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Pittsylvania County

Pittsylvania County is named for William Pitt, who was the first Earl of Chatham.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Bedford County and Campbell County

E – Halifax County

S – Caswell County, North Carolina, Danville and Rockingham County, North Carolina

W – Henry County and Franklin County


Created:  November 6, 1766                  Map of Virginia highlighting Pittsylvania County

County Seat: 

Peytonsburg   1767

Callande         1767 – 1777

Chatham         1777 – present


County Courthouse – Chatham


Location:  1 North Main Street / Bank Street

Built:  1852 – 1853

Style:  Classical Revival and Italianate

Architect:  Lindsay Shoemaker (Shumaker) and L M Shumaker

Contractor:  Lindsay Shoemaker (Shumaker) and L M Shumaker


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick and wood structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Chatham. The west front has a large portico with four white colored columns rising to a pediment at the roof line. Stairs ascend to the second story. On the center of the roof is a large square white colored cupola with clock, belfry and hipped roof. North and south wings extend from the building and the Courthouse Annex constructed in 1968 is attached on the east side. In the interior, the Circuit Court courtroom is located on the second story and has elaborate Italianate plasterwork which consists of paneled ceiling, a large circular ceiling medallion and a three-part cornice. The cornice has engaged balls, acanthus leaves and a plain band. The judge’s bench is separated from the auditorium by a balustrade with vase-turned balusters. The Colonial Revival aedicule and paneling behind the bench date to 1947. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit. Alterations were made in 1896 and 1927. On the east side is the 1968 County Courthouse Annex.


See:  The contractor, Lindsay Shoemaker (Shumaker) also constructed the courthouse in Campbell County.


History:  The county was created in 1766 and Peytonsburg, which was the county seat of Halifax County, became the county seat. The first courthouse was a brick structure that had been built by James Roberts Jr. in 1754 to 1755. In 1769, the county seat was moved to Callands. The second courthouse was built by James Roberts in 1770. In 1777, the county seat was moved to Chatham. The third courthouse was built in 1783 by David Hunt. The fourth  and present courthouse was constructed in 1852 to 1853 .The County Courthouse Addition was constructed in 1989 to 1991.


County Courthouse Addition – Chatham



Location:  11 Bank Street / North Main Street

Built:  1989 – 1991

Style:  Modern

Architect:  The Moseley Group

Contractor:  Blair Construction, Inc.


Description:  The building faces west and is a three story light red colored brick and concrete structure. The building joins the Courthouse Annex on the west side and extends east and north. The first story has brick pillars along the south side. A wide concrete band runs along thee flat roof line. The building houses the County Circuit General District Court and County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit. The building is named as the Edward R Shields Courthouse Addition. 


See:  The 22nd Judicial Circuit includes Danville and Franklin County.


County Administration Building  – Chatham



Location:  21 North Main Street / Center Street

Built:  1937 – 1938

Style:  Neo-Classical

Architect:  J Bryant Heard and Robert W Thompson

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story red colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located in the center of Chatham on the north side of the courthouse. The west central entrance is framed with concrete and the building corners are also trimmed. The roof line is flat. The building is named as the Alpheus Moses Building. The building was a Works Project Administration project. 


Old County Clerk’s Office – Chatham


Location:  16 Court Place / Main Street

Built:  1812

Style:  Federal

Architect:  Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces east and is a one story light red colored brick  structure. The “L” shaped building is located on the landscaped grounds of the Town Hall to the east of the courthouse. The green colored roof is hipped. An addition was built in 1833.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Old County Clerk’s Office



County Courthouse Complex – Chatham



County Courthouse – Chatham











County Courthouse Annex – Chatham





County Courthouse Addition – Chatham





County Administration Building – Chatham



Photos taken 2013