Favorite thing: When you tour Petersburg, visit the Siege Museum first. When you purchase your tickets for that, get the Fort Henry Pass. For $11, you get the Siege Museum, the Centre Hill Mansion, and Blandford Cemetery and Church. Taken piecemeal, each attraction is $5 so you would save $4 (almost enough to get a dessert at Andrade's).
Favorite thing: Directly behind the Farmer's Market is the Southside Railroad Depot, built in 1856. It is the only antebellum railroad depot that survives to this day. That is no small feat given the Siege of 1864-65. However, the east wing was destroyed by the Great Tornado of 1993. The South Side Railroad was built and operated by slave labour, both rented and owned by the company. This was a supply and staging area for the Yankee army. It had a central office station, crowned with a cupola, and a pair of freight sheds going east and west. The current railway (Amtrak) station serving Petersburg is really in Ettrick (Chesterfield County) across the Appomattox River.
Favorite thing: The octagon building seen today is the fourth market building at this site. Note the iron brackets help support the outer canopy. You can still find local growers selling fresh vegetables, flowers, breads and jellies here each Saturday morning from April through to October. (Sadly, David and I were here on a Thursday afternoon.) Sometimes local singing groups entertain you while you shop at the 19th century market.
Favorite thing: On the northwest corner of Old and Market Street are the remnants of an old stone building that was the Peter Jones trading post. The structure you see dates back to 1809, but it may be on the site of a colonial trading station. Peter Jones was the one who gave his name to Petersburg.
Favorite thing: The intersection of Old and Market Streets has always been a centre of commerce in Petersburg. Here, tobacco, not cotton was king. In the 19th century, the cobblestone street was crowded with wagons. The big brick building at the west end of Old Street was once the Dunlop Tobacco Factory. In 1892 it employed over 700 people and produced more than 2 million pounds of tobacco a year. This example of 19th Century industry was converted into flats.
Favorite thing: A friend of Edgar Allen Poe's, Hiram Haines, once owned a coffee house on Bank Street where poets of that area loved to gather. Haines let his friend and his bride honeymoon there in 1836. Back then, there wasn't a Red Roof Inn at every stone's throw and only rich folks could stay at the inns along the way. Oftentimes, even on honeymoon, folks had to rely on the hospitality of their friends. The guide directly across the street at the Siege Museum wasn't 100% certain, but she was willing to bet that this cream-coloured building was the one because there is more lodging space in the upper floors than any other building on Bank Street.
Favorite thing: Visit the battlefield. In my opinion, this is one of the best kept Civil War historic battlefield parks. The area is very peaceful. You get the real feel of what went on during the Civil War.