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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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Town Of Clifton Forge, Virginia

Town of Clifton Forge Education, Geography, and HistoryClifton Forge, Virginia Courthouse

Clifton Forge is a town in Alleghany County, Virginia, United States which is part of the Roanoke Region. The population was 3,884 at the 2010 census. The Jackson River flows through the town, which as a result was once known as Jackson's River Station.

Clifton Forge was an independent city during the 2000 census. However, in 2001, Clifton Forge gave up its city status and reverted to a town. In previous decades, the railroad was a major employer.

Etymology - Origin of Town of Clifton Forge Name

Mr. William Lyle Alexander of Lexington owned a forge in the Rainbow Gorge near Iron Gate, and he named the forge "Clifton" in honor of his father's estate in Lexington; thus, we have the name "Clifton Forge."

Demographics:

County QuickFacts:

Clifton Forge Town History

Clifton Forge, Virginia incorporated as a town in 1884. Chartered as an independent city in 1906. Located in Alleghany County, Virginia. Established in 1861 and known as Williamson's Station. [County Courthouse Book, by Elizabeth Petty Bentley, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1990.] [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Williamson's Station, Virgina established in 1861. Later named Clifton Forge. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Clifton Forge was an independent city during the 2000 census. However, in 2001, Clifton Forge gave up its city status and reverted to a town. In previous decades, the railroad was a major employer. Clifton Forge is known for its beautiful mountain views and clear streams. It is home to one of the original 6 state parks of Virginia, Douthat State Park, built during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The Town of Clifton Forge, Virginia is a Municipal Corporation and a Political Subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although the Town was chartered in 1906, its history dates back to the 1700s. The land that the Town now occupies was originally part of a 1770 land grant to a Robert Gallaspy by Lord Botetourt, the Governor of Virginia. The ownership of the land changed several times, and the Williamson and Smith families became the owners in the 1820s. A settlement developed along both sides of the Jackson River from Slaughter Pen Hollow to Smith Creek. The iron industry in Alleghany County and the completion of a road over North Mountain (now US Route 60) in 1826 began the growth of the settlement. Mr. William Lyle Alexander of Lexington owned a forge in the Rainbow Gorge near Iron Gate, and he named the forge "Clifton" in honor of his father's estate in Lexington; thus, we have the name "Clifton Forge."

The Town has a rich railroad heritage with the first passenger train arriving in Clifton Forge in 1857. Clifton Forge grew up with the railroad industry and it became a major maintenance facility for steam locomotives of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C & O Railroad). The Town was a virtual boomtown during the heyday of the railroad with the C & O employing nearly 2,000 people. With the advent of the diesel engine, in the early 1950s the C & O Railroad located its maintenance diesel shops in West Virginia and many of the jobs were transferred to the new facility. Because of its rich railroad heritage, Clifton Forge is the home of the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society, Inc.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2), all of it land.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Clifton Forge chartered in 1906 is a micro town located at Alleghany County, Virginia.

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