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Virginia Counties
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Virginia Counties

The Commonwealth of Virginia is divided into ninety-five counties and thirty-eight independent cities, which are considered county-equivalents for census purposes.

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Alleghany County, Virginia

Alleghany County Education, Geography, and History

Alleghany County, Virginia Courthouse

Alleghany County is a county located on the far western edge of Commonwealth of Virginia. It is bordered by the Allegheny Mountains, from which the county derives its name, and it is the northernmost part of the Roanoke Region of Virginia. The county seat is Covington.

The county was created in 1822 from parts of Botetourt County, Bath County, and Monroe County (now in West Virginia). At the time, the majority of the population lived around Covington, and the primary cash crop then was hemp, which was used for rope production.

Based on the 2010 census, the population was 16,250

Etymology - Origin of Alleghany County Name

Allegheny, which is an old Indian word meaning "endless," was used to describe the mountains range known as the Applachians. It has been used to describe one specific range, starting in north central Pennsylvania and running south-southwest into the western part of Virginia. Part of the crest of this mountain forms the boundary line between the state of West Virginia and The Old Dominion. Allegheny has been spelled a number of ways when taken from the Indian pronunciation, and used for counties, cities, towns, rivers and mountains

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Alleghany County History

It was formed from Bath, Botetout and Monroe (West Virginia) Counties on January 5, 1822, and additional parts of Bath (1823) and Monroe (1843) were added. It area is 444 square miles, and the county seat is Covington. The former independent city of Clifton Forge reverted to the county in 2001. [Virginia Counties: Those Resulting from Virginia Legislation, by Morgan Poitiaux Robinson, originally published as Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, Volume 9, January, April, July 1916, reprinted 1992 by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD.]

Alleghany County was named for the Allegheny Mountains, although it has a variant spelling. It was formed from Bath, Botetout and Monroe (West Virginia) Counties in 1822, and additional parts of Bath (1823) and Monroe (1843) were added. It area is 444 square miles, and the county seat is Covington. The former independent city of Clifton Forge reverted to the county in 2001. The population is 12,926 according to the 2000 census.

Allegheny, which is an old Indian word meaning "endless," was used to describe the mountains range known as the Applachians. It has been used to describe one specific range, starting in north central Pennsylvania and running south-southwest into the western part of Virginia. Part of the crest of this mountain forms the boundary line between the state of West Virginia and The Old Dominion.

Allegheny has been spelled a number of ways when taken from the Indian pronunciation, and used for counties, cities, towns, rivers and mountains. The only spelling using the second a is in the State of Virginia, and the county that borders the West Virginia border. This county and town (once found in the county on the railroad) lay claim to be the only ones spelled Alleghany.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 449 square miles (1,160 km2), of which 445 square miles (1,150 km2) is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) (0.7%) is water.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Ashe County, NC to the west
  • Carroll County, VA to the northeast
  • Grayson County, VA to the north
  • Surry County, NC to the east
  • Wilkes County, NC to the south

Education

Alleghany County is serviced by one high school, Alleghany High School (grades 9-12); one middle school, Clifton Middle School (grades 6-8), and five pre-kindergarten to grade 5 elementary schools: Boiling Spring Elementary, Callaghan Elementary, Falling Spring Elementary, Mountain View Elementary and Sharon Elementary. The county also contains one Virginia state governors school, the Jackson River Governor's School; one technical center, the Jackson River Technical Center; and the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

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