Thanks to the efforts of the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society and the Civil War Trails project, Suffolk residents and visitors can enjoy many aspects of this region’s history. The Cedar Hill Cemetery is home to the Confederate Monument and other historic sculptures, as well as the Civil War Trails’ reenactment of the Siege of Suffolk. Riddick’s Folly is another popular site. This Greek Revival home once used as Union headquarters now operates as a museum and cultural center. Those interested in architecture will want to visit Suffolk’s historic district, which contains an array of historic homes and churches, most constructed in the late 1800s. The Glebe Episcopal Church, built in 1738, is one of Suffolk’s oldest buildings and another site not to be missed.
In addition to Suffolk’s strong ties to Colonial America, the city is also known for being the center of the American peanut industry and the birthplace of Mr. Peanut. In the early 20th century, an Italian immigrant came to Suffolk and opened up the Planters Nut and Chocolate Company. The peanut business supported the local economy for many years, and there are still large processing facilities in Suffolk today.
Though development of business and residential communities has changed Suffolk somewhat since its early days, there are still many open spaces and recreational opportunities available. The Great Dismal Swamp Refuge covers 223,000 acres, straddling Virginia and North Carolina. The site is densely wooded and is broken up with many random, narrow waterways. Trails are available for walking and bicycling. Sky diving, horseback riding, camping, fishing, boating and scuba diving are also available at various local facilities.
Golfers will enjoy one of at least five courses in Suffolk: Cedar Point Country Club, Nansemond River Golf Club, Riverfront Golf Club, Sleepy Hole Golf Course and the Suffolk Golf Course. Cedar Point is a private club, Nansemond and Riverfront are semi-private, and Sleepy Hole and Suffolk are public courses.
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