The name derives from the resemblance of the tobacco introduced and grown by John Rolfe in 1614 to a variety grown in Varina, Spain. Varina was established as a town in 1680 and became the civil, judicial, and ecclesiastical center of Henrico County. The town became the county seat and included the first courthouse and jail, dunking stool, tavern, ferry, and racetrack, as well as Henrico Parish's church and glebe. In 1752 the county seat was moved to Richmond. The town of Varina was located on the north bank of the James River just east of the present I-295 bridge.