ROCKBRIDGE County, VA
Rockbridge County is a county in the Shenandoah Valley on the western edge of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 22,650. Its county seat is the city of Lexington. Rockbridge County completely surrounds the independent cities of Buena Vista and Lexington. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the independent cities of Buena Vista and Lexington with Rockbridge County for statistical purposes.
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 other Virginia areas. 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.
Cyrus McCormick invented the reaper near Steele's Tavern at the northern end of the county.
The hilly terrain of Rockbridge County was densely wooded in the eighteenth century. Its more level areas have now been cleared and turned to agriculture. The county is bordered by high ridges along its NW and SE borders, with the crests running NE-SW. The terrain's highest point (4,072 feet/1241 meters ASL) is Rocky Mountain on its SE border with Amherst County.
According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (0.6%) is water.
National protected areas
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
As of the 2000 United States census, there were 20,808 people, 8,486 households, and 6,075 families 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.
The county population contained 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.
The independent cities of Buena Vista and Lexington (incorporated 1892 and 1966 respectively) are enclaves within the boundaries of Rockbridge County, and are not a part of the county. Lexington is the county seat, despite its independent status, and 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.
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Rockbridge County, VA, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. Township-6t4ab-c4u-75d-ef78-iy9