1643 - Bristol Parish established due to increasing population in the Appomattox Valley.
1645 - Fort Henry established for the defense of the inhabitants on the south side of the James River. It was probably built partly in response to the Powhatan Indian attacks led by Opechancanough in 1622 and 1644. From 1638 to 1675, Fort Henry's commander and owner, Abraham Wood, rose to the rank of major general of the militia, participated in Indian relations, revised laws of the colony, and led expeditions to the south and west. Fort Henry became a center of trade and exploration.
1675 - Peter Jones succeeded Abraham Wood as leader in the area. He married Margaret Wood (Abraham's daughter), continued the trade established by Wood, was in charge of Fort Henry, and established his own trading post. Local tradition indicates that Petersburg may have been named for Peter Jones but there is no documentation.
1733 - Colonel William Byrd II led an expedition to survey newly acquired lands near the Virginia - North Carolina line. During this expedition, he laid the foundation of two towns, Richmond and "Petersburg."
1734-37 - Bristol Parish built Blandford Church. The congregation abandoned this building in 1806 to occupy the new church on Courthouse Hill in downtown Petersburg. Blandford Church was used as a field hospital during the Civil War. The Ladies Memorial Association began reinterring Confederate Soldiers to Blandford Cemetery in 1866 and restoration of the church in 1901. The LMA unveiled the Tiffany windows between 1904 and 1912. Blandford Church remains Petersburg's oldest structure.
1748 - Towns of Petersburg and Blandford incorporated.
1752 - Town of Pocahontas Incorporated.
1744 - The First Baptist Church congregation organized in Prince George County. They erected the current building on Harrison Street in 1870. In 1870, the congregation operated the first black high school in Petersburg out of the church until the city built Peabody High School in 1874. This is the oldest African-American congregation in the United States.
1781 - On April 25, Two thousand five hundred British soldiers under Major General William Phillips forced one thousand militia under Major General Baron Von Steuben to retreat across the Appomattox River during the Battle of Petersburg. Phillips captured Mary Bolling, mother of Captain Robert Bolling IV, and her three daughters and used their home' "Bollingbrook," as his headquarters. Phillips died on May 13 and was secretly buried in Blandford Cemetery.
1784 - May. Towns of Petersburg, Blandford, and Pocahontas and the suburbs of Ravenscroft and Bollingbrook become one town called Petersburg. Petersburg elected John Banister as it's first mayor in 1781.
1791 - April 14, George Washington visited Petersburg.
1800 - August 30, Slave Gabriel Prosser planned a rebellion in Richmond where they planned to assemble about 1100 blacks, march on Richmond, seize the arms stored at the penitentiary, capture the powderhouse, and kill all who resisted. Two Meadow Farm slaves told the plan to their owner and the white community panicked. The rebellion never happened probably due to the leaked plans and the raging storm that day. The result was the arrest and execution of numerous "suspicious looking" blacks and increased legislation limiting the rights of Virginia's free blacks and slaves. Prosser was captured and hung. It was rumored that 2 Pocahontas residents were involved.
1812 - The Petersburg branch of Farmer's Bank of Virginia opened in rented quarters in an unknown location which apparently burned in 1815. The bank operated from it's 1817 building on Bollingbrook Street until forced to close after the Civil War. The Fort Henry branch of the Association for the preservation of Virginia Antiquities acquired it in 1963 and restored the building.
1813 - On May 5, The Petersburg Volunteers participated in the Battle of Fort Meigs during the war of 1812. Due to Petersburg Volunteers service in this battle under General William Henry Harrison, then president, James Madison nicknamed Petersburg the "Cockade City" based on the colorful cockades they wore on their hats.
1813 - Bollingbrook Street became the first paved street in Petersburg.
1815 - On July 16, Petersburg suffered the Great Fire that destroyed more than 350 buildings and causing an estimated $3,000,000 in damage. As a result, Petersburg residents began building out of brick. Between 1815 and 1817, Petersburg saw the emergence of approximately 300 brick buildings.
