Surry County, Virginia

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Surry County, Virginia
Confederate Statue, Surry, Virginia.jpg
The Surry County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Seal of Surry County, Virginia
Seal
Map of Virginia highlighting Surry County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1652
Named for Surrey
Seat Surry
Largest town Claremont
Area
 • Total 310 sq mi (803 km2)
 • Land 279 sq mi (723 km2)
 • Water 31 sq mi (80 km2), 10.1%
Population
 • (2010) 7,058
 • Density 23/sq mi (9/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.surrycountyva.gov

Surry County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,058.[1] Its county seat is Surry.[2]

In 1652, Surry County was formed from the portion of James City County south of the James River. In 1676, a local Jacobean brick house was occupied as a fort or "castle" during Bacon's Rebellion against the Royal Governor, Sir William Berkeley. Today the landmark is known as Bacon's Castle.

One hundred years later, Surry County became part of the new Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the first 13 United States after winning independence from Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the Confederate Army had units called the Surry Light Artillery and the Surry Cavalry.

The county is known for farming, curing Virginia Hams, and harvesting lumber, notably Virginia Pine. For more than 350 years, Surry County has maintained its heritage and rural nature. It is convenient to the Jamestown Ferry and Virginia's Historic Triangle of the colonial era, featuring the major tourist attractions of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, linked by the National Park Service's Colonial Parkway. The county has several small towns, significant James River plantations, and a state park.

History[edit]

Part of the colony of Virginia, Surry County was formed from a portion of James City County in 1652. It was named for the English county of Surrey. It included all of the portion of James City County (formed in 1634) that was located south of the James River. Surry County initially had the Lawne's Creek and Southwark parishes of the Church of England.

Nearby, in 1665, Arthur Allen built a Jacobean brick house. It later became known as Bacon's Castle because it was occupied as a fort or "castle" during Bacon's Rebellion against the Royal Governor, Sir William Berkeley in 1676. (Nathaniel Bacon never lived at Bacon's Castle, but resided at Curles Neck Plantation in Henrico County about 30 miles upriver on the northern bank of the James River).

The first town of Cobham was established in 1691 where Gray's Creek empties into the James River. Neighboring Sussex County was formed from the southwestern end of Surry County in 1754.

For more than 350 years, Surry County has depended on an agricultural economy. It has guarded its heritage. It is located a short ride from the Jamestown Ferry, with convenient access to Virginia's Historic Triangle, featuring Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, linked by the National Park Service's Colonial Parkway. The county has several small towns, significant James River plantations, and a state park.

Transportation[edit]

Major Highways[edit]

The county is bisected by State Route 31 and State Route 40, as well as its major artery, the historic path of State Route 10 which follows the general line of the south bank of the James River between Prince George County and Isle of Wight County.

Geography[edit]

Farm in Surry County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 310 square miles (800 km2), of which 279 square miles (720 km2) is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) (10.1%) is water.[3]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 6,227
1800 6,535 4.9%
1810 6,855 4.9%
1820 6,594 −3.8%
1830 7,109 7.8%
1840 6,480 −8.8%
1850 5,679 −12.4%
1860 6,133 8.0%
1870 5,585 −8.9%
1880 7,391 32.3%
1890 8,256 11.7%
1900 8,469 2.6%
1910 9,715 14.7%
1920 9,305 −4.2%
1930 7,096 −23.7%
1940 6,193 −12.7%
1950 6,220 0.4%
1960 6,220 0.0%
1970 5,882 −5.4%
1980 6,046 2.8%
1990 6,145 1.6%
2000 6,829 11.1%
2010 7,058 3.4%
Est. 2012 6,844 −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2012[1]

As of the census[8] of 2010, there were 7,058 people, 2,619 households, and 1,917 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 3,294 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 51.3% White, 46.1% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. 1.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,619 households out of which 30.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 14.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.80% were non-families. 23.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% 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 3.09.

In the county, the age distribution of the population shows 25.20% under the age of 18, 7.20% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 25.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,558, and the median income for a family was $41,234. Males had a median income of $31,123 versus $21,143 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,682. About 9.70% of families and 10.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.40% of those under age 18 and 14.80% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest[edit]

Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Unincorporated communities in Surry County include:

Current events[edit]

Dog fighting investigation[edit]

Beginning on April 25, 2007, Surry County Sheriff Harold D. Brown and part-time county Commonwealth's Attorney (prosecutor) Gerald G. Poindexter led a high-profile dog fighting investigation. Authorities investigating Davon T. Boddie, 26, on a narcotics issue found evidence of dog fighting activities at a home and property in Surry County where he lived. It was owned by his cousin, then Atlanta Falcons NFL-football player Michael Vick. Officials confiscated 66 dogs, 55 of which were pit bulls, and other evidence. An ESPN source alleged that Vick was a "heavyweight" in dog fighting and had been known to wager $40,000 on the outcome of a single fight.

By August 20, 2007, all the defendants charged in Federal court, including Vick, had agreed to guilty pleas under plea bargain agreements. They were sentenced to terms ranging from 6 to 23 months, to be served in Federal prisons. The abused dogs were placed in foster or adoptive homes.

On 26 February 2009, Vick was approved for release to home confinement. He was released on 21 May 2009 to be confined for the remainder of his 23-month term of imprisonment under home confinement.

For more details on this topic, see Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting investigation.

Notable individuals[edit]

  • Leslie Garland Bolling (1898-1955), Early 20th century African-American wood carver
  • Robert Butler (1784-1853), American politician and physician; served as Adjutant General of Virginia and State Treasurer of Virginia
  • John Hartwell Cocke (1780-1866), American military officer, planter and businessman
  • Joseph T. Deal (1860-1942), Virginia politician and business man
  • Curtis W. Harris (1924- ), minister, civil rights activist, and politician in Virginia
  • Thomas Person (1733–1800), American politician and Anti-Federalist organizer
  • Peyton Short (1761-1825), land speculator and politician in Kentucky
  • Claude V. Spratley (1882-1976), Virginia jurist

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°07′N 76°53′W / 37.12°N 76.89°W / 37.12; -76.89