patriot" and its new website banner reads "Hopewell News & Patriot."
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Hopewell has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Bowman, Shearer Davis. "Conditional Unionism and Slavery in Virginia, 1860-1861: The Case of Dr. Richard Eppes", Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 96 (January 1988): 31-54, accessed 13 June 2012
- "Richard Eppes biography", Petersburg National Battlefield Website, National Park Service, accessed 13 June 2012[dead link]
- "Autobiography of Richard Slaughter", pp. 46-49, Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938, American Memory, Library of Congress, accessed 13 June 2012
- "Woman freed after two months", New York Times, 31 January 1983, Section A, p. 10
- 25 years after her rape claims sparked a firestorm, Tawana Brawley avoids the spotlight, by Michael Gartland,New York Post
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- 25 years after her rape claims sparked a firestorm, Tawana Brawley avoids the spotlight, by Michael Gartland, New York Post, 23 December 2012
- Baseball-Reference.com: Jered Stanley
- Climate Summary for Hopewell, Virginia
||Chesterfield County||Charles City County|
|Prince George County||Prince George County|
|Prince George County|