All About Suffolk: History

As Virginia's largest City, Suffolk is 430 square miles of rich land with woods, lakes, rivers, and rolling terrain - not to mention wise development and the use of it - that make this area bountiful for residents and businesses alike. Our schools and parks, neighborhoods, health care facilities and utilities help create a successful community. In fact, some of the region's most prosperous companies already call Suffolk home. And the great potential for growth is attracting many new businesses and employees. This is a place full of pride. Full of promise. A place where progressive isn't just a description, it's an attitude. It's a place with vision. It's Suffolk,Virginia. You're welcome to join us.

The seal showcases important founding dates: 1646 for Nansemond County, 1742 for Suffolk, and 1974 for the consolidated City of Suffolk. Also, the tractor represents our agriculture, the helmet our history, the fish for recreation,the gears for industry, and the peanut signifies the importance of the crop.

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SEAL of Suffolk

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Suffolk MACE

Adopted as official city regalia in 1978, this Mace was presented by the governing body of the town of Ipswich, Suffolk County, England, to commemorate our historic relationship.
 
Native Americans lived off the bountiful land in Suffolk. Back in 1609, the Nansemond Indians drove out Captain John Smith, who was interested in the oyster beds in the Nansemond River. This river, the commerce it helped create, and the English settlers who recognized the opportunity they would have here, gave birth in 1742 to the Town of Suffolk, named after Governor William Gooch's home of Suffolk County, England. Burned by the British in 1779 and damaged by other fires throughout the next century, Suffolk survived to become a city in 1910. In 1974, it became the present City of Suffolk, consolidating with the towns of Holland and Whaleyville, and the County of Nansemond. The end result was a new municipality encompassing a total of 430 square miles, making it the largest city in land area in Virginia and the 11th largest in the country. In 1912, an Italian immigrant named Amedeo Obici moved from Pennsylvania to Suffolk and opened Planters Nut and Chocolate Company. Today, Suffolk remains a major peanut processing center and transportation hub.
Suffolk Seal
Copyright © 2014 City of Suffolk, Virginia
All rights reserved.

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