Hanover County was
originally a part of New Kent County and was known as St.
Paul's Parrish. It became itís own county on November 26,
1720 and is a combination rural and suburban area north of
the city of Richmond, Virginia. Patrick Henry, a firebrand
native son of Hanover County was one of the most influential
and radical spokesmen of the American Revolution. His famous
speech in nearby Richmond's St. John's Church is credited to
delivering the army of Virginia to the revolutionary cause.
He served Virginia as its post-colonial Governor from 1776
to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786.
Hanover County includes approximately 471 square miles and
has one incorporated town, Ashland, within its boundaries.
The "Mayberry" small town feel of Ashland includes train
tracks running through the center of downtown where shoppers
and restaurant patrons can watch Amtrak trains pull into the
station from just feet away.
Hanover is about 12 miles north of Richmond and 90 south of
Washington, D.C. The two major interstates that cut through
the county are Interstate 95 and 295. Not far from downtown
Randolph-Macon College which is the oldest Methodist
College in the United States.
War Between the States
During the Peninsula Campaign of the Civil War, the Union
Army while moving through Hanover came within earshot of
Richmond, but was stopped at the Chickahominy River in 1862.
Union General George B. McClellan failed in the attempt to
get all of his troops across the river, keeping Richmond
safe for three more years. The county also saw other
important battles including the Seven Days Battles and the
Battle of Cold Harbor. The Battle of Cold Harbor is
remembered as one of America's most lopsided and bloodiest
battles. It brought together 170,000 soldiers and would
prove to be General Robert E. Lee's armies last win of the
The town of Ashland, also known locally as the "Center
of the Universe", is located in the central area of Hanover
County. Originally an 1840's resort, Ashland became the
still familiar small college town when Randolph Macon
College moved there in 1868. The population has grown to
about 6,000 residents and the town now encompasses about
seven square miles. Today the quaint town lies next to I-95
and Route 1, two major highways between Richmond and
- the 2000 census showed a
county population of 86,320
- 1736 birthplace and home of
- home of the internationally
known Hanover Tomato
Please Support Our Advertisers