|Culpeper County, Virginia|
Culpeper County Courthouse
Location in the U.S. state of Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
|Named for||Thomas Colepeper|
|o Total||383 sq mi (992 km2)|
|o Land||379 sq mi (982 km2)|
|o Water||3.3 sq mi (9 km2), 0.9%|
|o Density||135/sq mi (52/km2)|
Culpeper County is a county located in the central region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,689. Its county seat and only incorporated community is Culpeper.
Home to some of Virginia's most famous plantation homes and thousands of acres of farmland, the rolling hills of the Piedmont region and the westernmost flats of the Northern Neck collide in rural Culpeper County; leaving both fertile soil and beautiful topography in their wake.
Culpeper County is included in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.
At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Culpeper County were a Siouan-speaking sub-group of the Manahoac tribe called the Tegninateo. Culpeper County was established in 1749 from Orange County. The county is named for Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper, colonial governor of Virginia from 1677 to 1683. During the Civil War the Battle of Cedar Mountain took place on August 9, 1862 and the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863, in Culpeper County.
In May 1749, the first Culpeper Court convened in the home of Robert Coleman, not far from where the Town of Culpeper is now located. In July 1749, 17-year-old George Washington was commissioned as the first County surveyor. One of his first duties was to lay out the County's courthouse complex, which included the courthouse, jail, stocks, gallows and accessory buildings. By 1752 the complex stood at what is now the northeast corner of Davis and Main Streets. The courthouse village was named the Town of Fairfax after Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1693-1781).
During the Virginia convention held in May 1775, the colony was divided into sixteen districts. Each district had instructions to raise a battalion of men "to march at a minute's notice." Culpeper, Orange and Fauquier, forming one district, raised 350 men in "Clayton's old field" on the Catalpa estate, who came to be called the Culpeper Minute Men. In December, the Minute Men, marching under their flag depicting a rattlesnake and inscribed with the words "Liberty or Death" and "Don't Tread on Me", took part in the Battle of Great Bridge, the first Revolutionary battle on Virginia soil. The Culpeper Minute Men reorganized in 1860 in response to the impending Civil War and became part of 13th Infantry's Company B. The Culpeper Minutemen were again organized for World War I, and joined the 116th Infantry.
In 1833, based on the county's growing population and those in the northwestern area needing to have better access to a county seat, Rappahannock County, Virginia was founded by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. The 267 square miles of that county's land was carved from Culpeper County.
The negative impact of the Massive Resistance campaign against school integration led to the statewide election of a pro-desegregation governor. By the middle of the 1970s, Culpeper was the last county in Virginia to desegregrate its public schools. In 2018 Culpeper County Public Schools has six elementary, two middle schools and two high schools. In 1935 the Rotary Club of Culpeper began a college loan fund, which in 1966 became a four-year scholarship based on academic achievement. The group also provides a Technical School scholarship based on academic achievement.
Culpeper County is home to Commonwealth Park, site for many world-class equestrian events. It was here that actor Christopher Reeve suffered his 1995 accident during a competition.
The town of Culpeper was rated #10 by Norman Crampton, author of "The 100 Best Small Towns in America," in February, 1993.
In April 2016, the county Board of Supervisors denied a routine request from the Islamic Center of Culpeper for a pump and haul permit to serve their envisioned mosque. This act resulted in a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice in December.
Culpeper County is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are quickly accessed beginning with Old Rag Mountain and the Skyline Drive just up Route 522.
Culpeper County is represented by Republicans Bryce E. Reeves, Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., and Jill Holtzman Vogel in the Virginia Senate, Republicans Michael J. Webert and Edward T. Scott in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican Dave Brat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Recent media investigations regarding law enforcement procurement of military equipment through the "1033" program offered by the Defense Logistics Agency identified Culpeper County as having received, as donations, a "Mine Resistant Vehicle" in 2013 worth $412,000 and twenty night vision optics worth an additional $136,000.00. This equipment, valued at more than half a million dollars, was obtained at no additional cost to Culpeper County residents.
As of the census of 2000, there were 34,262 people, 12,141 households, and 9,045 families residing in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 12,871 housing units at an average density of 34 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.27% White, 28.15% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.15% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. 2.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 12,141 households out of which 35.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.50% were married couples living together, 11.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.50% were non-families. 20.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $45,290, and the median income for a family was $51,475. Males had a median income of $36,621 versus $25,985 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,162. About 27.00% of families and 29.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.30% of those under age 18 and 28.60% of those age 65 or over.