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Trip Planner USA  /  Virginia  /  Petersburg

Petersburg

4.3
Battlefields · Historic Sites · Cemeteries
Petersburg is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,420. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines Petersburg (along with the city of Colonial Heights) with Dinwiddie County for statistical purposes. It is located on the Appomattox River and 21mi south of the state capital of Richmond. The city's unique industrial past and its location as a transportation hub combined to create wealth for Virginia and the region.Early in the colonial era, Petersburg was the final destination on the Upper Appomattox Canal Navigation System because of its location on the Appomattox River at the fall line (the head of navigation of rivers on the U.S. east coast) was a strategic place for transportation and commercial activities. It connected commerce as far inland as Farmville, Virginia to shipping on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. For similar reasons, Fort Henry was built at Petersburg to protect the river.As railroads were constructed in the state in the 1830s, Petersburg was developed as a major transfer point for both north-south and east-west competitors. The Petersburg Railroad was one of the earliest predecessors of the modern-day CSX Transportation system. Several of the earliest predecessors of the area's other major Class 1 railroad, Norfolk Southern, also met at Petersburg. Access to railroads stimulated industry in the city, which was already established because of the water power available at the fall line, as the river plunged from the Piedmont to lower lands.
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