Rockbridge County, Virginia

Last updated
Rockbridge County
Church Hill on Timber Ridge, cropped.jpg
Rockbridge County va seal.jpg
Seal
Map of Virginia highlighting Rockbridge County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Virginia in United States.svg
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 37°49′N79°27′W / 37.81°N 79.45°W / 37.81; -79.45
Country Flag of the United States.svg United States
State Flag of Virginia.svg  Virginia
Founded1777
Named for Natural Bridge
Seat Lexington
Largest townLexington
Area
  Total601 sq mi (1,560 km2)
  Land598 sq mi (1,550 km2)
  Water3.4 sq mi (9 km2)  0.6%%
Population
 (2010)
  Total22,307
  Estimate 
(2018) [1]
22,752
  Density37/sq mi (14/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 6th
Website www.co.rockbridge.va.us

Rockbridge County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,307. [2] Its county seat is Lexington. [3] The independent cities of Buena Vista (6,680) and Lexington (7,170) are both enclaved within the county's geographical borders.

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

In the United States, a county is an administrative or political subdivision of a state that consists of a geographic region with specific boundaries and usually some level of governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 U.S. states, while Louisiana and Alaska have functionally equivalent subdivisions called parishes and boroughs, respectively.

Commonwealth (U.S. state) Term used by four U.S. states in official names

Commonwealth is a term used by four of the 50 states of the United States in their full official state names. "Commonwealth" is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. The states, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, are in the Eastern United States and prior to the formation of the United States in 1776, were British colonial possessions. As such, they share a strong influence of English common law in some of their laws and institutions.

Virginia U.S. 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.

Contents

History

Maple Hall, antebellum home in Rockbridge County north of Lexington Maple Hall Rockbridge County Virginia.JPG
Maple Hall, antebellum home in Rockbridge County north of Lexington

Rockbridge County was established in October, 1777 from parts of now neighboring Augusta and Botetourt counties, and the first county elections were held in May 1778. Rockbridge County was named for Natural Bridge, a notable landmark in the southern portion of the county. Rockbridge County was formed during an act of assembly intended to reduce the amount of travel to the nearest courthouse, and to ensure trials were held fairly, and among friends rather than strangers. The first court session in Rockbridge County was held at the home of Samuel Wallace on April 7, 1778. Slaves were far fewer in Rockbridge County than in many parts of Virginia, and, thus, the anti-slavery movement was stronger in Rockbridge than in many other counties of Virginia. For instance, several faculty members at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) vigorously opposed slavery. However, many of the wealthiest residents of Rockbridge County owned slaves and passed down those slaves to their widows and children. [4]

Augusta County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Augusta County is a county located in the Shenandoah Valley on the western edge of the U.S. commonwealth of Virginia. It is the second-largest county in Virginia by total area, and it completely surrounds the independent cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. The county seat of Augusta is Staunton, although most of the administrative services have offices in neighboring Verona.

Botetourt County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Botetourt County is a United States county that lies in the Roanoke Region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Located in the mountainous portion of the state, the county is bordered by two major ranges, the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains.

Natural Bridge (Virginia) United States historic place

Natural Bridge is a geological formation in Rockbridge County, Virginia, comprising a 215-foot-high (66 m) natural arch with a span of 90 feet (27 m). It is situated within a gorge carved from the surrounding mountainous limestone terrain by Cedar Creek, a small tributary of the James River. Consisting of horizontal limestone strata, Natural Bridge is the remains of the roof of a cave or tunnel through which the Cedar Creek once flowed.

Cyrus McCormick invented the reaper near Steele's Tavern at the northern end of the county.

Cyrus McCormick American inventor and businessman

Cyrus Hall McCormick was an American inventor and businessman who founded the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which later became part of the International Harvester Company in 1902. Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, he and many members of his family became prominent residents of Chicago.

Reaper harvesting machine

A reaper is a farm implement or person that reaps crops at harvest when they are ripe. Usually the crop involved is a cereal grass. The first documented reaping machines were Gallic reaper that was used in modern-day France during Roman times. The Gallic reaper involved a comb which collected the heads, with an operator knocking the grain into a box for later threshing.

Geography

View of the Maury River, Lexington, Rockbridge County Maury River Lexington Virginia.JPG
View of the Maury River, Lexington, Rockbridge County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 601 square miles (1,560 km2), of which 598 square miles (1,550 km2) is land and 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) (0.6%) is water. [5]

United States Census Bureau Bureau of the United States responsible for the census and related statistics

The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States.

