The community was established about 1800, known at the time as Tanner's Station. The Bullittsburg Baptist Church was founded outside the former hamlets of Utzinger and Gainesville/Idewild, east and north of Petersburg, in 1794.
This Petersburg is often confused with another Petersburg, in Woodford County, which in 1791 was a candidate for the site of the new state's capital. That Petersburg no longer exists.
Charles Clinton Fleek, recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in the Vietnam War. "Chalky", as he was known, attended the 5 classroom, Petersburg Elementary School which has since been demolished/converted into a local community center and branch of the Boone County Public Library.