Fluvanna County, Virginia

Fluvanna County, Virginia

Infobox U.S. County
county = Fluvanna County
state = Virginia

map size = 225
founded = 1777
seat = Palmyra | area_total_sq_mi =290
area_water_sq_mi =3
area percentage = 0.98%
census yr = 2000
pop = 20047
density_km2 =27
web = www.co.fluvanna.va.us
:"Fluvanna is also the name of a community in Texas.Fluvanna County is a county located in the U.S. state — officially, "Commonwealth" — of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the population was 20,047. Its county seat is PalmyraGR|6.

Fluvanna County is part of the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The area which is now Fluvanna County was once part of Henrico County, one of the original shires of the Virginia Colony. Henrico was divided in 1727 and the Fluvanna County area became a part of Goochland County. In 1744 Goochland was divided and the area presently known as Fluvanna became a part of Albemarle County. Finally, in 1777, Albemarle County was divided and Fluvanna County established.

The County was named for the Fluvanna River, the name given to James River west of Columbia. Fluvanna means "Annie's River" in honor of Queen Anne of England. The county has the James and Rivanna Rivers running through it.

The Point of Fork (near Columbia where the James and Rivanna Rivers meet) was the site of a major Monacan village of the Native Americans in pre-colonial times. In the late eighteenth century the Rivanna River was made navigable by the efforts of Thomas Jefferson who owned much of the lands along its upper course, eg. Shadwell and Monticello. Improvements included in the first generation (through 1830) were sluice cuts, small dams and batteaux locks. Second generation (1840-1870) improvements had long stretches of canal, serviced by large locks, many of which are still visible along the river. Shortly after the completion of the initial Rivanna navigational works, Virginia requested that the river be opened to public usage. It is said Jefferson initially refused, but the state would not be denied, and the Rivanna became an integral part of the central Virginian transportation network.

The route serviced a large community of farmsteads, plantations throughout Albemarle and Fluvanna counties. It also bore ever-growing numbers of industrial facilities, like those at Union Mills. It was the construction of these larger mills which prompted the great improvements to navigation. Union Mills alone featured a two and a half mile long canal and towpath, and one upper and two massive lower locks, all directly upon the river.

Where the Rivanna meets the James River at Columbia, the Rivanna Connexion Canal merged with a much longer canal. (The series of locks which connected the two canals lie just outside of the Town of Columbia and are mostly buried by sediment today). In 1840, the James River and Kanawha Canal was constructed adjacent to the north bank of the James River and opened to traffic. The new canal was part of a planned link between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean via the James River and the Kanawha River, which would lead to the Ohio River, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. The canal was used by packet and freight boats which replaced the earlier shallow-draft batteau boats used before the canal for commerce. These boats brought goods and passengers to and from Richmond and points beyond. Long a dream of early Virginians such as George Washington, who was a surveyor early in his career, the canal was never completed as envisioned.

In the batteaux era, Milton was the head of navigation along the river, but by the early nineteenth century horse-drawn canal boats were traveling all the way upstream to Charlottesville, Charlottesville, where the head of navigation was located at the very point where the Fredericksburg Road (now VA 20) and Three Chopt Road (U.S. Route 250), the primary road to Richmond, met and entered the city at the Free Bridge, establishing the city as a major commercial hub.

Fluvanna was defended by six militia companies during the American Revolutionary War. The county was invaded by British forces in 1781 when the Point of Fork Arsenal was destroyed. While no Civil War battles were fought in Fluvanna, Union soldiers burned mills, bridges and damaged the James River and Kanawha Canal. During the American Civil War over 1,200 of its citizens served in the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Its citizens served in Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery units during the war. See Fluvanna Artillery for more information.

The canal was repaired after the war, but traffic never returned to pre-war levels as railroads were becoming more numerous and popular. After many years of attempts to compete successfully with the ever-expanding network of railroads, the James River and Kanawha Canal was conveyed to a new railroad company by a deed dated March 4, 1880. Railroad construction workers promptly started laying tracks on the towpath. The new Richmond and Allegheny Railroad offered a water-level route from the Appalachian Mountains just east of West Virginia near Jackson's River Station (now Clifton Forge) through the Blue Ridge Mountains at Balcony Falls to Richmond. In 1888 the railroad was leased, and later purchased, by Collis P. Huntington's Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.

Early in the 20th century, the C&O built a new line between the the James River Line at Strathmore and the Piedmont Subdivision on the old Virginia Central Railroad's line at Gordonsville. The purpose for which the Virginia Air Line Railway was built was to move loads that were too high or too wide to pass through the tunnels of the Blue Ridge Mountain complex between Charlottesville and Waynesboro. Additionally, eastbound coal trains from West Virginia headed for Washington, D.C and Northern Virginia were routed on the new line to avoid steep mountain grades. The VAL was completed on September 29, 1909. A new freight station was built at Palmyra. However, the tracks of the VAL were abandoned in 1975.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 290 square miles (752 km²), of which, 287 square miles (744 km²) of it is land and 3 square miles (7 km²) of it (100%) is water. Palmyra, is 54 miles from Richmond and 110 miles from Dulles Int'l airport. Lake Monticello is 15 miles from Charlottesville.


As of 2002, Fluvanna County's population was 22,000. There are 7,387 households, and 5,702 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 8,018 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.44% White, 18.41% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. 1.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.60% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 31.70% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.20 males.

Between 1990-2000, the population grew 61.3%. It is projected to be over 28,000 by 2010. The average family size is 2.9 persons.The median income for a household in the county was $46,372, and the median income for a family was $51,141. Males had a median income of $32,346 versus $24,774 for females. In 2000, there were 1,121 individuals below the poverty line which consisted of 280 children below the age of 18.In 1990, there were 1,287 individuals below the poverty line which consisted of 439 children below the age of 18.

According to the 2000 Census, the County median home value is $111,000 and the median mortage is $900.00

The County's growing school system consists of 3,191 students. There are currently 1 highschool, 1 middle school, and 3 elementary schools. Student/teacher ratio is 22-1. 17% of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. As of 2000, 4,657 individuals over three years old enrolled in school, including 827 residents in college or graduate school.According to the 2000 Census, 1,066 students were enrolled in grades 9-12 and 603 in nursery school and kindergarten.

Fluvanna County has 30 churches, 480 historic preservation sites and 2 golf courses. Although Fluvanna County's population remains very small, in percentage terms it has one of the highest growth rates in the State.

It shall also be mentioned that the singer Chris Daughtry is originally from Fluvanna County and his parents still live there.


Incorporated towns


Unincorporated communities

*Fork Union
*Lake Monticello


External links

* [http://www.co.fluvanna.va.us Official Website]

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