Adjacent counties

Bath County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia, United States

Bath County is a United States county located on the central western border of the Commonwealth of Virginia, on the West Virginia state line. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,731; in 2015, the population was estimated at 4,470, it the second-least populous county in Virginia. Bath's county seat is Warm Springs.

Nelson County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Nelson County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,020. Its county seat is Lovingston.

Amherst County, Virginia U.S. county in Virginia

Amherst County is a county, located in the Piedmont region and near the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The county is part of the Lynchburg, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and its county seat is also called Amherst.

Alleghany County, Virginia County in Virginia

Alleghany County is an American county located on the far western edge of Commonwealth of Virginia. It is bordered by the Allegheny Mountains, from which the county derives its name, and it is the northernmost part of the Roanoke Region. The county seat is Covington.

Cities

National protected areas

Major highways

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1790 6,548
1800 8,94536.6%
1810 10,31815.3%
1820 11,94515.8%
1830 14,24419.2%
1840 14,2840.3%
1850 16,04512.3%
1860 17,2487.5%
1870 16,058−6.9%
1880 20,00324.6%
1890 23,06215.3%
1900 21,799−5.5%
1910 21,171−2.9%
1920 20,626−2.6%
1930 20,9021.3%
1940 22,3847.1%
1950 23,3594.4%
1960 24,0392.9%
1970 16,637−30.8%
1980 17,9117.7%
1990 18,3502.5%
2000 20,80813.4%
2010 22,3077.2%
Est. 201822,752 [1] 2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [6]
1790–1960 [7] 1900–1990 [8]
1990–2000 [9] 2010–2013 [2]

As of the census [10] of 2000, there were 20,808 people, 8,486 households, and 6,075 families residing in the county. The population density was 35 people per square mile (13/km2). There were 9,550 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.42% White, 2.97% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 0.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,486 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.50% were married couples living together, 9.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.40% were non-families. 23.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.20% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 27.10% from 45 to 64, and 15.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 100.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,035, and the median income for a family was $41,324. Males had a median income of $28,217 versus $19,946 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,356. About 6.60% of families and 9.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.40% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.

Media

Communities

The independent cities of Buena Vista and Lexington are separate political jurisdictions located within Rockbridge County. Lexington is the county seat (in spite of its independent status), and it shares three constitutional officers with Rockbridge County: Sheriff, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Commonwealth's Attorney. Buena Vista does not share constitutional officers with either Rockbridge County or Lexington.

Towns

Census-designated place

Raphine, Virginia Raphine1.jpg
Raphine, Virginia

Other unincorporated communities

Notable people

Politics

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results [12]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 61.9%6,68032.5% 3,5085.6% 607
2012 58.0%5,89840.2% 4,0881.9% 191
2008 56.2%5,73242.6% 4,3471.1% 116
2004 59.0%5,41239.5% 3,6271.6% 142
2000 57.8%4,52237.7% 2,9534.5% 352
1996 45.0%3,27442.8% 3,11612.2% 889
1992 43.0%3,22838.8% 2,90818.2% 1,367
1988 58.4%3,54139.8% 2,4121.8% 109
1984 65.7%4,06733.9% 2,0980.5% 29
1980 49.0%2,78443.6% 2,4757.4% 418
1976 43.7% 2,15751.1%2,5255.2% 258
1972 74.3%3,00923.6% 9562.1% 86
1968 56.8%2,28021.1% 84522.2% 889
1964 45.8% 2,20054.1%2,5990.2% 7
1960 60.5%2,17039.2% 1,4050.3% 10
1956 66.5%2,27330.4% 1,0393.1% 106
1952 65.9%2,06833.8% 1,0590.4% 11
1948 46.5%1,06243.5% 99410.0% 228
1944 36.9% 96162.8%1,6380.4% 9
1940 35.6% 90263.8%1,6180.6% 15
1936 34.5% 86865.0%1,6350.5% 13
1932 31.0% 81167.4%1,7641.7% 44
1928 47.9% 1,20652.1%1,311
1924 31.9% 68065.4%1,3942.7% 58
1920 43.3% 1,05456.1%1,3650.5% 13
1916 36.2% 60163.2%1,0490.7% 11
1912 26.8% 43358.8%94914.4% 233

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Archived from the original on May 29, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  2. 1 2 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. See, e.g., Alfred L. Brophy & Douglas Thie, "'Land, Slaves, and Bonds': Trust and Probate in the Pre-Civil War Shenandoah Valley," West Virginia Law Review vol. 119 (2016):345. Archived 2018-02-08 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Archived from the original on August 11, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  8. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  11. 1 2 3 Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1967.
  12. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Archived from the original on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Rockbridge County, Virginia at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 37°49′N79°27′W / 37.81°N 79.45°W / 37.81; -79.45