Isle of Wight County, Virginia
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2006)|
|Isle of Wight County, Virginia|
The 1800 courthouse near the center of Isle of Wight County
Location in the state of Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
|Seat||Isle of Wight|
|• Total||363 sq mi (940 km2)|
|• Land||316 sq mi (818 km2)|
|• Water||47 sq mi (122 km2), 12.93%|
|• Density||93/sq mi (36/km²)|
Isle of Wight County is a county located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its county seat is Isle of Wight. According to the 2010 Census, its population was 35,270 and the median household income was $58,840.
Isle of Wight County features two incorporated towns, Smithfield and Windsor. The original courthouse for the county was built in Smithfield in 1750. The original courthouse and its associated tavern (The Smithfield Inn) are still standing. A new courthouse was built near the center of the county in 1800. The 1800 courthouse and its associated tavern (Boykin's Tavern) are also still standing. The 1800 courthouse is used daily, and is the government chambers for the Board of Supervisors, as well as the meeting hall for the School Board. The chambers still occasionally serve as an actual courthouse for civil trials if the new courthouse is fully in use. The new courthouse opened in 2010 and is just across the street from the sheriff's office and county offices complex.
During the 17th century, shortly after establishment of the settlement at Jamestown in 1607, English settlers explored and began settling the areas adjacent to Hampton Roads. Captain John Smith in 1608 crossed the James River and obtained fourteen bushels of corn from the Native American inhabitants, the Warrosquyoackes or Warraskoyaks. They were a tribe of the Powhatan Confederacy, who had three towns in the area of modern Smithfield. The Warraskoyaks were driven off from their villages in 1622 and 1627, as part of the reprisals for the Great Massacre of 1622.
The first English plantations along the south shore within present-day Isle of Wight were established by Puritan colonists, beginning with that of Christopher Lawne in May 1628. Several members of the Puritan Bennett family also came to settle the area, including Richard Bennett who led the Puritans to neighboring Nansemond in 1635, and later became governor of the Virginia Colony.
By 1634, the Colony consisted of eight shires or counties with a total population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants. One of these was Warrosquyoake Shire an Anglicisation of the indigenous name, which was renamed Isle of Wight County in 1637, after the island off the south coast of England of the same name. The name was probably changed because the Isle of Wight had become the home of some of the principal colonists, namely the families of Richard Bennett, Thos. Spain, Christopher Lawne, and James Peterson (among others), though the Native American name went through multiple Anglicisations, eventually also being known as "Warwicke Squeake" among the local inhabitants.
St. Luke's Church , built in 1632, is the nation's only original Gothic church and the oldest existing church of English foundation. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its significance.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 363 square miles (940.2 km2), of which 316 square miles (818.4 km2) is land and 47 square miles (121.7 km2) (12.93%) is water.
Adjacent counties and independent cities
- Newport News, Virginia — northeast
- Suffolk, Virginia — southeast
- Southampton County — south and west
- Franklin, Virginia — southwest
- Surry County — northwest
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,270 people, 11,319 households, and 8,670 families residing in the county. The population density was 94 people per square mile (36/km²). There were 12,066 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 71.8% White, 24.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. 1.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 11,319 households out of which 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.40% were married couples living together, 12.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.40% were non-families. 20.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 6.60% from 18 to 24, 29.60% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $45,387, and the median income for a family was $52,597. Males had a median income of $37,853 versus $22,990 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,235. About 6.60% of families and 8.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.80% of those under age 18 and 11.90% of those age 65 or over.
Board of Supervisors
Carrsville District: Rex W. Alphin (I)
Hardy District: JoAnn West Hall (I)
Newport District: B.B. "Buzz" Bailey (I)
Smithfield District: Alan E. "Al" Casteen (I)
Windsor District: Delores C. "DeeDee" Darden (I)
Clerk of the Circuit Court: Sharon Nelms Jones (I)
Commissioner of the Revenue: Gerald H. Gwaltney (I)
Commonwealth's Attorney: L. Wayne Farmer (I)
Sheriff: Mark A. Marshall (I)
Treasurer: Judith Crocker Wells (I)
Isle of Wight is represented by Republicans Thomas K. "Tommy" Norment and Harry B. Blevins and Democrat L. Louise Lucas in the Virginia Senate, Republican Rick L. Morris and Democrat Roslyn C. Tyler in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican J. Randy Forbes in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Unincorporated towns and communities
- Battery Park
- Benns Church
- Burwell's Bay
- Central Hill
- Isle of Wight
- Mogart's Beach
- Wills Corner
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- . Weldon Cooper Center 2010 Census Count Retrieved September 8, 2011
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Isle of Wight County Virginia official website
- Isle of Wight County Virginia Economic Development official website
- Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance - serving Isle of Wight County
||Surry County||City of Newport News|
|City of Franklin||Southampton County||City of Suffolk|