1829 - Joseph Jenkins Roberts left Petersburg and relocated in Liberia. He was elected sheriff of the colony in 1833, lieutenant governor in 1839, served as governor 1842-48, became Liberia's first president 1848-1855, and served a second presidential term 1871-1876.
1830 - Petersburg's first railroad, Petersburg Railroad, was incorporated and completed the line to Weldon, NC in 1833. It was one of the first railroad companies to have sleeping cars.
1831 - Nat Turner's insurrection in Southhampton County had widespread consequences for Virginia's African-Americans. It led to increased legislation limiting rights of Virginia's free blacks and slaves (free blacks prohibited from learning to read or write).
1836 - Edgar Allen Poe and Virginia Clemm honeymooned in Petersburg at Hiram Haines Coffee House on East Bank Street.
1839-41 - The Petersburg Courthouse was built.
1850 - The Virginia Assembly incorporated Petersburg as Virginia's third city.
1854 - The Southside Railroad Station was built. It is the oldest railroad station in Virginia. It is the site of the beginning of Lee's Retreat to Appomattox.
1864 - On June 9 Union forces made their first attack on the city. Approximately 125 members of the second class militia (men too young or old to serve in the regular army) under the command of Major Fletcher H. Archer kept 5800 Union infantry and cavalry at bay until the regular Confederate Army could arrive. More than half the militia were killed, wounded or captured. Petersburg's Black population also played a part in the victory that day.
1864 - On June 15 the Siege of Petersburg began. This was the longest siege of any American city in the history of the Civil War. 28,000 Confederate and 42,000 Union soldiers lost their lives in and around Petersburg. During the war, 186,097 blacks served in the United States Colored Troops. Nine regiments saw action in Petersburg.
1865 - On April 2 Lee withdrew his troops from Petersburg. Grant and President Lincoln met at the Wallace House after Petersburg surrendered. Lincoln also visited Centre Hill Mansion, which served as Union headquarters.
1866 - On June 9, The Ladies Memorial Association held Petersburg's first Memorial Day celebration at Blandford Cemetery.
1868 - Petersburg Common Council adopted plans for a public school system and appointed a Board of Education. This preceded the establishment of the state school system by two years.
1874 - Wilkerson Funeral Home opened. It is still the longest operating black owned business in Petersburg. Peabody High School was built, one of the first African-American high schools in Virginia.
1878 - The present Farmers Market was built, the forth market building to occupy this site since 1787.
1882 - Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute was established. (now Virginia State University).
1909 - President William Howard Taft visited Petersburg on May 19 for the dedication of the Pennsylvania Monument commemorating the miners in the Union Army that dug the tunnel and set the charge that started the "Battle of the Crater." Taft luncheoned at Centre Hill Mansion with local dignitaries.
1917 - Camp Lee began operations. The War Department closed it after World War I, then reopened it during World War II. It was renamed Fort Lee in 1950. It is still in operation today. It is the home of the Army Quartermaster Corps.
1920 - Petersburg adopted a City Manager form of government.
1926 - The Department of Interior established Petersburg National Military Park which continues to be a major tourist attraction and therefore is a vital component of the city's economy.
1957 - Martin Luther King visited the Petersburg area, he was also here in 1962 and 1965.
1960 - Petersburg African-Americans held a peaceful demonstration at William McKenny Library to protest their "whites only" policy.
1966 - Petersburg students could exercise "freedom of choice" where they could choose which school they wanted to attend. This began the process of integration.
1974 - The new Petersburg High School opened on Johnson Road marking the complete integration of the public schools. The old Petersburg High School on Washington Street closed and Peabody High School became a middle school.
1972 - The city established the Department of Tourism which continues to operate the Petersburg Museums and attract visitors to the city.
1973 - The city organized the Ward System for city elections by order of the Federal Court.
1973 - Hermanze E. Fauntleroy, Jr. became Petersburg's first black mayor.
1973 - Florence Farley was the first black woman to serve on Petersburg's City Council. In 1984 she became Petersburg's first black woman mayor.
1993 - A tornado damaged and destroyed several historic structures in Old Towne and Pocahontas Island.
1998 - The City of Petersburg celebrated its 250th Birthday.
2016 - The City is Broke! Will it Recover?