Stafford County, Virginia
|Stafford County, Virginia|
Location in the state of Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
|Named for||Staffordshire, England|
280 sq mi (725 km²)
270 sq mi (699 km²)
10 sq mi (26 km²), 3.43%
477.6/sq mi (184/km²)
Stafford County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and just across the Rappahannock River from the City of Fredericksburg. As of the 2000 census, the population was 92,446, increasing to 132,719 in 2012. Its county seat is Stafford. In 2006, and again in 2009, Stafford was ranked as the 11th highest income county in America by Forbes magazine. U.S. Route 1, Interstate 95, and Virginia Railway Express commuter railway serve the county.
This county is part of the Washington metropolitan area.
For thousands of years, various cultures of indigenous peoples succeeded each other in their territories along the Potomac River and its tributaries. By the time of English colonization, there were 32 Algonquian-speaking American Indian tribes in the present-day coastal Tidewater Virginia area, including those of the Patawomeck and numerous tribes that were part of the Powhatan Confederacy. The former small tribe, still centered in Stafford County, was recognized by the state of Virginia in 2010.
The Native Americans' first recorded encounter with Europeans in this area was in 1608, with John Smith of the Jamestown Settlement. During a time of recurring tension between the early English colonists and local Native Americans, the colonists led by Samuel Argall captured Chief Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas while she was residing with her husband, Kocoum. It occurred in the eastern part of this county, from where they took her to a secondary English settlement, known as Henricus (or Henrico Town). Alexander Whitaker converted Pocahontas to Christianity during her captivity. He renamed the princess "Rebecca" at her baptism. Rebecca married English colonist John Rolfe on April 5, 1614 in Jamestown.
The English colonial government of Virginia imposed its own order on the land and peoples. In 1664 it established Stafford County from territory previously part of Westmoreland County. It was named after Staffordshire, England. As originally delineated, Stafford County included a much larger area than its current borders, and in fact encompassed what would later become Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William, and the City of Alexandria. It is part of the area now considered Northern Virginia. George Washington spent much of his childhood in the lower part of the county on his family's home, Ferry Farm, along the Rappahannock River across from Fredericksburg. Colonial Forge High School was built on a tract of land owned in colonial times by his father Augustine Washington. George Mason, another Founding Father of the nation, also spent his formative years in Stafford.
Aquia Church, built in 1757 near Garrisonville, Virginia, is unusual among local structures for having been designed on the plan of a Greek cross. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark. The Episcopal church continues to be active today.
Stafford County industry and resources were important to the colony and early nation. During the Revolutionary War, the Stafford ironworks furnished arms for the colonial rebel soldiers. Aquia Creek sandstone, quarried from Government Island, was used to build the White House and the U.S. Capitol.
During the American Civil War, the county was part of the battlegrounds, occupied by more than 100,000 troops for several years. The Battle of Aquia Creek took place in the Aquia Harbour area. Both the Union Army and Confederate Army struggled to control the strategic Potomac Creek Bridge at various times during the war.
Stafford County today is considered part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Many residents commute to work in Washington and its environs north on Interstate Highway 95, U.S. Route 1, and Virginia Railway Express.
In the early morning hours of May 9, 2008, a tornado touched down in the southern part of the county, severely damaging about 140 suburban homes. The county was also severely affected by the massive blizzards of December 2009 and February 2010. The county seat Stafford received almost 2 feet of snow both times. In December 2009, it received some of the heaviest snow in the D.C. metropolitan area, with 25.4 inches of snow, and 19.3 inches in February 2010.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 280 square miles (730 km2), of which 270 square miles (700 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (3.43%) is water. The Potomac River flows along part of the eastern border of the county, while the Rappahannock River runs along the extent of the county's southern border. Aquia Creek empties into the tidal segment of the Potomac River at Brent Point in Stafford County.
Adjacent counties and independent city 
- Fauquier County - northwest
- Prince William County - north
- Charles County, Maryland - east
- King George County - southeast
- Caroline County - south
- Fredericksburg, Virginia - southwest
- Spotsylvania County - southwest
- Culpeper County - west
Government and politics 
The county is divided into seven magisterial districts: George Washington, Hartwood, Falmouth, Griffis-Widewater, Aquia, Garrisonville, and Rockhill. The magisterial districts each elect one supervisor to the Board of Supervisors which governs Stafford County. The County operates under the county form of the County Executive system of government, with an elected Board of Supervisors. The Board then appoints a professional, nonpartisan County Administrator to manage government agencies.
