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
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia