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Welcome to the Town of Tappahannock

1 copyTown of Tappahannock Vision Statement
Tappahannock is a proud community, supported by over 400 years of history and dedicated to maintaining its attractive and safe environment. Cradled on the shore of the Rappahannock River, it is strategically placed at the crossroads of Central and Tidewater Virginia. The Town hosts world class medical services, modern infrastructure and provides opportunities to live, work and recreate where tradition meets the future. We celebrate and embrace a diverse, unified, and involved community. The Tappahannock experience brings you back for life.

Town of Tappahannock's Newsletters
The Town of Tappahannock issues bi-monthly newsletters. Please find all of our 2023 newsletters below.
February 2023 Newsletter
April 2023 Newsletter
June 2023 Newsletter
August 2023 Newsletter
October 2023 Newsletter

December 2023 Newsletter
February 2024 Newsletter
April 2024 Newsletter

History and Meaning Behind the Name "Tappahannock"
Tappahannock is older than Richmond, Fredericksburg and even Williamsburg. Captain John Smith landed here in 1608 but was driven back to his ship by the local Indians.

In 1608, this area was first visited by Captain John Smith. The area was inhabited by Native Americans and when Captain Smith attempted to land here, he was fiercely driven back to his ship. It was a Native American village and so he gave both the river and the village Native American names. The river became the Rappahannock, which meant "rise and fall" of water, and the village, set upon it, became Tappahannock, which means "town on the rise and fall of water". 

Ship captain Richard Hobbs patented 800 acres here in the early 1660s and the area became known as Hobbs His Hole; "hole" referred to an area of deep water that provided good anchorage. England desired to establish a port of entry and tobacco warehouse in each county and Benjamin Goodrich sold the Crown 50 acres of land for the town site. Town leaders tried changing the name Hobbs Hole to New Plymouth for a few years, but the original name of Tappahannock officially returned in 1705. On and around the water remain thirteen homes and buildings from the early days of the town.

The Town of Tappahannock was established by Act of the Virginia Legislature at James City in 1680. The Town was laid out in half acre squares which still bear the original numbers and its wide and straight streets still retain the original names. To the original 68 lot numbers eight "slip" lots were added to make the Town border on the Rappahannock River. A "Square" bounded by Prince (Main), Church, Queen, and Cross Streets was set aside in 1680 for "the Publick Use" and on this square are located four of the "Landmark" buildings.

Resident's Guide

Utility Billing Information

Billing Period:
April 15 - June 14

Due Date:
July 30

Cut-Off Date:
August 7

Contact The Town Office
915 Church Lane
PO Box 266
Tappahannock, VA 22560

Phone Number: (804) 443-3336
Fax Number: (804) 443-1051

Contact Essex County
202 South Church Lane
P. O. Box 1079
Tappahannock, VA 22560
Phone Number: (804) 443-4331