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Albemarle County, Virginia

Albemarle County, Virginia
The Albemarle County Office Building
Seal of Albemarle County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Albemarle County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1744
Named for Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle[1]
Seat Charlottesville
Largest town Scottsville
 • Total 726 sq mi (1,880 km2)
 • Land 721 sq mi (1,867 km2)
 • Water 5 sq mi (13 km2), 0.7%
Population (est.)
 • (2012) 101,575
 • Density 137/sq mi (52.8/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .org.albemarlewww

Albemarle County is a United States county located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its county seat is Charlottesville, which is an independent city enclave entirely surrounded by the county.[2] Albemarle County is part of the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Albemarle County was created in 1744 from the western portion of Goochland County, though portions of Albemarle were later carved out to create other counties. Albemarle County was named in honor of Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle. However, its most famous inhabitant was Thomas Jefferson, who built his estate home, Monticello, in the county.

As of the 2010 census, the population was 98,970.[3] The population has more than tripled since the 1960 census.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Waterways 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
    • Protected areas 2.3
    • Adjacent counties 2.4
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
    • Emergency services 4.1
      • Fire stations 4.1.1
      • Rescue squads 4.1.2
  • Education 5
  • Communities 6
  • Notable residents 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


Thomas Jefferson lived most of his life in Albemarle County

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Albemarle County were a Siouan-speaking tribe called the Saponi.[4] In 1744, the Virginia General Assembly created Albemarle County from the western portion of Goochland County.[5] The county was named in honor of Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle and titular Governor of Virginia at the time.[6] The large county was partitioned in 1761, forming Buckingham and Amherst counties, at which time the county seat was moved from the formerly central Scottsville to a piece of newly central land, christened Charlottesville.[6] In 1777, Albemarle County was divided and Fluvanna County established, finalizing the boundaries of modern Albemarle County.

Albemarle County is well known for its association with President and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, who was born in the County at Shadwell, though it was then part of Goochland County.[7] However, his home of Monticello is located in the County.[8]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 726 square miles (1,880 km2), of which 721 square miles (1,870 km2) is land and 5 square miles (13 km2) (0.7%) is water.[9]


The Rivanna River rises in Albemarle County and was historically important for transportation.

Major highways

Protected areas

Albemarle's western border with Augusta and Rockingham Counties is located within the Shenandoah National Park.

Adjacent counties

Albemarle County borders 8 other counties, more than any other county in Virginia.


As of the census[15] of 2010, there were 98,970 people, 38,157 households, and 24,578 families residing in the county. The population density was 137 people per square mile (52.8/km²). There were 42,122 housing units at an average density of 58 per square mile (22.4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.6% White, 9.7% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. 5.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 38,157 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 25.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 12.3% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 27.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.2 years. For every 100 females there were 92.69 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.59 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $63,001, and the median income for a family was $98,934. Males had a median income of $55,530 versus $52,211 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,718. About 3.8% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.0% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over.


Albemarle is governed by an elected six-member Board of Supervisors. Management of the County is vested in a Board-appointed County Executive.[16]

Board of Supervisors of Albemarle County[17]
Name Party First Election District
  Jane Dittmar (Chair) Dem 2013 Scottsville
  Diantha McKeel (Vice-Chair) Ind 2013 Jack Jouett
  Liz Palmer Dem 2013 Samuel Miller
  Brad Sheffield Dem 2013 Rio
  Ann Mallek Dem 2007 White Hall
  Kenneth Boyd Rep 2003 Rivanna

There are also several elected Constitutional Officers:

  • Clerk of the Circuit Court: Debra Shipp (D)
  • Commonwealth's Attorney: Denise Y. Lunsford (D)
  • Sheriff: J.E. "Chip" Harding (R)

The nonpartisan School Board is also elected. Its members are:[18]

  • Kate Acuff (Jack Jouett district)
  • Pamela Moynihan (Rio district)
  • Jason Buyaki (Rivanna district)
  • Eric Strucko (Samuel Miller district)
  • Stephen Koleszar (Scottsville district)
  • Barbara Massie Mouly (Vice-Chair, White Hall district)
  • Ned Gallaway (Chair, At Large)

Albemarle is represented by Republican Bryce Reeves and Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia State Senate, Republican Steve Landes Democrat David Toscano, Republican Rob Bell, and Republican Matt Fariss in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican Robert Hurt in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Emergency services

Earlysville Fire Department Engine 45 at the Independence Day Parade.
Crozet Volunteer Fire Department Engine 52 truck during the same parade.

Albemarle County has two branches of law enforcement, the Albemarle County Police Department, which handles criminal matters and is directed by the appointed police chief, Colonel Steve Sellers. The second branch is the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office, which handles civil service in the county and they are directed by the elected Sheriff Chip Harding.

