Amelia Courthouse, Virginia
|Amelia Court House|
|Census-designated place (CDP)|
County Courthouse in Amelia
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Amelia Court House is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Amelia County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 Census was 1,099. Amelia Court House is also known as Amelia Courthouse and Amelia. The Amelia area is known for its supply of minerals, including the nation's best source of Amazonite found at the Morefield mine.
Amelia Court House is located on one of the principal Confederate railroads of the 1860s. After General Robert E. Lee retreated from Petersburg, in 1865, he spent April 4 and 5 in Amelia Court House waiting for supplies from Richmond. Those supplies never came; instead a train came through carrying government documents. Lee had been to Amelia prior to the Civil War to stay, with his family, at the spas located in the county. The last major engagement of Lee's army with Union forces occurred April 6, 1865 just on the border of Amelia County in a place called Sayler's Creek. Lee would surrender in Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
Amelia's court clerks' offices still contain records prior to the Civil War, unlike other courthouses. The Union forces were in such a hurry to catch up to Lee's Army of Northern Virginia that they did not take the time to ensure that the office would burn. The iron shutters and brick construction meant that torches lit to destroy the building went out without causing damage to the building's contents.
A countywide festival called Amelia Day is held each May on the Saturday before Mother's Day. This festival started in the 1980s to celebrate Amelia's birthday. Vendors, local clubs and citizens come out to enjoy music, dancing and socializing. At the first Amelia Day residents came out to sign a long roll that, along with other items, was put in a time capsule that has been buried in the courthouse green near the Confederate War Memorial.
The Amelia Day festival had to be canceled in 2003 when the courthouse green was struck by an F1 tornado on Friday, May 8, the day before the festival. This tornado destroyed most of the beautiful courthouse green trees and thus the area where the festival was to be held. Amelia is no stranger to tornadoes; a small Virginia tornado alley exists in Central Virginia and Amelia County itself has had numerous tornado touchdowns. Tornadoes of note include the April 30, 1924, tornado that passed east of the courthouse area, killing one and injuring seven others. This tornado went from Jetersville to Chula. A tornado also hit Amelia County on October 13, 1983, one of a family of tornadoes that affected much of Central and Northern Virginia. Other stronger tornadoes have affected the county, especially to the east.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Amelia Courthouse has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
- Toby Wing, early 20th Century actress, was born in Amelia Courthouse.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Virginia Trend Report 2: State and Complete Places (Sub-state 2010 Census Data). Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 8, 2011
- Bill Sammler (July 1, 2008). "Tornado History". Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM)-Vaemergency.gov. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
- "Climate Summary - Amelia Courthouse, Virginia". Weatherbase.com. Retrieved March 17, 2014.