County History

Historic Lunenburg County lies within the rolling terrain of the Piedmont (Southside) area of the State of Virginia which is frequently referred to as the “Mother of Counties”.

Lunenburg originally was part of Brunswick County which was established during the reign of George II of England. Among his numerous titles was Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg (this spelling is correct). When this territory was divided, one section became Brunswick County and the other Luneburg, later Anglecized to Lunenburg.

Lunenburg County is proudly and historically known as the “Mother of Counties.” After being formed from Brunswick on May 1, 1746, Lunenburg went on to provide territory for the formation of nine other counties after 1753-Charlotte, Partick and Henry-hence, the title, “Mother of Counties.” The first Lunenburg Courthouse was located in what is now Mecklenburg County.

Lunenburg is one of only thirteen counties in Virginia known as “The Hanover Counties” because they bear names associated with various persons of the royal House of Hanover. Lunenburg is also historically known as “The Old Free State of Lunenburg,” a title bestowed at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. Lunenburg, largely agricultural, is known for its red clay and climate suited to various crops, mainly tobacco which has been and remains the principal cash crop. The abundant red clay was beneficial for building, resulting in the historic courthouse and many of its antebellum (pre-war) homes and chimneys being constructed of hand-kilned bricks from native soil.  The present Lunenburg Courthouse building, the county’s third, was erected between August 1824 and March 1827. The historic Lunenburg County Courthouse (Circuit Court) embodies the architectural characteristics of Thomas Jefferson and carries the great distinction of being one of only four Jeffersonian Courthouses in Virginia.  Though still beautiful and statuesque, the courthouse building and grounds have been altered to varying degrees over the years. The Lunenburg Board of Supervisors completed construction of a new Courts Building, housing various local government offices in 2006 and renovations to the historic Courthouse in 2009. The renovations and new construction are intended to be architecturally compatible with the 176-year old original structure and immediate surroundings to maintain the original integrity of the buildings and grounds.