Nelson County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,020, Nelson County is part of the Charlottesville, VA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nelson County is home to Wintergreen Resort, a ski area, Swannanoa mansion and is the location of Waltons Mountain made famous by the television show. Nelson County is also home to ten wineries, five craft breweries, at the time the English began settling Virginia in the 1600s, the inhabitants of what is now Nelson County were a Siouan-speaking tribe called the Nahyssan. They were probably connected to the Manahoac, Nelson County was created in 1807 from Amherst County. The government was formed the following year, the county is named for Thomas Nelson, Jr. a signer of the U. S. Declaration of Independence, who served as Governor of Virginia in 1781, an earlier Virginia county, also named in his honor, became part of Kentucky when it separated from Virginia in 1792. On the night of August 19–20,1969, Nelson County was struck by flooding caused by Hurricane Camille. Over five hours, it yielded more than 37 inches, while the day had seen a deluge of 5 inches in half an hour. There were reports of drowning in trees and people who had had to cup their hands around their mouth. Flash floods and mudslides killed 153 people,31 from Roseland, Tyro, over 133 public bridges were washed out in Nelson County, while some communities were under water. In the tiny community of Davis Creek,52 people were killed or could not be found, the bodies of some people have never been found, others washed as much as 25 miles downstream along the creeks and rivers. The entire county was cut off, with many roads and virtually all bridges, telephone, radio/TV. The waters of the Tye, Piney, Buffalo, and Rockfish rivers flow into the James River, there was massive flooding elsewhere in Virginia, such as along the Maury River, which destroyed the town of Glasgow in Rockbridge County. Just a few miles downstream, the James River crested at the City Locks in Richmond at 28.6 feet swamping downtown areas. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 474 square miles. The Blue Ridge Mountains form the northwest boundary of the county, internally, Nelson consists of the Rockfish, Tye and Piney rivers, along with many known creeks. It operates two schools, one middle school, and one high school
Image: Nelson Co Courthouse Dec 08
Mudslide damage in Nelson County after the passage of Hurricane Camille
The Tye River flows through the mountains and low hills of Nelson County.
A view down a ski slope at Wintergreen Resort, Nelson County, Virginia