National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Pocahontas State Park Historic District
Reference Number 15001054
State Virginia
County Chesterfield
Town Chesterfield
Street Address 10301 State Park Road
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 2/8/2016
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Pocahontas State Park, originally known as Swift Creek Recreational Demonstration Area (RDA), was a project of the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Pocahontas State Park Historic District has statewide significance under Criterion A in the area of Entertainment/Recreation and under Criterion C in the areas of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. The park's period of significance is 1935-1946, encompassing the park's initial acquisition, design, and construction by the CCC through the National Park Service's donation of the park to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Pocahontas State Park is being nominated under the Multiple Property Documentation Form, Virginia State Parks Built by New Deal Programs, including CCC and WPA. Swift Creek RDA was one of just two RDAs developed in Virginia and one of forty-six created across the United States. The RDAs were the brainchild of the National Park Service (NPS) as part of the larger Federal Emergency Land Relief Program begun in 1934. In 1946, the NPS donated the park to Virginia State Parks, to be run jointly by the state and the Virginia Department of Forestry. Renamed Pocahontas State Park and Pocahontas State Forest, the area became the state's largest park. In 1989, the park implemented a new master plan that included expansion of the park facilities to attract and accommodate the growing numbers of residents in the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County. Pocahontas State Park is important in Virginia as the only state park specifically designed for use by large groups such as groups from churches, civic organizations, or schools, instead of single families or individuals. The park's historic landscape design is intact, and is best exemplified by the topography-hugging road and trail networks, the spatial relationships among the group cabin sites and relationships among resources within each group cabin site, and the design of the manmade lakes, dams, and spillways. Architecturally, Pocahontas State Park is notable for having the largest number of surviving buildings constructed during the CCC period of any Virginia state park. The majority of buildings were built in a rustic architectural style that stressed simplicity in design and use of native building materials.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria