Chatham, Virginia

Chatham, Virginia

North Main Street, Chatham, circa 1909


Location of Chatham, Virginia
Coordinates: 36°49′32″N 79°23′51″W / 36.82556°N 79.39750°W / 36.82556; -79.39750Coordinates: 36°49′32″N 79°23′51″W / 36.82556°N 79.39750°W / 36.82556; -79.39750
Country United States
State Virginia
County Pittsylvania
  Type Council-Manager
  Mayor Roy P. Byrd, Jr.
  Town Council Janet R. Bishop
William P. Black
C.B. Cundiff
Robert B. Thompson
Andrew D. Wall
William Wiebking
  Town Manager Richard Cocke
  Total 2.0 sq mi (5.3 km2)
  Land 2.0 sq mi (5.3 km2)
  Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 748 ft (228 m)
Population (2000)
  Total 1,338
  Density 654.6/sq mi (252.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
  Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 24531
Area code(s) 434
FIPS code 51-15000[1]
GNIS feature ID 1498464[2]
Website Official website

Chatham is a town in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, United States. It is the county seat of Pittsylvania County.[3] Chatham's population was 1,338 at the 2000 census. It is included in the Danville, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town was originally called Competition, but the name was changed to Chatham by the Virginia General Assembly on May 1, 1852. [4]

Chatham is home to Chatham High School, Hargrave Military Academy, and Chatham Hall, an all-female boarding high school.


Lower Main Street, Chatham, February 1911

It is the home to the oldest continually used building in Pittsylvania County, once an 18th-century tavern, since turned into a house and now occupied by Chatham Hall faculty. Chatham is the county seat for Pittsylvania County and has held that status since 1777.[5] There is a large U.S. Department of Agriculture office to support farmers in the area and a small branch office of the U.S. Forestry Service. The State of Virginia has built a new state prison at the site of an old work-release camp and this led to infrastructure upgrades in fire and water services to support the increased population.

Chatham did not see any battle action during the Civil War although it is between Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, and Danville, which contained Confederate prisons for captured Union soldiers. On Confederate Memorial Day each year, the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy places flowers at the statue of a Confederate soldier which is prominent in the front of the historic Pittsylvania County Court House. There is a walking tour of this downtown historic district and a brochure for this is available at the Town Hall, or at the Historical Society building next to Town Hall. There are several bed & breakfast establishments located on Main Street in historic Greek Revival homes.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Chatham has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.3 km²), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20151,481[6]16.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
The Pittsylvania County Courthouse is one of eight sites in Chatham listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

As of the census[1] of 2000, 1,338 people, 554 households, and 350 families resided in the town. The population density was 654.6 people per square mile (253.2/km²). The 612 housing units averaged 299.4 per square mile (115.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 71.52% White, 26.08% African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.52% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 0.60% of the population.

Of the 554 households, 21.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were not families. About 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.87.

The Countyseat Giants, Chatham's baseball team, 1912

In the town, the population was distributed as 19.6% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $38,938, and for a family was $50,391. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $23,472 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,785. About 6.3% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.4% of those under age 18 and 17.0% of those age 65 or over. For people 25 years and over in Chatham:

For people 15 years and over in Chatham:

Nineteen residents are foreign born (1.4%). The current mayor is Roy P. Byrd, Jr. He was elected in 2012. The Town Council serves four-year terms. The current town council members are William Wiebking, Andrew D. Wall, Janet R. Bishop, Robert B. Thompson, William P. Black, and C.B. Cundiff.[8][9]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Chatham has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.[10]


  1. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. "A Rich Southern History". Town of Chatham. Town of Chatham, Virginia. Retrieved 2016-06-12. In 1806, the controversy over where to build a new courthouse resulted in the General Assembly confirming a new location and establishing the Town of Competition. A name change from Competition to Chatham was made by an act of the General Assembly, passed on May 1, 1852, and the town of Chatham was incorporated on April 24, 1874.
  5. Crane, John (2008-06-10). "Chatham mayor blasts supervisors". Danville Register-Bee. Media General. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
  6. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  7. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. The Town Council Members. (n.d.). Retrieved from Town of Chatham:
  9. Chatham, Virginia. (n.d.). Retrieved from City
  10. Climate Summary for Chatham, Virginia
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