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10-09-17 Chesterfield County Celebrates Centennial of the Historic 1917 Courthouse
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2017 News Releases

For Immediate Release

Chesterfield County Celebrates Centennial of the Historic 1917 Courthouse

October 09, 2017
Communications and Media
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — On Thursday, Oct. 26, 2 p.m., Chesterfield County will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Historic 1917 Courthouse. This special event commemorates the day the cornerstone for the courthouse was laid in 1917. The courthouse sits on the footprint of the original 1749 colonial courthouse, which was demolished in 1916 and replaced with the current courthouse. The courthouse is located at 10011 Iron Bridge Road, Chesterfield.

The courthouse bell will ring 100 times just before 2 p.m. to open the ceremony, which includes music from Fort Lee’s 392nd Army Band, WRIC News Anchor Juan Conde as the master of ceremonies, remarks from George “Buddy” Cranford and Liess van der Linden-Brusse, of the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia, and from LTC Brian S. Neill, Battalion Commander of Fort Lee’s 266th Quartermaster Battalion. A reenactment of the first day of court on May 13, 1918 will be held, and retired Chesterfield County Administrator Lane B. Ramsey will be the keynote speaker.

After the ceremony, participants can take a rare opportunity to tour the Historic 1917 Courthouse, which is still a working courthouse 100 years later. They also can see the original 1749 courthouse bell, which is the oldest historic artifact in Chesterfield County, that is on permanent display in the County Museum along with an exhibit entitled, “Ringing in the Courthouse Centennial.” This bell hung in the cupola over the courthouse until it was removed last year. It was restored and preserved this spring and a replacement bell, made in 1860, has been installed in the courthouse cupola.

The county also is partnering with Fort Lee for this event since this also is its 100th anniversary. Camp Lee was established in 1917 as one of the 32 new cantonments to train the burgeoning Army, following the declaration of war on April 6, 1917. In June, the Fort Lee Centennial Exhibit, Mobilizing for War, opened in Chesterfield County’s Historic 1892 Jail. This exhibit commemorates the establishment of Camp Lee, later Fort Lee, as part of the mobilization efforts of the U.S. Army for World War I, and its current status as the center of logistical sustainment for the U.S. Army. The Fort Lee exhibit will be on display until November 2018.

The Historic 1917 Courthouse is a Chesterfield County Historic Landmark, a Virginia Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.

There also are two programs being held at the Library about the history of the historic courthouse and its significance in the county:
• Meadowdale Library: Thursday, Oct. 12, 7-8 p.m.
• North Courthouse Road library: Thursday, Oct. 19, 7-8 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.chesterfield.gov/1917courthouse/ .

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