Fluvanna County, Virginia

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Fluvanna County
Fluvanna County Courthouse.JPG
Fluvanna County Courthouse, January 2014
Fluvanna Seal.jpg
Map of Virginia highlighting Fluvanna County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Virginia in United States.svg
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°50′N78°17′W / 37.84°N 78.28°W / 37.84; -78.28
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Virginia.svg  Virginia
Named for Fluvanna River
Seat Palmyra
Largest community Lake Monticello
  Total290 sq mi (800 km2)
  Land286 sq mi (740 km2)
  Water4.1 sq mi (11 km2)  1.4%
  Density89/sq mi (34/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 5th
Website fluvannacounty.org

Fluvanna County is a county located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,691. [1] Its county seat is Palmyra. [2]

County (United States) Subdivision used by most states in the United States of America

Template:Infobox subdivision type The only state to have parishes instead of counties is Louisiana

Piedmont (United States) plateau region located in the eastern United States

The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the Eastern United States. It sits between the Atlantic coastal plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New York in the north to central Alabama in the south. The Piedmont Province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division which consists of the Gettysburg-Newark Lowlands, the Piedmont Upland and the Piedmont Lowlands sections.

Virginia State in the United States

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.


Fluvanna County is part of the Charlottesville, Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Charlottesville, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville and officially named the City of Charlottesville, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. This means a resident will list Charlottesville as both their county and city on official paperwork. It is named after the British Queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who as the wife of George III was Virginia's last Queen. In 2018, an estimated 48,117 people lived within the city limits. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes, bringing its population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which includes Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson counties.


Through the 17th century, the Point of Fork (near Columbia where the James and Rivanna rivers meet) was the site of Rassawek, a major Monacan village of the Native Americans. By 1701, the Seneca Iroquois had overrun the entire Virginia Piedmont, which they sold to Virginia Colony in 1721 at the Treaty of Albany.

The Seneca are a group of indigenous Iroquoian-speaking people native to North America who historically lived south of Lake Ontario. They were the nation located farthest to the west within the Six Nations or Iroquois League (Haudenosaunee) in New York before the American Revolution.

Iroquois Northeast Native American confederacy

The Iroquois or Haudenosaunee are a historically powerful northeast Native American confederacy in North America. They were known during the colonial years to the French as the Iroquois League, and later as the Iroquois Confederacy, and to the English as the Five Nations, comprising the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca. After 1722, they accepted the Tuscarora people from the Southeast into their confederacy, as they were also Iroquoian-speaking, and became known as the Six Nations.

The area which is now Fluvanna County was once considered part of Henrico County, one of the original shires of the Virginia Colony. Henrico was divided in 1727 and the Fluvanna County area became a part of Goochland County. In 1744 Goochland was divided and the area presently known as Fluvanna became a part of Albemarle County. When Amherst County, Nelson County and Buckingham County were split off from Albemarle County, the Albemarle County Seat was moved in 1762 from Scottsville to Charlottesville. When the Albemarle County seat was moved citizens in the Fluvanna area would now have to trek over the Southwest Mountains to reach the new seat at Charlottesville. Fluvanna area citizens lobbied the Virginia General Assembly to create a new county. Finally, in 1777, Albemarle County was divided again and Fluvanna County established.

The eight Shires of Virginia were formed in 1634 in the Virginia Colony. These shires were based on a form of local government used in England at the time, and were redesignated as counties a few years later. As of 2007, five of the eight original shires were considered still extant in the Commonwealth of Virginia in essentially their same political form, although some boundaries and several names have changed in the almost 400 years since their creation.

Nelson County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Nelson County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2018 census, the population was estimated to be 14,836. Its county seat is Lovingston. Nelson County is part of the Charlottesville, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nelson County is home to Wintergreen Resort, a local ski area; Swannanoa mansion and is the location of Walton's Mountain made famous by the television show, The Waltons. Nelson County is also home to ten wineries, five craft breweries, two cideries, two distilleries, many fruit orchards and Crabtree Falls.

Buckingham County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Buckingham County is a rural United States county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and containing the geographic center of the state. Buckingham County is part of the Piedmont region of Virginia, and the county seat is the town of Buckingham.

The county was named for the Fluvanna River, a name once given to the James River west of Columbia. "Fluvanna" means "Anne's River", in honor of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, who reigned until 1714. [3] Located in the Piedmont above the Fall Line, the county has the James and Rivanna rivers running through it. It was sometimes referred to as "Old Flu." [4]

James River river in Virginia, United States

The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia that begins in the Appalachian Mountains and flows 348 miles (560 km) to Chesapeake Bay. The river length extends to 444 miles (715 km) if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. It is the longest river in Virginia and the 12th longest river in the United States that remains entirely within a single state. Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia’s first colonial capitals, and Richmond, Virginia's current capital, lie on the James River.

