Amelia Court House
Census-designated place (CDP)
County Courthouse in Amelia
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Amelia Court House (also known as Amelia Courthouse and Amelia) is a census-designated place (CDP) that serves as the county seat of Amelia County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 Census was 1,099. It was named for Princess Amelia of Great Britain, the daughter of Great Britain's King George II, in 1735.
Amelia Court House was in a rural area of the Virginia Piedmont developed for plantations of mixed crops. In the 19th century, spas were developed around mineral springs and served as vacation destinations for travelers. Some visitors arrived by railroad after one was built to serve the area. Among the planters who came to the spas with their families was Robert E. Lee, the future Confederate general.
By the 1860s, the village was served by a railroad that became relied on by the Confederacy. After General Robert E. Lee retreated from Petersburg in 1865, he spent April 4 and 5 in Amelia Court House waiting for supplies from Richmond. Those supplies never arrived. Instead, a train came through carrying government documents. The last major engagement of Lee's army with Union forces occurred April 6, 1865, on the border of Amelia County at the Battle of Sayler's Creek. Lee surrendered in Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
Amelia's court clerks' offices contain records dating to before the Civil War, unlike many other courthouses that lost such records in wartime destruction. The Union forces were rushing to catch up to Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and did not ensure the courthouse records were burned. The iron shutters and brick construction of the courthouse protected its contents..
A countywide festival called Amelia Day is held each May on the Saturday before Mother's Day. This festival started in the 1980s to celebrate the town's founding. Vendors, local clubs, and citizens organize to enjoy music, dancing and socializing. At the first Amelia Day, residents signed a long roll that, along with other items, was put in a time capsule and buried in the courthouse green near the Confederate War Memorial.
In 2003, Amelia Day was cancelled after the courthouse green was struck by an F1 tornado on Friday, May 8, the day before the festival. This tornado destroyed most of the trees on the green.
A small Virginia tornado alley exists in Central Virginia and Amelia County has had numerous tornado touchdowns. Tornadoes of note include the April 30, 1924, tornado that passed east of the courthouse area, killing one person and injuring seven others. This tornado traveled from Jetersville to Chula. A tornado hit Amelia County on October 13, 1983, one of a family of tornadoes that affected much of Central and Northern Virginia. Other stronger tornadoes have affected the county, especially to the east.
(Five Forks Rd., N. Five Forks Rd., and Virginia, Court, Washington, & Church Streets)
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Amelia Courthouse has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.