Friday, July 30, 2010

TAYLOR- Smithfield, VA

Smithfield is a town in Isle of Wight County, in the South Hampton Roads subregion of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia in the United States.

History and industry

Smithfield, first colonized in 1634, is located on the Pagan River, not far from Jamestown. The Native Americans knew this area as Warascoyak, also spelled Warrosquoyacke, meaning “point of land.”

The town, established in 1752 by Arthur Smith IV as a seaport and incorporated in 1921, is most famous for the curing and production of the Smithfield ham. The Virginia General Assembly passed a statute defining Smithfield ham by law in 1926.

There were both Revolutionary and Civil War actions in and around the town mostly due to its proximity to the James River.

Smithfield is a river town, and its life and growth were dependent on the river until the fire of 1921 which destroyed its peanut warehouses and its growing peanut businesses. The peanut trade moved to the nearby railroad town of Suffolk.

Currently, Smithfield Foods, a Fortune 500 Company that owns Smithfield Packing Company and others, is the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. The company, based in Smithfield, raises 12 million and processes 20 million hogs annually.

Smithfield's Historic District boasts over 70 buildings of exceptional architectural importance, including residences of the Colonial, Federal, and Victorian periods. Sites of historic interest in Smithfield include the 1750 Court House, the adjacent colonial tavern that is now the Smithfield Inn, the Isle of Wight Museum, the Schoolhouse Museum, and Windsor Castle Park.


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