Columbia, Virginia Unincorporated community in Virginia, United States

Columbia, formerly known as Point of Fork, is an unincorporated community in Fluvanna County, Virginia, United States, at the confluence of the James and Rivanna rivers. Following a referendum, Columbia was dissolved as an incorporated town – until that time the smallest in Virginia – on July 1, 2016. As of the 2010 census, the town's population was 83, up from 49 at the 2000 census.

Anne, Queen of Great Britain Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland

Anne was the Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland between 8 March 1702 and 1 May 1707. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death in 1714.

Fluvanna was defended by six militia companies during the American Revolutionary War. The county was invaded by British forces in 1781 who destroyed the Point of Fork Arsenal. From an initial 882 "tithables," the population reached 3,300 by 1782. Columbia was formed in 1788 with Bernardsburg and Wilmington following soon after. Lyles Baptist Church was organized in 1774 and the formation of the Methodist denomination had its roots in a Conference held in Fluvanna in 1779. The "Brick Union" Church was built in 1825 for the use of Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians. The village of Fork Union grew up around the Church.

When Palmyra was made the county seat in 1828 it quickly became a thriving town after the new courthouse was completed in 1830.

In the late eighteenth century, Thomas Jefferson improved the navigability of the Rivanna River, as he owned much property along its upper course, e.g. Shadwell and Monticello plantations. Improvements included in the first generation (through 1830) were sluice cuts, small dams and batteaux locks.

Thomas Jefferson Third President of the United States

Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights, motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level.

Monticello the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson

Monticello was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who began designing Monticello after inheriting land from his father at age 26. Located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the Piedmont region, the plantation was originally 5,000 acres (20 km2), with Jefferson using the labor of enslaved Africans for extensive cultivation of tobacco and mixed crops, later shifting from tobacco cultivation to wheat in response to changing markets. Due to its architectural and historic significance, the property has been designated a National Historic Landmark. In 1987, Monticello and the nearby University of Virginia, also designed by Jefferson, were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current nickel, a United States coin, features a depiction of Monticello on its reverse side.

Sluice A water channel controlled at its head by a gate

A sluice is a water channel controlled at its head by a gate. A mill race, leet, flume, penstock or lade is a sluice channelling water toward a water mill. The terms sluice, sluice gate, knife gate, and slide gate are used interchangeably in the water and wastewater control industry.

Second-generation (1840–1870) improvements made by others included construction of long stretches of canal, serviced by large locks, many of which are still visible along the river. Shortly after the completion of the initial Rivanna navigational works, Virginia requested that the river be opened to public usage. Jefferson reportedly initially refused, but the state insisted and the Rivanna became an integral part of the central Virginian transportation network. The route serviced a large community of farmsteads, plantations throughout Albemarle and Fluvanna counties. It also was lined by increasing numbers of industrial facilities, such as those at Union Mills. Construction of the larger mills prompted the great improvements to navigation. For instance, Union Mills featured a two-and-a-half-mile long canal and towpath, and one upper and two massive lower locks, all directly upon the river.

Where the Rivanna meets the James River at Columbia, the Rivanna Connexion Canal merged with a much longer canal. (The series of locks which connected the two canals lie just outside the Town of Columbia and are mostly buried by sediment today). In 1840, the James River and Kanawha Canal was constructed adjacent to the north bank of the James River and opened to traffic. The new canal was part of a planned link between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean via the James and the Kanawha rivers; it was intended to connect via the Ohio River, to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The canal was used by packet and freight boats, which replaced the earlier shallow-draft batteau for commerce. These boats brought goods and passengers to and from Richmond and points beyond. Long a dream of early Virginians such as George Washington, who was a surveyor early in his career, the canal was never completed as envisioned.[ citation needed ]

In the batteaux era, Milton was the head of navigation on the river. By the early nineteenth century, horse-drawn canal boats were traveling all the way upstream to Charlottesville. The head of navigation was located at the point where the Fredericksburg Road (now VA 20) and Three Chopt Road (U.S. Route 250), the primary road to Richmond, met and entered the city at the Free Bridge, establishing the city as a major commercial hub.

While no Civil War battles were fought in Fluvanna, Union soldiers burned mills and bridges and damaged the James River and Kanawha Canal to disrupt traffic and commerce. During the American Civil War more than 1,200 of the county's citizens served in the Confederate forces. Its citizens served in infantry, cavalry, and artillery units during the war, including the Fluvanna Artillery.

The canal was repaired after the war, but traffic never returned to pre-war levels, as railroads were being constructed throughout the state and were more efficient. After many years of trying to compete with the ever-expanding railroad network, the James River and Kanawha Canal was conveyed to a new railroad company by a deed dated March 4, 1880. Railroad construction workers promptly started laying tracks on the towpath. The new Richmond and Allegheny Railroad offered a water-level route from the Appalachian Mountains just east of West Virginia near Jackson's River Station (now Clifton Forge) through the Blue Ridge Mountains at Balcony Falls to Richmond. In 1888 the railroad was leased, and later purchased, by Collis P. Huntington's Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.

Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) was initially founded as Fork Union Academy in October 1898 by Dr. William E. Hatcher, a prominent local Baptist minister. The first class had 19 boys and girls. In 1902, the academy took on a military structure to provide organization, discipline, and physical development for the boys of what was a rapidly growing school. In 1913, the academy became an all-male institution and changed its name to Fork Union Military Academy. That same year, the Academy began receiving support from the Baptist General Association of Virginia, which has continued into the 21st century. FUMA is known for its One Subject Plan as well as Post Graduate Football team that has many NFL players and Heisman Trophy winners as alumni.[ citation needed ]

Early in the 20th century, the C&O built a new line between the James River Line at Strathmore and the Piedmont Subdivision on the old Virginia Central Railroad's line at Gordonsville. The Virginia Air Line Railway was built to move loads that were too high or too wide to pass through the tunnels of the Blue Ridge Mountain complex between Charlottesville and Waynesboro. Additionally, coal trains from West Virginia headed eastbound for Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia were routed on the new line to avoid steep mountain grades. The VAL was completed on September 29, 1909. A new freight station was built at Palmyra. The tracks of the VAL were abandoned in 1975, as railroad freight traffic had declined.


Historical population
1790 3,921
1800 4,62317.9%
1810 4,7753.3%
1820 6,70440.4%
1830 8,22122.6%
1840 8,8127.2%
1850 9,4877.7%
1860 10,3539.1%
1870 9,875−4.6%
1880 10,8029.4%
1890 9,508−12.0%
1900 9,050−4.8%
1910 8,323−8.0%
1920 8,5472.7%
1930 7,466−12.6%
1940 7,088−5.1%
1950 7,1210.5%
1960 7,2271.5%
1970 7,6215.5%
1980 10,24434.4%
1990 12,42921.3%
2000 20,04761.3%
2010 25,69128.2%
Est. 201826,783 [5] 4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census [6]
1790–1960 [7] 1900–1990 [8]
1990–2000 [9] 2010–2015 [1]

As of the census [10] of 2000, there were 20,047 people, 7,387 households, and 5,702 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 8,018 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.44% White, 18.41% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 1.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.60% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 31.70% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.20 males.

Between 1990–2000, the population grew 61.3%. It is projected to be over 28,000 by 2010. The average family size is 2.9 persons. The median income for a household in the county was $46,372, and the median income for a family was $51,141. Males had a median income of $32,346 versus $24,774 for females. In 2000, there were 1,121 individuals below the poverty line which consisted of 280 children below the age of 18.In 1990, there were 1,287 individuals below the poverty line which consisted of 439 children below the age of 18.

According to the 2000 Census, the County median home value is $111,000 and the median mortgage is $900.00.

The County's school system consists of 3,490 students. There are currently 1 high school, 1 middle school, and 2 elementary schools one of which is an upper elementary school. Student/teacher ratio is 22–1. 17% of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. As of 2000, 4,657 individuals over three years old enrolled in school, including 827 residents in college or graduate school. According to the 2000 Census, 1,066 students were enrolled in grades 9–12 and 603 in nursery school and kindergarten.

Fluvanna County High school is famous for its unique nickname, 'The Flying Flucos'. The Flying Flucos nickname has been recognized by ESPN as one of the top 10 unique High School nicknames in the country.


Fluvanna has a workforce of 13,527. 13% of the workforce lives and works inside the county borders. 68% of county residents work in another locality. 19% of the workforce lives in another locality and works in Fluvanna. The average Fluvanna resident commutes over 30 minutes to work. [11]

The top 10 employers in Fluvanna as of 2019: [11]

  1. Fluvanna School Board
  2. Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women
  3. County of Fluvanna
  4. Fork Union Military Academy
  5. Lake Monticello Owners' Association
  6. AG Dillard Inc.
  7. BFI Transfer Systems of Virginia (Republic Services)
  8. Dominos Pizza
  9. Food Lion
  10. MMR Constructors Inc.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 290 square miles (750 km2), of which 286 square miles (740 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (11 km2) (1.4%) is water. [12] Palmyra, is 54 miles (87 km) from Richmond and 110 miles (180 km) from Dulles International Airport. Lake Monticello, a private community, is 15 miles (24 km) from Charlottesville.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Government and infrastructure

Fluvanna County administrative offices located at Palmyra . Fluvanna County administrative and legal buildings.JPG
Fluvanna County administrative offices located at Palmyra .