EMS services are provided by three volunteer rescue squads and Albemarle County Fire Rescue. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad, located in the City of Charlottesville, the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, located in Crozet, and the Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, located in the Town of Scottsville. Albemarle County Fire Rescue operates 6 Advance Life Support ambulances, Medic 4 (Earlysville), Medic 8 (Seminole), Medic 11 (Monticello), Medic 12 (Hollymead), Medic 15 (Ivy), and Medic 16 (Pantops).

Fire suppression services are provided by seven volunteer fire companies, w/ four of them being staffed by county career firefighter/medics 06:00-18:00 Mon-Fri, three 24 hour county career stations, and an automatic mutual aid contract with the Charlottesville Fire Department. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Airport also maintains an Airport Crash/Rescue department which is staffed by airport personnel and is assisted by county stations in the event of an aircraft emergency. The four volunteer stations supplemented by county career firefighters during the daytime are East Rivanna Vol. Fire Dept, Earlysville Vol. Fire Company, Stony Point Vol. Fire Company, and Seminole Trail Vol. Fire Dept. These stations are solely volunteers nights and weekends. The City of Charlottesville fire department maintains a contract with the county with automatic mutual aid for areas that border the city boundaries.

Albemarle County Fire Rescue also plans to build one more career station in the eastern portion of the county near Pantops Mountain in the future.

Fire stations[19]

  • Crozet Volunteer Fire Department (Station 5)
  • Earlysville Volunteer Fire Company (Station4)
  • East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company (Station 2)
  • Hollymead Fire Rescue (Station 12)
  • Ivy Fire Rescue (Station 15)
  • Monticello Fire Rescue (Station 11)
  • North Garden Volunteer Fire Company (Station 3)
  • Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department (Station 7)
  • Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department (Station 8)
  • Stony Point Volunteer Fire Company (Station 6)

Rescue squads[19]

  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad (Rescue 1)
  • Berkmar Substation of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad (Rescue 8)
  • Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad (Rescue 7)
  • Western Albemarle Rescue Squad (Rescue 5)


The Albemarle County Public School System operates public education in the County, including Murray High School, a charter school, that is located in the City of Charlottesville. The School Board and the Superintendent, Dr. Pamela Moran, work closely together in operating the Albemarle County Public School System.

The School Board has 7 members, elected by Magisterial District:

  • Kate Acuff (Jack Jouett district)
  • Pamela Moynihan (Rio district)
  • Jason Buyaki (Rivanna district)
  • Eric Strucko (Samuel Miller district)
  • Stephen Koleszar (Scottsville district)
  • Barbara Massie Mouly (Vice-Chair, White Hall district)
  • Ned Gallaway (Chair, At Large)

Many private schools in Albemarle serve the County and students from surrounding areas. These include:

Some students attend several private schools in the City of Charlottesville.


The only incorporated town in Albemarle County is Scottsville, the original county seat. Unincorporated communities include Barboursville, Crozet, Earlysville, Free Union, Greenwood, Ivy, Keene, and Keswick, among many smaller hamlets.

In addition, the City of Charlottesville is enclaved within Albemarle County. Under Virginia law in effect since 1871, all municipalities in the state incorporated as cities are legally and politically independent of any county.

Notable residents

United States President and Governor of Virginia Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, is located in Albemarle County.
United States President and Governor of Virginia James Monroe's home, Ash Lawn-Highland, is located in Albemarle County.

See also


  1. ^ "County Overview". County of Albemarle. Archived from the original on 19 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  4. ^ Swanton, John R. (1952), The Indian Tribes of North America, Smithsonian Institution, p. 72,  
  5. ^ Pawlett, Nathaniel (1976). "An Index to Roads Shown in the Albemarle County Surveyors Books 1744-1853" (PDF). Charlottesville, Virginia: Virginia Highway & Transportation Research Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  6. ^ a b Atkins, Ace (2007-03-27). "A county by any other name?". C-Ville Weekly (Portico Publications). Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  7. ^ Henry Stephens Randall, The Life of Thomas Jefferson
  8. ^ "Albemarle County". Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved 2008-10-11. Albemarle County is widely recognized as rich in history and beauty. Among its historic attractions are Monticello, home to President Thomas Jefferson... 
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  16. ^ "County Executive". County of Albemarle, VA. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  21. ^ Obituary of Claude Hampton Hall (1922-2001), Bryan-College Station, Texas, Eagle, April 4, 2001

Further reading

  • Richey, Homer, ed. (1920). Memorial History of the John Bowie Strange Camp, United Confederate Veterans: Including Some Account of Others Who Served in the Confederate Armies from Albemarle County, Together With Brief Sketches of the Albemarle Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the R. T. W. Duke Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Charlottesville, Va.: The Michie Co. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Architecture of Jefferson Country – images of historic buildings of Albemarle County (from UVA Libraries)
  • Charlottesville Tomorrow - An organization that covers growth and development in Albemarle
  • Albemarle County Fire Rescue
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad, Inc.
  • Western Albemarle Rescue Squad
  • Archibald Slaymaker Glass Plate Negative Collection at the University of South Florida

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