Main Births etc
Hopewell, Virginia
—  City  —
The waterfront of City Point, Virginia (present-day Hopewell) during the winter of 1864-1865.
Official seal of Hopewell, Virginia
Location in the State of Virginia
Coordinates: 37°17′25″N 77°18′18″W / 37.29028, -77.305
Country United States
State Virginia
Incorporated 1914
 • Mayor Christina J. Luman-Bailey
 • City 10.8 sq mi (28.0 km2)
 • Land 10.2 sq mi (26.5 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)  5.36%
Elevation 50 ft (15.2 m)
Population (2009)
 • City 23,326
 • Density 2,182.3/sq mi (842.9/km2)
 • Metro 1,175,652
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 23860
Area code(s) 804
FIPS code 51-38424[1]
GNIS feature ID 1495714[2]

Hopewell is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The population was 23,326 according to 2009 estimates[3] and 23,591 at the 2010 Census. It is in Tri-Cities area of the Richmond-Petersburg region and is a portion of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Hopewell with Prince George County for statistical purposes.


City Point[]

The city owes its existence to its site overlooking the James and Appomattox Rivers. City Point, the oldest part of Hopewell, was established in 1613 by Sir Thomas Dale. It was first known as "Bermuda City" which was changed to Charles City, lengthened to Charles City Point, and later abbreviated to City Point. (At this time, Bermuda, the Atlantic archipelago, was considered part of the Colony of Virginia and appeared on its maps.)

"Charles City Point" was in Charles City Shire when the first eight shires were established in the Colony of Virginia in 1634. Charles City Shire soon became known as Charles City County in 1637. In 1619 Samuel Sharpe and Samuel Jordan from City Point, then named Charles City, were burgesses at the first meeting of the House of Burgesses. An area of the county south of the river including City Point became Prince George County in 1703. City Point was an unincorporated town in Prince George County until the City of Hopewell annexed the Town of City Point in 1923.

During the American Civil War, Union General Ulysses S. Grant used City Point as his headquarters during the Siege of Petersburg in 1864 and 1865. Grant's headquarters, which President Lincoln visited, were located on the Eppes plantation, whose owner had used many slaves as labor before the war.

The City Point Railroad, built in 1838 between City Point and Petersburg played an important role in the campaign. It is considered the oldest portion of the Norfolk and Western Railway, now a part of Norfolk Southern.

Hopewell Farm[]

Hopewell, part of the Eppes' plantation, was developed by DuPont Company in 1914 as Hopewell Farm, an incorporated area in Prince George County. DuPont first built a dynamite factory there, then switched to the manufacture of guncotton during World War I.

Nearly burned to the ground in the Hopewell Fire of 1915, Hopewell prospered afterward and became known as the "Wonder City". Unlike most cities in Virginia, Hopewell was never incorporated as a town but was incorporated as an independent city in 1916. It was abandoned by DuPont after World War I and briefly became a ghost town. In 1923 Tubize Corporation established a plant at the old DuPont site. The same year, the city of Hopewell annexed the neighboring town of City Point.

1935 bus tragedy[]

Hopewell made national news when, on December 22, 1935, a bus plunged through the open draw of the Appomattox River Drawbridge on State Route 10 just outside Hopewell's city limits. Of the 15 occupants of the bus, only one survived. Today, the modern twin spans of the Charles Hardaway Marks Bridges cross nearby.

Hopewell Public Schools[]

The following are schools in the Hopewell, Virginia school division.

High School

  • Hopewell High School

Middle School

  • Carter G. Woodson School

Elementary School(s)

  • Dupont Elementary School
  • Harry E. James Elementary School
  • Patrick Copeland Elementary School

Detention Centers

  • Woodlawn Christian Learning Center (Also serves as an Early Childhood Education Center)
  • Lead Center - Open to surrounding counties


  • Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts And Technology Petersburg, VA, Open to students entering the 9th grade, with approval of passing through the admittance process.