The Virginia Department of Corrections operates the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in unincorporated Fluvanna County, near Troy. [13] The center houses the female death row. [14]

Board of Supervisors

Constitutional officers

Fluvanna is represented by Republican Mark Peake in the Virginia Senate, Republicans Robert B. Bell, III and R. Lee Ware, Jr. in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican Denver Riggleman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results [16]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 51.7%7,02542.4% 5,7605.9% 807
2012 52.4%6,67846.2% 5,8931.4% 178
2008 50.4%6,42048.6% 6,1851.0% 130
2004 58.9%6,45840.3% 4,4150.8% 84
2000 57.0%4,96239.4% 3,4313.6% 313
1996 51.7%3,44240.2% 2,6768.2% 545
1992 48.0%2,81136.5% 2,13415.5% 907
1988 60.3%2,44738.5% 1,5621.2% 50
1984 62.2%2,24736.9% 1,3320.9% 33
1980 50.4%1,60544.7% 1,4244.9% 155
1976 46.8% 1,29651.1%1,4152.1% 59
1972 67.3%1,43829.8% 6372.9% 62
1968 42.6%91326.5% 56930.9% 663
1964 44.9% 82355.0%1,0080.2% 3
1960 54.9%76344.2% 6140.9% 13
1956 53.9%73430.6% 41715.6% 212
1952 57.7%72441.4% 5190.9% 11
1948 37.4% 31952.5%44710.1% 86
1944 33.5% 29166.3%5770.2% 2
1940 29.4% 24170.5%5790.1% 1
1936 26.9% 21772.5%5860.6% 5
1932 22.9% 17675.4%5791.7% 13
1928 42.3% 32757.8%447
1924 22.0% 13673.3%4524.7% 29
1920 20.4% 14678.4%5621.3% 9
1912 10.1% 5377.9%40912.0% 63

Notable residents



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also

Related Research Articles

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Lake Monticello, Virginia Census-designated place in Virginia, United States

Lake Monticello, a private gated community, is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fluvanna County, Virginia, United States. The population was 9,920 at the 2010 census, an increase of over 44% from 2000. The community is centered on a lake of the same name, which is formed by a dam on a short tributary of the nearby Rivanna River. Lake Monticello is part of the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lake Monticello was developed in the 1960s as a summer vacation home community but quickly evolved into a bedroom community of Charlottesville, and to a smaller extent of Richmond. It also has a sizable retirement age population.

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Bremo Bluff, Virginia Unincorporated community in Virginia, United States

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Virginia Air Line Railroad (VAL) was a short-line railroad that operated from 1908 to 1975 in Central Virginia. It was built by the Virginia Air Line Railway Company to connect the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad's (C&O) Piedmont Subdivision at Lindsay, Virginia, to the Rivanna Subdivision of C&O's James River Line at Strathmore Yard, near Bremo Bluff, Virginia.

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Rivanna River river in the United States of America

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The AA Jefferson District is a district in the Virginia High School League. There are eight member schools. The District is named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, and as might be guessed, member schools are clustered around Charlottesville. The District was created in the late 1990s from parts of the Valley and Battlefield Districts, as increased enrollment had forced Fluvanna County and William Monroe to become Group AA schools. Since 2013, the district is used only for regular season, as the members compete in the playoffs at the 3A, 4A, or 5A level.

Virginia State Route 53 state highway in Virginia, United States

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Palmyra, Virginia Census-designated place in Virginia, United States

Palmyra is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Fluvanna County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 104. Palmyra lies on the eastern bank of the Rivanna River along U.S. Route 15. The ZIP code for Palmyra and surrounding rural land is 22963.

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U.S. Route 250 in Virginia highway in Virginia

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Troy, Virginia Unincorporated community in Virginia, United States

Troy is an unincorporated community in Fluvanna County, Virginia, United States. It lies just west of U.S. Route 15, between Zion Crossroads to the north and the county seat of Palmyra to the south. Troy's existence was defined by the Virginia Air Line Railway, which operated from 1908 to 1975. In 1998, the Virginia Department of Corrections opened the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in the area.

Carysbrook is an unincorporated community in Fluvanna County, in the U.S. state of Virginia located about two miles northwest of Dixie and three miles southeast of Palmyra on U.S. Route 15.

Cohasset is an unincorporated community in Fluvanna County, in the U.S. state of Virginia located about two miles west of Fork Union on State Route 6.


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  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  11. 1 2 Virginia Employment Commission(PDF) https://virginiaworks.com/Portals/200/Local%20Area%20Profiles/5104000065.pdf.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  13. "Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women (female institution)." Virginia Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  14. "Virginia Death Row/Execution Facts." My FOX DC. Tuesday November 10, 2009. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  15. "Board of Supervisors | Fluvanna County". www.fluvannacounty.org. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  16. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  17. http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=11676

Coordinates: 37°50′N78°17′W / 37.84°N 78.28°W / 37.84; -78.28