Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

123-0114 Pocahontas Island Historic District

Pocahontas Island Historic District
Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2020

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/06/2006

NRHP Listing Date 11/03/2006

NRHP Reference Number 06000977

The Pocahontas Island Historic District, located on the north side of the Appomattox River in Petersburg, is an African American community dating from the mid-18th-century with evidence of earlier Indian occupation. The street grid is virtually identical to the one laid out about 1749. Pocahontas Island’s buildings demonstrate the evolution from a typical white-dominated river town to a largely African American residential and commercial neighborhood during the first half of the 19th century. Petersburg had the largest free black population of Virginia’s cities, and more free blacks lived in Pocahontas than in any other part of Petersburg. The district contains an abundance of archaeological sites that illustrate the scope of Pocahontas Island’s history from prehistoric times through the 20th century. Today, a quiet residential neighborhood where many of the residents are descendants of the earlier free blacks, Pocahontas Island continues as a representative of the African American community in Petersburg and their long involvement in the history of this city.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: May 26, 2021