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.

Rockbridge County, Virginia

Rockbridge County Education, Geography, and History

Rockbridge County, Virginia Courthouse

Rockbridge County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 22,307. Its county seat is Lexington. The independent cities of Buena Vista (6,680) and Lexington (7,170) are both enclaved within the county's geographical borders.

Etymology - Origin of Rockbridge County Name

Rockbridge is named for the Natural Bridge within the county


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Rockbridge County History

Rockbridge County was established in October, 1777 from parts of now neighboring Augusta and Botetourt counties, and the first county elections were held in May 1778. Rockbridge County was named for Natural Bridge, a notable landmark in the southern portion of the county. Rockbridge County was formed during an act of assembly intended to reduce the amount of travel to the nearest courthouse, and to ensure trials were held fairly, and among friends rather than strangers. The first court session in Rockbridge County was held at the home of Samuel Wallace on April 7, 1778.

Rockbridge County, Virginia formed from Augusta and Botetourt Counties. Botetourt County gave an additional portion in 1887/88. [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.]

Rockbridge County was named for Natural Bridge, an exceptional rock formation located in the county. The county was formed from Augusta and Botetourt counties in 1778, and another part of Botetourt was added later. The area is 604 square miles, and the county seat is Lexington.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 601 square miles (1,557 km2), of which, 600 square miles (1,553 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (4 km2) of it (0.22%) is water. The land area figures do not include the independent cities of Buena Vista and Lexington.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Bath County, Virginia - northwest
  • Augusta County, Virginia - northeast
  • Nelson County, Virginia - east
  • Amherst County, Virginia - southeast
  • Bedford County, Virginia - south
  • Botetourt County, Virginia - southwest
  • Alleghany County, Virginia - west
  • Lexington, Virginia - center (enclave)
  • Buena Vista, Virginia - east of center (enclave)


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