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26 EXPLORE 2016

was celebrated in honor of the 30,000 Confederate soldiers buried on Memorial Hill inside the burial ground. The Blandford Visitors’ Reception Center is located at 111 Rochelle Lane, Petersburg. For information, call (804) 733-2396. Battersea Historic Battersea is a beautiful eighteenth century Neo-Palladian style home built in 1768 by founding father Colonel John Banister, a signer of the Articles of Confederation and the first mayor of Petersburg. Battersea is located on Upper Appomattox Street and Battersea Lane in Petersburg. For information, call 804-7332400 or (800) 368-3595 or visit www.petersburgva.gov. Petersburg Visitors Center One of the nation’s only bank museums, the Farmers’ Bank was incorporated in 1812 and opened its Petersburg branch in 1817. The three-story Federal structure became a

frequent gathering place for the Petersburg community. The first floor of the building held the banking area with the original vault. Clerks cashed checks and made exchanges from the other side of a long counter. In the early 19th century, the executive officer of the bank and his family lived on the upper floors of the bank. The rooms were well-appointed with intricately decorated mantels and doorways. A family kitchen has been built on its original site. The bank continued to operate through the Civil War. In 1866 the General Assembly passed an act that affected all state banks and forced the Farmers’ Bank to liquidate its assets. The Bank became a private residence and passed through many hands before being conveyed to Preservation Virginia (then the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities) in 1960. The first floor is now exhibited as a bank. The Visitor’s Center is located at 19 Bollingbrook Street, Petersburg. For more information, call (804)733-2400.

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