Washington, Virginia Article

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Washington, Virginia
Central intersection in Washington
Central intersection in Washington
Location of Washington, Virginia
Location of Washington, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°42′46″N 78°9′34″W / 38.71278°N 78.15944°W / 38.71278; -78.15944
WASHINGTON VIRGINIA Latitude and Longitude:

38°42′46″N 78°9′34″W / 38.71278°N 78.15944°W / 38.71278; -78.15944
Country United States
State Virginia
County Rappahannock
Named for George Washington
 • Total0.26 sq mi (0.68 km2)
 • Land0.26 sq mi (0.68 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
682 ft (208 m)
( 2010)
 • Total135
 • Estimate 
(2017) [2]
 • Density482.89/sq mi (186.73/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 ( Eastern (EST))
 • Summer ( DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 540
FIPS code51-83248 [3]
GNIS feature ID1500280 [4]

Washington is the county seat of Rappahannock County, Virginia, United States. [5] The site of this town was surveyed by George Washington in July 1749. It was the first of what would be many American places to be named for the future first president. [6] Its population was just 135 people at the 2010 census, down from 183 in the 2000 census. It is nicknamed Little Washington to avoid confusion with Washington, D.C., which is only 70 miles (110 km) to the east.


Original Plan of the Town of Washington

The Town of Washington was formerly the location of a trading post utilized by frontier families and members of the resident Manahoac tribe. All of the territory in and around the current town was under the ownership of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron. In 1748, Lord Fairfax met a 16-year-old George Washington, a distant relative of his. Being impressed by his character, Fairfax employed Washington to survey his lands west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On July 24, 1749, the town layout as it appears today was surveyed and platted by Washington with the assistance of his chainmen, John Lonem and Edward Corder, as part of his service to Fairfax. The village was officially established as a Town by the Virginia General Assembly on December 14, 1795 when it gained the requisite population of 200. Records from an 1835 gazetteer state that the town contained one academy, fifty-five dwellings, four mercantile stores, two taverns, one house of worship, twenty-seven trade shops, and two large flour mills.

During the Civil War, a home on the town's Main Street served as a Confederate Hospital. In the late 19th century when rail became the main method of trade, the main east-west railway route at the time was constructed north of town through the accessible Thoroughfare Gap. Washington was relatively unaffected by the Industrial Age and thus the current town is quite similar to the one of 150 years ago. By the start of the 20th century, the population reached three hundred, supporting businesses such as three garages and a barber shop. However, since then, the population has declined to less than 200.

Today, the town is probably best known for The Inn at Little Washington, a five-star restaurant, inn, and member of the Relais & Châteaux group. The Inn attracts a discerning clientele from Washington, D.C., and its suburbs. Largely due to the Inn's influence, the town is also home to several art galleries, unique shops, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants. The town attracts art lovers, history buffs, and hikers that come into the county from the east for day hikes or weekend camping trips.

Ben Venue, Calvert Mill/Washington Mill, Mount Salem Baptist Meetinghouse, Sunnyside, and Washington Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [7]


Washington is located at 38°42′46″N 78°9′34″W / 38.71278°N 78.15944°W / 38.71278; -78.15944 (38.712914, −78.159474). [8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²), all of it land.

The town is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2017127 [2]−5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census [9]

As of the census [3] of 2000, there were 183 people, 88 households, and 49 families residing in the town. The population density was 692.5 people per square mile (271.8/km²). There were 117 housing units at an average density of 442.7 per square mile (173.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 83.06% White, 10.93% African American, 2.19% Asian, 2.19% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.83% of the population.

There were 88 households out of which 15.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.3% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.69.

In the town, the population was spread out with 14.2% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 21.3% from 25 to 44, 37.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 72.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 68.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $53,125, and the median income for a family was $61,250. Males had a median income of $40,417 versus $19,063 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,265. About 5.8% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under the age of eighteen and none of those sixty five or over.

View east along US 211 Bus and north along US 522 Bus in Washington


The main road serving Washington is U.S. Route 211 Business/ U.S. Route 522 Business. This road follows Warren Avenue and Main Street through the town and is the old alignment of U.S. Route 211 and U.S. Route 522, which now passes just southeast of the town limits. Via US 211 and US 522, US 211 Bus/US 522 Bus provides access to Luray to the west, Culpeper to the south, Warrenton to the west and Front Royal to the north.

Notable residents


  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Mar 28, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ "Washington, Va., Oldest Of Name". The Free Lance-Star. Oct 3, 1932. p. 3. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  7. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Barnes, Bart (March 11, 1999). "CIA Official Sidney Gottlieb, 80, Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  11. ^ Dugan, John (June 3, 2015). "A Wide-Ranging Interview With Neil Michael Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux". Chicago Reader. Retrieved November 10, 2017.