York County

York County

York County

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Yorktown’s Story:
Yorktown is known for the Virginia Tea Party on November 7, 1774, and the victory of the French and American allied forces over the British at the last major battle of the American Revolution. Lord Cornwallis’s British Army capitulated on the ground known today as Surrender Field on October 19, 1781.

Yorktown’s many historic sites gives visitors the opportunity to discover:
• How the French fleet won a critical battle for control of the Chesapeake Bay at just the right moment forcing Cornwallis to dig in for a siege in Yorktown;
• How General Washington and General Rochambeau were able to move their combined force so quickly to Yorktown; and
• The culmination of the stories of Washington, Rochambeau, Cornwallis, Lafayette, De Grasse, and the thousands of soldiers and sailors, Native Americans, enslaved people, and civilian refugees that make up the collective story of Yorktown.

Historical Sites:
Yorktown Battlefield at Colonial National Historical Park – Explore the fields, earthworks, and historic buildings where American independence was won. Driving tours of the Battlefield include siege lines and encampment areas. Ranger-led tours of the Battlefield and historic town leave from the visitor center daily, and Junior Ranger Programs are available for younger visitors. Administered by the National Park Service as part of Colonial National Historical Park.
Grace Church, Yorktown’s oldest building, is a historic Episcopal church and cemetery constructed in 1697 and later updated with a Greek Revival style. Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and other pre-Revolution Founding Fathers attended the church.
Custom House – The Custom House, built circa 1720, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and owned by the Comte de Grasse Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
Moore House – The site of negotiations that led to the British surrender at Yorktown in October 19, 1781.
Nelson House – Restored mansion of Thomas Nelson Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Virginia, and commander of the Virginia Militia during the Siege of Yorktown.
Poor Potter Archaeological Site – Described as a “poor potter” by Royal Governor William Gooch in 1732, William Rogers actually operated a large-scale pottery in Yorktown from 1720 to 1745 in violation of English trade laws.
Yorktown Baptist Church – Yorktown Baptist Church is set in the midst of the Yorktown Battlefield where brave individuals gave their lives for our freedom.
Yorktown Victory Monument – A marble monument erected in 1884 in Colonial National Historical Park commemorating the 1871 victory at Yorktown and the alliance with France that brought the end of the American Revolution.

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – This museum tells the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Exciting indoor galleries feature period artifacts, immersive environments, and films, including “The Siege of Yorktown,” with a 180-degree surround screen and dramatic special effects. Visitors can muster with troops in a re-created Continental Army encampment and help with chores at a re-created Revolution-era farm.
Watermen’s Museum – Tells the story of lives along the Chesapeake Bay and the history of the people who work on and harvest the bounty of the bay.
York County Historical Museum – Displays artifacts from Yorktown’s past including Native American tools, colonial Yorktown, Revolutionary and Civil War, and 20th Century exhibits of the USS Yorktown, the Naval Weapons Station, and more.

Local Events

“250th Anniversary of the 1774 York County Resolves” Lecture“250th Anniversary of the 1774 York County Resolves” Lecture
July 18, 2024 - July 18, 2024
York County

Historian Jim Gallagher will portray Thomas Nelson, Jr. as he describes the importance of the colonial protest against England's taxation policies. As... Read More

1774 Yorktown Resolves1774 Yorktown Resolves
July 20, 2024 - July 20, 2024
York County

It’s July 18, 1774, and the citizens of York County have been called out to join the boycott against English goods and protest against the tea tax. ... Read More

1781 British Occupation of Yorktown1781 British Occupation of Yorktown
August 03, 2024 - August 03, 2024
York County

The British are coming! The British are…here! Join us for exhibits and living history stations to mark the 243rd anniversary of the arrival of the B... Read More

 1781 Yorktown Before the Siege 1781 Yorktown Before the Siege
September 07, 2024 - September 07, 2024
York County

Take a step back in time to see what life was like in the British Camp before the arrival of the American and French forces on September 28, 1781. ... Read More

1781 Yorktown Before the Siege1781 Yorktown Before the Siege
September 08, 2024 - September 08, 2024
York County

Take a step back in time to see what life was like in the British Camp before the arrival of the American and French forces on September 28, 1781. ... Read More

Lafayette Grand Tour 1824 – 200th AnniversaryLafayette Grand Tour 1824 – 200th Anniversary
October 18, 2024 - October 18, 2024
York County

This event marks the 200th Anniversary of Lafayette's return to America in 1824 as "guest of the Nation" in which he visited all 24 states and all sur... Read More

Yorktown DayYorktown Day
October 19, 2024 - October 19, 2024
York County

The day begins with a wreath-laying ceremony followed by a patriotic parade down Main Street to commemorate the victory at the Siege of Yorktown in 17... Read More

Yorktown Market Days - Yorktown Victory MarketYorktown Market Days - Yorktown Victory Market
October 19, 2024 - October 19, 2024
York County

This is a specially-themed farmers market to celebrate the Victory at Yorktown. Red, white, and blue will be on full display as local artists will be ... Read More

Yorktown Tea Festival Yorktown Tea Festival
November 06, 2024 - November 08, 2024
York County

The goal of the Yorktown Tea Festival is to instill a sense of admiration for the history and traditions of tea and tea drinking in Virginia. The thre... Read More

250th Yorktown Tea Party Anniversary 250th Yorktown Tea Party Anniversary
November 07, 2024 - November 10, 2024
York County

On November 7, 1774, Thomas Nelson, Jr. and his group of fellow patriots marched to the Yorktown waterfront and threw two chests of tea overboard as a... Read More

VA250 Commission


Deirdre Roesch


Yorktown among sites to receive federal funding for preservation project

Yorktown among sites to receive federal funding for preservation project

July 14, 2023
Daily Press

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