We pleased you are interested in Zuni, Virgina.
Zuni, Virginia is an unincorporated community in Isle of Wight County in the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia in the United States. Zuni is home to a several businesses and churches. It is served by its own Post Office and, per 2007 statistics, has a population just under 2,000. The name of the town is properly pronounced Zoo-nigh and should not be confused with the Zuni Pueblo Indians, which is pronounced Zoo-Knee.
Zuni sits on the banks of the Blackwater River, which separates Isle of Wight County from Southampton County. By American highways, Zuni is on U.S. Route 460, southeast of Ivor and northwest of Windsor, in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Zuni has been associated with the Norfolk & Petersburg railroad towns (Suffolk, Windsor, Ivor, Wakefield, Waverly) which were named by Mrs. Mahone, wife of the railroad builder and Civil War Hero, Gen. William ‘Billy’ Mahone. Mrs. Mahone was a fan of the writings of Sir Walter Scott, and she named the new railroad towns for the places in his books. However Zuni is a much older town, and was here long before Mrs. Mahone and the towns that sprung up along the railroad line. Zuni, Virginia, was established in the early 1700s.
According to a book written by Jane March, Zoo-Nye: A Story of the Village, Zuni, Virginia was likely an early river town, as shown from an excerpt in her book:
"From what I have found, most of the village of Zuni lay along the Blackwater River, just to the south of the present railroad, businesses and residences grew on the north side of the railroad after the tracks were in place."
And eventually, Zuni turned into a thriving railroad town, which was home to many businesses, including the peanut industry, a cotton gin, a bank, barber shops, livery, boarding houses, hotels, and more.
Zuni was also a strategic point during the civil war, and there is a Historical Marker that was erected in 2006 by the Department of Historic Resources (Marker Number U121) to commemorate this. In part, the marker states:
"...Confederate forces were stationed here in 1861 to protect the railroad bridge and the road leading to Suffolk. In May 1862, they destroyed the bridge to prevent Union forces from crossing the Blackwater River. From Sept. 1862 to Mar. 1863 skirmishes between Confederate and Union troops took place here and throughout the area. About 5,000 Confederate soldiers were here in Oct. 1862. ..."
Zuni, Virginia, indeed has a rich and varied history that is worthy of capture and preservation for the benefit of present and future generations, which is why this historical society was founded, and we encourage you to learn more about the Zuni Historical Society. Our hope is that you will join the Zuni Historical Society and help us preserve the story of the village.