The Chesterfield County Museum, at 6813 Mimms Loop, is a replica of the 1749 courthouse where magistrates, during 1770-74, sentenced seven Baptist preachers to jail for preaching Christ without state-church approval. See the section, “Virginia Baptist Preachers Imprisoned in Chesterfield Jail 1770-74,” in Chapter 15.
The Chesterfield Museum is a brick reproduction of the colonial courthouse of 1749. It sits on a tract of land that was known in the 18th Century as “Coldwater Run”. The County was a rural community and the Courthouse of 1749 was not only a social gathering spot, it was a political nexus. Speeches, horse trading, games, drinking, and fistfights were standard events of each court day. The old courthouse stood until 1917 when it was razed for a new “courthouse” Preservationists could not save the building. The courthouse-museum complex was a project conceived by The Bermuda Ruritan Club and later a total of ten other Ruitan Clubs were involved in the project. Thanks to these Ruritans, the Museum was built in 1977 and officially dedicated on July 4, 1980.
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The Chesterfield County Museum, at 6813 Mimms Loop, is a replica of the 1749 courthouse where magistrates, during 1770-74, sentenced seven Baptist preachers to jail for preaching Christ without state-church approval. Where the jail once stood, there now stands the Religious Freedom Monument, a grantie memorial with a bronze tablet inscribed to the memory of those Baptist preachers. See the section, “Virginia Read more...
From Marker: Eleazar Clay (1744-1836) led the establishment of the first Baptist church in Chesterfield County, known as Chesterfield (Baptist) Church, Rehoboth Meeting House, or Clay’s Church, in 1773. He also supported the Baptist preachers imprisoned for breaching ecclesiastical law in the county jail in 1771. Ordained as a minister in 1775, Clay preached for more than 50 years, Read more...