Can Check Grades/ Schedules/ Attendance

Recent history[]

Smokestacks rise from Hopewell's skyline

Hopewell is the host city of large chemical plants owned by the Honeywell Corporation and Hercules Chemical as well as a paper mill owned by Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Recently acquired by Rock Tenn). It has dealt with many environmental issues over the years, most notably the kepone debacle of the 1970s.

In 1977, Hopewell again made the national news when a tanker hit the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Bridge.

In 1983, Hopewell made the national news again when it was discovered that an elderly woman by the name of Evelyn Rust Wells had been held captive in her home in the low-income side of the City Point area of Hopewell. Her captors, mostly men under 18, cashed her Social Security checks at local groceries. (At the time, this was typical as the local boys and girls watched out for Ms. Wells and frequently did her grocery shopping for her.) One of the local grocers, however, eventually called the police when the boys used her check to buy beer. Ms. Wells was liberated after two months of being tied to her chair while her house was destroyed.[4]

Although still an important industrial city, like many cities, it has faced issues of urban decay. Its middle class has largely disappeared into Prince George County, and its housing stock is dominated by rental properties and low-income housing projects.

Hopewell has seen a resurgence with renewed development of its large waterfront areas, the downtown areas, and the City Point Historical District. The city has a collection of Sears Catalog Homes, with several available for exterior viewing on a self-guided tour.

Hopewell is also home to a collection of Aladdin Kit Homes, and may have had one of the largest collections in the country at one time. Many of these Aladdin Kit Homes have been razed.

Since 1994 Hopewell has been twinned with Ashford, Kent, U.K.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.8 square miles (28.0 km²), of which 10.2 square miles (26.5 km²) are land and 0.6 square mile (1.5 km²) is water, for a total area of 5.36% water.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected area[]

  • Petersburg National Battlefield Park (part)



The partially, newly-restored historic Beacon Theater, in downtown Hopewell

As of the census[1] of 2008, there were 25,601 people, 9,055 households, and 6,075 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,182.3 people per square mile (842.9/km²). There were 9,749 housing units at an average density of 951.7 per square mile (367.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.12% White, 43.48% Black, 0.81% Asian, 0.35% Native American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 1.77% from two or more races. 3.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 9,055 households, out of which 32.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 21.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.94.

The age of the population is spread out, with 26.7% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there are 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,196, and the median income for a family was $38,043. Males had a median income of $30,835 versus $23,398 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,338. About 12.5% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.6% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents[]

  • Samuel Face, american inventor, was born in City Point
  • Dorothiea Hundley (aka Seka), adult film actress attended Hopewell High School
  • William Haines, actor and interior designer, ran a dance hall in Hopewell in 1914 while in his early teens
  • Curtis W. Harris, civil rights activist and lieutenant of Martin Luther King
  • Bobby Parker Jr (aka DJ WILD), owner and founder of the Wild Side Radio Network, a group of six Internet Radio stations based in Montreal
  • Sam Bass, NASCAR Nascar artist for 25-plus years, hails from Hopewell and graduated from Hopewell High School
  • Monsanto Pope, former defensive tackle for the Denver Broncos


The Hopewell News, operated by Lancaster Management Inc., is an 8,000 circulation thrice-weekly newspaper that covers local events [2]. For about 80 years, the Hopewell News was a Monday-Friday afternoon paper. Facing declining circulation and ad revenue, it cut back to three times per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and later cut back again to twice weekly (Tuesday, Friday). In fall 2010, the paper expanded back to three times per week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). The paper appears to have had a vague merger with its sister publication, The News~Patriot, as its inside pages are branded "Hopewell News/News~Patriot" and its new website banner reads "Hopewell News & Patriot."


See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Hopewell, Virginia


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ [1]. Weldon Cooper Center Population Estimates Retrieved January 26, 2011
  4. ^ New York Times, January 31, 1983. Section A Page 10.

External links[]

Coordinates: 37°17′25″N 77°18′12″W / 37.290399, -77.303371


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hopewell, Virginia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.