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Bedford is an incorporated town located within Bedford County in the state of Virginia. It serves as the county seat of Bedford County. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 6,622. It is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bedford was originally known as Liberty, "named after the Colonial victory over Cornwallis at Yorktown." Founded as a village in 1782, Liberty became Bedford County's seat of government, replacing New London which had become part of the newly formed Campbell County. Liberty became a town in 1839 and in 1890 changed its name to Bedford City. In 1912 Bedford reverted to town status, then in 1968, again became a city. On September 14, 2011, the Bedford City Council voted to transition into a town, ending its independent city status.
The Fourth Duke of Bedford, John Russell, gave Bedford its name.
County QuickFacts: City of Bedford
Bedford City, Virginia name changed from Liberty, Virginia. Name shortened to Bedford in 1912. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]
Bedford, Virginia, name shortened from Bedford City in 1912. Incorporated as a city on 31 Aug 1968. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]
Bedford, Virginia incorporated as a city on 31 Aug 1968. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]
Liberty, Virginia was incorporated as a town in 1839. Located in Bedford County, Virginia. Name changed to Bedford City in 1890. Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]
The Fourth Duke of Bedford, John Russell, gave Bedford its name. In 1754 Bedford County was formed from Lunenburg
County and was named for Bedford, who was then Secretary of State for Great Britain during the reign of King George
II. Although New London, in Bedford's eastern section, was the first county seat, the seat was moved to the more
centrally located town of Liberty in 1782. This is the present-day City of Bedford.
Bedford County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It encompasses 764 square miles of Piedmont Plateau in the Western Central portion of Virginia and is bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west, the James River on its northeast and Smith Mountain Lake to the south. It has rolling, hilly terrain with elevations ranging from 800 to 4200 feet above sea level.
In 1782, the Town of Liberty (now the City of Bedford) was established. The Town of Liberty was changed to the Town of Bedford in 1870 and to the present-day City of Bedford in 1912. The city covers an area of 6.81 square miles of history, culture, outstanding architecture, boutiques and fine dining.
Thomas Jefferson, architect of The University of Virginia, author of The Declaration of Independence and President of the United States, chose to build a home in Bedford - Poplar Forest, which Jefferson designed as his personal retreat. Robert E. Lee, the Confederate's general and loyal Bedford visitor, rode his horse, Traveler, farther up Sharp Top at the Peaks of Otter than anyone else. And the Beale Treasure - an elusive horde of gold, silver and jewels and a complicated, only partially solved, code - draws treasure hunters from all over the world.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.9 square miles (17.9 km2)- 6.9
square miles (17.8 km2) of it is land and 0.14% is water.
Bedford sits at the feet of the Peaks of Otter.
Bordering counties are as follows: