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P. O. Box 855
Mathews, Virginia  23109-0855
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Tompkins Cottage
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Welcome to Our Web Site!

The Mathews County Historical Society began preserving the rich history of Mathews County Virginia more than 40 years ago. Our historical collection contains personal papers, books, genealogies, documents, manuscripts, maps, architectural surveys, photographs and newspaper clippings. These items contain a wealth of information for researchers and casual browsers.

In 1999, the Society established a partnership with the Mathews Memorial Library to house their respective collections of archival research materials and memorabilia related to Mathews County, the Chesapeake Bay and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

These two collections are housed in the Chesapeake Room and the Herman Hollerith Archival Room at the Mathews Memorial Library. The collections are cataloged and can be accessed by the public using the Library online public catalog system.

istory of Mathews County Virginia

With only 94 square miles of land, Mathews is one of the smallest of Virginia's counties. It was originally delineated c. 1651 as Kingston Parish within neighboring Gloucester County. In 1791, the Virginia General Assembly designated it as a separate county and named it for a prominent American Revolutionary War officer, General Thomas Mathews of Norfolk. Mathews supported the separation legislation and was the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. In 1776, the last of Virginia's Royal Governors, Lord Dunmore, was driven from the colony's shores by Continental cannons at Cricket Hill across from Gwynn's Island. The county has also served as an important shipbuilding center, especially during the 1830s. Captain Sally Tompkins, the only woman to serve as a commissioned officer in the Confederate Army, was born here at Poplar Grove.  

Mathews County Historical Society
P. O. Box 855
Mathews, Virginia 23109-0855

President, Josephine Thorpe
Webmaster, Becky Foster Barnhardt


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