Stafford County is represented by Congressman Rob Wittman in the U.S. House of Representatives. Stafford is represented by William J. Howell in the Virginia House of Delegates. Delegate Bill Howell also serves as the Speaker of the House of Delegates.
|Supervisor||Ty Schieber||Republican||2012 (Special Election)||Garrisonville|
|Supervisor||Gary Snellings||Republican||2009 (also served 2001-2005)||Hartwood|
|Chairman||Susan B. Stimpson||Republican||2009||Falmouth|
|Supervisor||Robert "Bob" Thomas||Republican||2011||George Washington|
|Supervisor||Jack Cavalier||Independent||2011 (also served 1999-2007)||Griffis-Widewater|
As of the census of 2010, there were 128,961 people, 38,237 households, and 24,481 families residing in the county. The population density was 342 people per square mile (132/km²). There were 31,405 housing units at an average density of 116 per square mile (45/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 72.5% White, 15.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 2.8% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 3.2% from other races, and 4.0% from two or more races. 9.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
By 2005 Stafford County's population was 72.8% non-Hispanic whites. African-Americans were 17.0% of the total population. Native Americans were 0.4% of the county total. Asians 2.3%. Native Hawai'ians and other Pacific islanders 0.2%, thus making Stafford County one of the high percentage NHPI population counties in the country. Latinos were 6.4% of the population, above the percentage of Latinos in all of Virginia, but far below Stafford County's northern neighbors.
As of 2000 there were 38,187 households out of which 46.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.00% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.90% were non-families. 13.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the county, the age distribution of the population shows 31.60% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 33.70% from 25 to 44, 21.10% from 45 to 64, and 5.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 101.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $75,546, and the median income for a family was $78,575 (these figures had risen to $85,793 and $95,433 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $47,080 versus $31,469 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,762. About 2.40% of families and 3.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.30% of those under age 18 and 5.30% of those age 65 or over.
Points of interest 
Local newspapers 
- Aquia Harbour
- Mountain View
- White Oak
- Hampton Oaks
- Austin Ridge
- Stafford Regional Airport
- US 1
- US 17
- SR 3
- SR 212
- SR 218
- Leeland (VRE station)
- Brooke (VRE station)
- Quantico (Amtrak & VRE station)
- D.C. Metro
Zip codes 
- 22405, 22406, 22554, 22555, 22556
High schools 
- Brooke Point High School
- Colonial Forge High School
- Mountain View High School (Virginia)
- North Stafford High School
- Stafford Senior High School
Middle schools 
- T. Benton Gayle Middle School
- Edward E. Drew Middle School
- Stafford Middle School
- Dixon-Smith Middle School
- Rodney Thompson Middle
- A.G. Wright Middle
- H.H. Poole Middle
- Shirley C. Heim Middle
Elementary schools 
- Conway Elementary
- Falmouth Elementary
- Ferry Farm Elementary
- Grafton Village Elementary
- Garrisonville Elementary
- Hartwood Elementary
- Kate Waller Barrett Elementary
- Anthony Burns Elementary
- Margaret Brent Elementary
- Anne E. Moncure Elementary
- Park Ridge Elementary
- Rockhill Elementary
- Rocky Run Elementary
- Garrisonville Elementary
- Stafford Elementary
- Hampton Oaks Elementary
- Widewater Elementary
- Winding Creek Elementary
Private schools 
- Holy Cross Academy
Major bodies of water 
Notable people 
- John Maine– Former Pitcher for the New York Mets, Born in Fredericksburg, graduated from North Stafford High School
- Pocahontas - Algonquian princess Pocahontas resided here with her Patawomeck husband, Kocoum at the time of her abduction
- Gregg Ritchie - Current manager for GWU
- Jeff Rouse - Olympic gold medalist swimmer
- Torrey Smith - Wide Receiver for the Baltimore Ravens
- George Washington - Washington's boyhood home Ferry Farm is located in Stafford County
See also 
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Stafford County, Virginia
- Stafford County Sheriff's Office
- 2010 U.S. Census Data: Virginia. Retrieved February 16, 2011
- Weldon Cooper Center 2010 Census Count Retrieved September 9, 2011
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- John Rolfe Highway Marker
- Kidnapping of Pocahontas Highway Marker or Pocahontas Highway Marker
- New Papyrus Publishing Company's On-Line Catalog: Stafford County Virginia
- "Colonial Forge School Improvement Plan Report". Colonial Forge High School (See page 4). Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- Connor Jr., Albert Z. (2003). A History of Our Own, Virginia Beach: The Donning Company Publishers.
- Information about historical churches, including the Aquia Episcopal Church, Simply Fredericksburg
- DeOnne C. Scott, Stafford County (VA): Images of America, Amazon.com
- Laris, Michael; Davis, Aaron C. (May 10, 2008). "Area in 'a Daze' After Tornadoes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Stafford County, Virginia - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Stafford County, Virginia|
- Stafford County, Virginia - Official Site
- GoStaffordVA.com - Stafford County Economic Development and Tourism
- Rappahannock United Way
- South Stafford Community Website
- Stafford County Public Schools
||Fauquier County||Prince William County|
|Culpeper County||Charles County, Maryland|
|Spotsylvania County and City of Fredericksburg||Caroline County||King George County|