• City of Hopewell Plans for Historic Property in City Point Historic District

    City of Hopewell Plans for Historic Property in City Point Historic District

     “City Point House” Part of Hopewell’s Black History

    Hopewell/Prince George, VA February 25, 2021 – The City of Hopewell is continuing historic preservation with its sights set on 601 Prince Henry Street in the City Point Historic District.  The City purchased the property from Shiloh Masonic Lodge #33.  The Lodge is still active although not meeting in person during the pandemic.  Its membership included Former City Mayor, Civil Rights and Religious Leader, Rev. Curtis W. Harris, deceased, who was a worshipful leader of Shiloh Lodge #33 (Prince Hall Affiliate).
    According to a 2019 report generated by Carl Lounsburg, Architectural Historian, the house was built in the early nineteenth century. Architectural evidence based on construction technology, decorative details, and its original single pile plan, which sits on a high basement suggests that it was originally built c. 1810-1830.  Despite renovations made by the lodge, the first and second stories of the City Point House retain much original trim along with most of its early gauged and undercut pine floorboards.  According to Lounsburg, perhaps given the many disturbances, it is amazing that the original chimney pieces or mantels survived.

    Two professional assessments have been made which provide suggestions on the way forward for the property.  The City has commissioned the Hopewell Historic Preservation Committee  supported by staff member Chris Ward, Senior Planner.  Councilor Deborah Randolph, Ward I, which includes City Point, is championing this project for Council and she shared “obtaining this property allows for more of the Hopewell story to be told going back to the earliest settlement of City Point which was once part of Prince George County.  As  someone with great appreciation of history, this is a great opportunity for the City's story to be told inclusively.”

    The 1860 US Federal Census shows free black residents in City Point who worked as sailors, farmers, seamen, and shiphands.  More of this story will unfold as the committee determines steps for conservation, further site investigation, documentary research, and archeology which will reveal the people, the furnishings, function, and families of this 200-year-old property. The committee is seeking any information on the historic use of the property and any research on past activities of the Shiloh Lodge.

    About the Chamber:  The H/PG Chamber is the prominent local aggregator of business enterprises. The mission is to serve a diverse, active membership and support strategic initiatives that impact business growth in the community. The Chamber operates the H/PG Visitor Welcome Center.