Mechanicsville, Virginia Information
Mechanicsville, known as the “ville,” is located in Hanover County, Virginia, just 15 minutes from Richmond, the capital of Virginia. It is a census-designated place (CDP), which means it is a concentration of people in an unincorporated area defined as a CDP by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. The Census Bureau has used the CDP designation since 1980 for populated areas with officially designated but unincorporated communities. CDPs also include the surrounding areas. So the boundaries for a CDP may not be the same as what the local population considers to be the community.
Mechanicsville, Virginia Details
The Mechanicsville area was settled by the English in the 1600s. One of the early settlers was John Shelton, who was given a land grant that became known as Rural Plains. A descendant, also named John Shelton, built a house on the land around 1725 that became known as the Shelton House. Nine generations of the Shelton family lived in the Shelton House until the land was transferred to the Richmond National Battlefield Park in 2006. The second John Shelton was a tavern keeper at Hanover Court House and the father of Sarah Shelton, who married Patrick Henry. Patrick and Sarah Henry were given 300 acres of Rural Plains by her father. They called it Pine Slash. Their original home burned down in 1757, but the overseer’s house that they moved into, known as the “Honeymoon Cottage,” is still standing just a mile away from the Shelton House.
Since Mechanicsville is only 6.6 miles from Richmond, which was the capital of the Confederacy, many Civil War battles were fought in the area. There are two driving trails that include most of the sites; the 1862 Peninsula Campaign trail and Lee vs. Grant 1864 trail. The Peninsula Campaign ended with the Seven Days Battles. These were actually six major battles fought in seven days, from June 25 to July 1, 1862, between the Northern forces of Major General George B. McClellan and the Southern forces of General Robert E. Lee. With all the battles in the area, it is amazing that any of the older buildings are still standing. However, the Shelton House even survived the Battle of Totopotomoy Creek on May 30, 1864, when Union signalmen were on the roof sending messages to the Northern forces and the Confederate cannoneers were shooting at them, hitting the house 51 times. Sarah Shelton and her children, ranging from 14 to 35, were in the basement during the battle. The signalmen survived. However, the house was severely damaged and still bears scars today.
Population and Real Estate Facts and Figures
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the population is 38,364 with 13,712 households. The education level of the population is 92.2 percent with a high school degrees or higher and 32.8 percent with a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The median household income is $73,497 with a per capita income of $32,538.
There were 14,267 housing units with 78 percent owner-occupied in April 2010. The median value of the owner-occupied housing was $223,900 from 2011 to 2015. The median monthly cost of that housing was $1,542 with a mortgage in the same time period. The median monthly cost of that housing was $413 without a mortgage in the same time period. The median gross monthly rent from was $1,095 in that time period.
Places to See and Things to Do in the Mechanicsville, Virginia
You can visit the Richmond National Battlefield Park, including the Shelton House, at Rural Plains. There is a 1.25 mile walking trail where you can see the original breastworks created by the Union infantry on the north side of Totopotomoy Creek and the entrenchments and cannon positions created by Confederate army on the south side. The visitor center is located at the Tredeger Iron Works, 470 Tredeger Street, in Richmond and is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. The park and trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset.
The Polegreen Church was established in 1747. Its first pastor was Reverend Samuel DDavie,sa great orator who focused his sermons on the principles of the American Revolution. He was a great influence on Patrick Henry. The church burned down in 1864 when the Confederate army fired on it in an attack on the Union sharpshooters inside it. A white, outdoor, open-air silhouette structure is on the site of the original church. It is located at 6411 Heatherwood Drive and is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
The Hanover Tavern was established in 1733. It is one of the few surviving taverns from the colonial times. The oldest section of the current tavern was built in 1791. George Washington stayed here, and Patrick Henry argued his Parsons Cause case here. It is located at 13181 Hanover Courthouse Road and is open from 11 AM to 9 PM Wednesday and Thursday, 11 AM to 10 PM Friday and Saturday, and 11 AM to 8 PM on Sunday. Guided tours are offered at 2 PM Wednesday through Friday. Self-guided tours are offered from 11 AM to 4 PM Wednesday through Friday.
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