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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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City of Fairfax, Virginia

City of Fairfax Education, Geography, and HistoryFairfax, Virginia Courthouse

The City of Fairfax, colloquially Fairfax City or Fairfax, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2014, the population was 24,483.

The City of Fairfax is an enclave within Fairfax County. However, Fairfax County is a separate political entity. The City of Fairfax, and the area immediately surrounding the historical border of the City of Fairfax, also officially designated by Fairfax County as "Fairfax", both comprise the county seat of Fairfax County.

Situated in Northern Virginia, Fairfax is part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of City of Fairfax  Name

The small town in the vicinity of the courthouse was then known as Earp's Corner, and in 1805 was designated the Town of Providence by an act of the Virginia General Assembly (although people continued to informally refer to it as Fairfax Court House).

The town was officially renamed the Town of Fairfax in 1874, and became an independent city in 1961 (upon which it acquired its current name, the City of Fairfax).

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: City of Fairfax

Fairfax City History

Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia established 14 January 1805. Earlier called Providence. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

Fairfax, Virginia incorporated as a town in 1892. First called Providence and name shortened to Fairfax in 1859. Incorporated as a city in 1961. County seat of Fairfax County, Virginia. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]

The area the City of Fairfax now encompasses was settled in the early 1700s by farmers from Virginia's Tidewater region. The Fairfax County courthouse was established at the corner of Old Little River Turnpike (now Main Street) and Ox Road (now Chain Bridge Road) on land donated by town founder Richard Ratcliffe. The small town in the vicinity of the courthouse was then known as Earp's Corner, and in 1805 was designated the Town of Providence by an act of the Virginia General Assembly (although people continued to informally refer to it as Fairfax Court House).

On June 1, 1861 the first CS Officer of American Civil War was killed in Fairfax, Virginia. In a celebrated incident in the town in March 1863, Mosby's 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry, better known as Mosby's Rangers, disguised and with stealth and cunning, awakened in bed and captured an embarrassed Union General Edwin H. Stoughton along with two Union Captains, 30 prisoners, and 58 horses without firing a shot. The town was officially renamed the Town of Fairfax in 1874, and became an independent city in 1961 (upon which it acquired its current name, the City of Fairfax). In 1904, a trolley line was built connecting Fairfax with Washington, D.C.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16.3 km2), all of it land.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • The City of Fairfax is an independent city forming an enclave within the confines of Fairfax County, in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Education

Primary and secondary schools

The public schools in the City of Fairfax are owned by the city, but administered by the Fairfax County Public Schools system under contractual agreement with Fairfax County.

Colleges and universities

George Mason University, the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is located just to the south of the Fairfax city limits.

Northern Virginia Community College, the second largest multi-campus community college in the United States, and the largest educational institution in Virginia, has its Annandale Campus immediately to the east of the city limits.

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