Prince William County, Virginia

Prince William County, Virginia

Infobox U.S. County
county = Prince William County
state = Virginia

map size = 225
founded = 1731
seat = Manassas | area_total_sq_mi =348
area_land_sq_mi =338
area_water_sq_mi =11
area percentage = 3.04%
census yr = 2007
pop = 383,644
density_km2 =321
web =

Prince William County is a county located in the Washington Metropolitan Area. The estimated population in 2007 of the county was 383,644, a 36.6% increase since 2000. Its county seat is the independent city of ManassasGR|6. It is part of Northern Virginia and is one of the highest-income counties in the United States.


Prince William County was created by an act of the General Assembly of the colony of Virginia in 1731, largely from the western section of Stafford County as well as a section of King George County. [cite web
title=Legislation creating Prince William County, Virginia, in 1730
author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work=
publisher=Historic Prince William
pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=
] The area encompassed by the Act creating Prince William County originally included all of what later became Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, the City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park (and the various incorporated towns therein). The County was named for Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II.

The County was a rural community for years and the population was centered in two areas, one at Manassas (home to a major railroad junction), the other near Occoquan and Woodbridge along the Potomac River. Beginning in the late 1930s, a larger suburban population grew up near the existing population centers, particularly in Manassas. The town's post-World War II growth led it to become an independent city in 1975. Beginning in the late 1960s, the County began transitioning into a bedroom community of Washington, DC and its population expanded dramatically to the point where, by the end of the 20th century, it was the third most populous local jurisdiction in Virginia. Much of this growth has taken place in the last twenty years.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (902 km²), of which 338 square miles (875 km²) is land and 11 square miles (27 km²) (3.04%) is water. It is bounded on the north by Loudoun and Fairfax counties; on the west by Fauquier County; on the south by Stafford County; and on the east by the Potomac River (Charles County, Maryland lies across the river).

Adjacent counties

* Loudoun County, Virginia - north
* Fairfax County, Virginia - northeast
* Charles County, Maryland - southeast
* Stafford County, Virginia - south
* Fauquier County, Virginia - west
* Manassas, Virginia - center (enclave)
* Manassas Park, Virginia - center (enclave)

National protected areas

* Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
* Manassas National Battlefield Park
* Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
* Prince William Forest Park

Government and politics

The county is divided into seven magisterial districts: Brentsville, Coles, Dumfries, Gainesville, Neabsco, Occoquan, and Woodbridge. The magisterial districts each elect one supervisor to the Board of Supervisors which governs Prince William County. There is also a Chairman elected by the county at-large, bringing total Board membership to 8; this may increase after the 2010 census when an eighth magisterial district is likely to be added. A Vice-Chairman is selected by the Board from amongst its membership. The current Chairman is Corey A. Stewart, who previously served as the Occoquan District Supervisor. The current Vice-Chairman is John T. Stirrup, Jr., the Gainesville District Supervisor. 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 Executive to manage government agencies.

Republicans hold six of the eight seats on the Board of Supervisors as well as the offices of County Sheriff and Clerk of the Court. No Democrat has chaired the Board of County Supervisors since Kathleen Seefeldt left office in January 2000. Republicans hold all three Congressional seats that include parts of Prince William County and control the five Virginia House of Delegates seats that include parts of the County. The county's Virginia State Senate seats are split among Democrats and Republicans, with each party controlling two Senate seats, one of which is held by Democratic Sen. Charles Colgan, the President pro tempore of the Senate. In 2005, Democratic Governor Timothy M. Kaine won the County with 49.95% of the vote. In 2006, Democratic U.S. Senator Jim Webb won with 50.51% of the vote. The Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney, Paul Ebert, is also a Democrat.

The County has had several special elections of late. In 2006, the then-Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Sean Connaughton, was appointed as head of the U.S. Maritime Administration by President George W. Bush. A special election to fill the vacancy was called for the same day as the U.S. Senate election between Jim Webb and George F. Allen. Occoquan District Supervisor Stewart won the election and a special election was called for January 2007 to fill the vacancy in the Occoquan District. Mr. Stewart's successor for the Occoquan District was a fellow Republican.

Unincorporated communities

Extinct towns/communities

Independent cities

The independent cities of Manassas and Manassas Park are surrounded by Prince William County. Prince William, Manassas Park, and Manassas are combined for purposes of criminal, traffic, civil, and juvenile and domestic relations courts within Circuit 31. The Courthouse Complex itself is located in a Prince William County enclave surrounded by the City of Manassas. The County Government Administration Complex is in the unincorporated community of Woodbridge. Its mailing address is 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, Virginia 22192.

Other important features

*Prince William Forest Park, the second largest National Park Service property in the Washington, D.C., region
*Leesylvania State Park, the ancestral home of the Lee family. The park offers a range of recreational activities and beautiful views of the river.
*Marine Corps Base Quantico, a large military installation
*Manassas National Battlefield Park, an important Civil War battlefield
*Nissan Pavilion, a large concert venue
*Potomac Mills, the 10th most popular tourist destination in Virginia and largest outlet mall in the region.
*Old Dominion Speedway, A race track in Manassas, VA featuring a 1/8th mile drag strip, and a NASCAR sanctioned 3/8 mile high banked oval track

See also

*Prince William County Public Schools
*Prince William County Police Department
*Prince William County Sheriff's Department
*Prince William County Fire and Rescue


External links

* [ Official Website of Prince William County Government]
* [ Prince William County Public Schools]
* [ Prince William County Park Authority]
* [ Prince William County Department of Economic Development]
* [ Prince William County/Manassas Convention & Visitors Bureau]
* [ Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission]
* [ Prince William County Fairgrounds]
* [ Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce]
* [ Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce]

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