Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

300-0087 Smithfield Historic District

Smithfield Historic District
Photo credit: Elizabeth Lipford/DHR, 2022

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 02/20/1973

NRHP Listing Date 07/02/1973

NRHP Reference Number 73002022

On the banks of the Pagan River, the compact Isle of Wight County community of Smithfield survives as perhaps the best preserved of Virginia’s colonial seaports. World famous for the Smithfield hams produced here commercially for more than two centuries, the quiet little town has escaped significant modernization. Smithfield was founded in 1749 on the plantation of Arthur Smith and was incorporated in 1752. With a population of little over 1,000, the Smithfield Historic District has approximately fifty buildings of exceptional architectural interest. A rich sampling includes the 1752 Isle of Wight County courthouse; the late-18th-century Todd House, home of the town’s earliest meatpackers; The Grove, a formal Federal-style house; and the lavish Queen Anne-style P. D. Gwaltney, Jr. House, home of a modern meatpacking family. The Georgian Revival-style Boykin House is the largest of the many fine residences lining tree-arched Church Street. Numerous lesser buildings of various types contribute to Smithfield’s historic ambience.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

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

Updated: May 20, 2022