In 1779, the E. M. Todd Company opened the first meat packing operation in the country and began producing the traditional local specialty, Smithfield hams. Smithfield was established in 1749 as a port on the Pagan River and platted as a town of small farmsteads, on part of the plantation owned by Arthur Smith. The Isle of Wight County Court moved here in 1752. As the county's port, Smithfield had a large export trade with England and the West Indies. The peanut industry has also been a mainstay of the Smithfield economy since the late nineteenth century. The merchants who made their money in these industries built some of Smithfield's most opulent houses. In 1921 a disastrous fire swept along the wharf, wiping out many local businesses and older commercial structures. The buildings of major interest are located along Main Street, perpendicular to Church Street, which parallels the river.
You are here
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.