As a town wedged between the Appomattox and James Rivers, Chester, Virginia, is both steeped in history and immersed in nature. Aside from the beautiful outdoors, the town is home to many arts and culture affairs, so Chester, VA living comes with very few dull moments. Here are just some of the arts and culture things to do in Chester that showcase its rich history.
Local Theatre: Swift Creek Mill Theatre, Inc.
Swift Creek Mill Theatre, Inc. is located in an old grain mill built in 1663. The Theatre produces children’s and general public theatre productions to entertain the whole family. Their mission is to grow acceptance and cultural awareness through the art of theatre. They have many educational opportunities for school children, and adult groups, to attend. If your child is interested in learning how to act, the Swift Creek Mill Theatre holds a Youth Theatre Summer Camp every summer to teach stage design, movement, voice, and acting.
House Museum: Magnolia Grange
Magnolia Grange is a historical plantation house built by William Winfree in 1822 in the Federal style. The building is named after the magnolia trees that once scattered the front lawn. The home itself is an architectural marvel with intricate mantel carvings, ceiling medallions, and exquisitely designed window and doorframes. It also houses a museum that showcases 19th-century plantation life. Check out the Chesterfield gift shop if you want to bring home any souvenirs.
Concert Series: Pocahontas Premieres
Between May and September, Pocahontas State Park hosts a concert series in their Heritage Amphitheater. Most of these concerts are free. However, a few cost between $12 and $15 to attend. Bring your blankets and a picnic basket to enjoy the lively show while eating dinner. Otherwise, Gregory’s Grill, right next to the series, sells beer, wine, and food.
Historical Site: The Mid-Lothian Mines Park
The Mid-Lothian Mines Park is home to one of the first industrial sites in the US. In 2004, it opened to the public as a tribute to America’s first coal minors. Explore the cut stone mine ruins and take in the woodland that surrounds the area to understand the experience that America’s first miners went through. This is a great way to view a piece of American history and pay tribute to one of America’s first workers. Additionally, every now and again Mid-Lothian Mines Park puts on cultural events.
Historical Home: Castlewood
Castlewood is the headquarters of The Chesterfield Historical Society. It is an old plantation home built in 1817 at the corner of Iron Bridge and Krause road. It is a unique home that has a five-part building structure. It is open to the public to explore, and also houses the Historical Society’s research library that may be of some interest to those who want to learn more about their surrounding area.