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Hanover County History

Hanover County is rich with American history. The county boasts of Patrick Henry--a prominent figure in the American Revolution who is well-known for his "Give me liberty or give me death speech." Henry also made history in the Hanover Country Courthouse as an attorney in the notorious Parson's Cause case (1763)--arguably one of the most important legal and political disputes leading up to the American Revolution. Seen as a great leader and orator, Henry later became the first governor of the state of Virginia.

Equally renowned in Virginia and American history is politician Henry Clay. Born in Hanover County, Clay attended law school in Richmond, Virginia. Dubbed the "The Great Compromiser" and "The Great Pacificator," he was influential in the Missouri Compromise.

Hanover County also played a major role in the Civil War. Many battles were fought in Hanover, including some of the bloodiest conflicts between the Union Army commanded by Major General George B. McClellan and the Confederate Army under General Robert E. Lee. Those most famous battles are the Seven Days Battle of the Peninsula Campaign (1862), Cold Harbor (1864), and North Anna (1864).

Today, Hanover County includes beautiful countryside with some of Virginia's finest horse country and livestock farms. Alongside these rural qualities, Hanover County's tremendous growth also makes it one of Virginia's fastest growing counties.

Area Attractions

The Richmond Region has many exciting attractions, from historic museums and professional sports teams to theme parks. Three theme parks are located within 45 minutes of downtown Richmond. To the north is Paramount's King's Dominion, and to the east are Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. Both King's Dominion and Busch Gardens are family theme parks with rides and shows.

Richmond is also known for its superb museums. There is something for everyone including science lovers, history buffs, fine art connoisseurs, and curious children. For example, the Science Museum of Virginia has more than 250 hands-on exhibits, IMAX Theatre films, and planetarium shows. And The Children's Museum of Richmond is a place where children ages 2-12 can explore and learn with participatory exhibits.

State and Civil War history can be found at every turn in Richmond. The State Capitol, the Governor's Mansion and the Richmond National Battlefield Civil War Visitor Center provide overviews on a city with rich history. Hanover County also played a major role in the Civil War. Many battles were fought in Hanover, including some of the bloodiest conflicts between the Union Army commanded by Major General George B. McClellan and the Confederate Army under General Robert E. Lee. Those most famous battles are the Seven Days Battle of the Peninsula Campaign (1862), Cold Harbor (1864), and North Anna (1864).

The addition of two new open-air malls has created excitement in the Richmond area. Short Pump Town Center is a 1.2 million square-foot, two level, open-air regional lifestyle center. The center takes up 147 acres off of Broad Street and Interstate 64 and contains 120 premier stores and restaurants. It is anchored by Nordstrom, Hecht's, Dillard's, and Dick's Sporting Goods. Within the city limits, you can find Stony Point Fashion Park with high-end retailers and an intimate, park-like setting. With anchors like Saks Fifth Avenue, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillard's, and up to 90 specialty stores and full-service restaurants--many new to the Richmond area--Stony Point Fashion Park delivers food, fashion, fun, and convenience to sophisticated Richmond residents and visitors.

Within a two-hour drive from Richmond are many other appealing sites. These sites include the Atlantic Ocean, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Williamsburg, Norfolk, and Washington, DC. All are perfect for family vacations.

For additional tourist information, call the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-888-RICHMOND or download a brochure (PDF).

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