The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are U. S. National Forests that combine to form one of the largest areas of public land in the Eastern United States, they cover 1.8 million acres of land in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky. 1 million acres of the forest are remote and undeveloped and 139,461 acres have been designated as wilderness areas, which eliminates future development. George Washington National Forest was established on May 1918 as the Shenandoah National Forest; the forest was renamed after the first President on June 28, 1932. Natural Bridge National Forest was added on July 22, 1933. Jefferson National Forest was formed on April 21, 1936 by combining portions of the Unaka and George Washington National Forests with other land. In 1995, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests were administratively combined; the border between the two forests follows the James River. The combined forest is administered from its headquarters in Virginia.
The northern portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, separately administered by the National Park Service, runs through the Forest. Over 2,000 miles of hiking trails, including segments of the Appalachian Trail, go through the forest. Virginia's highest point, Mount Rogers, is located in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, part of the forest. Other notable mountains include Elliott Knob, which has one of the last remaining fire lookout towers in the eastern U. S. and Whitetop Mountain. 230,000 acres of old-growth forests. The ghost town of Lignite, Virginia lies within the forest; the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi River, Breaks Interstate Park, is located in the forest. Roaring Run Furnace is the only site on the National Register of Historic Places owned by the Jefferson National Forest; the Forests' vast and mountainous terrain harbors a great variety of plant life—over 50 species of trees and over 2,000 species of shrubs and herbaceous plants. The Forests contain some 230,000 acres of old growth forests, representing all of the major forest communities found within them.
Locations of old growth include Peters Mountain, Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area, Rich Hole Wilderness, Flannery Ridge, Pick Breeches Ridge, Laurel Fork Gorge, Pickem Mountain, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The Ramsey's Draft and Kimberling Creek Wildernesses in particular are old-growth; the black bear is common, enough so that there is a short hunting season to prevent overpopulation. White-tailed deer, bald eagles, weasel and marten are known to inhabit the Forests; the forests are popular hiking, mountain biking, hunting destinations. The Appalachian Trail extends for 330 miles from the southern end of Shenandoah National Park through the forest and along the Blue Ridge Parkway; the forest is within a two-hour drive for over ten million people and thus receives large numbers of visitors in the region closest to Shenandoah National Park. The George Washington National Forest is a popular destination for trail runners, it is the location for several Ultramarathons, including the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 miler, the Old Dominion 100 miler, the Old Dominion Memorial 100 miler.
George Washington Forest is the venue for Nature Camp, a natural science education-oriented summer camp for youth. The camp is located on national forest land near the town of Virginia, it has operated at this location since the summer of 1953. Note that Jefferson National Forest is located in 22 separate counties, more than any other National Forest except Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, which lies in 29 counties. Note that Botetourt and Rockbridge counties, at the dividing line between the two forests, include parts of both forests. Thirdly, note that the state of Kentucky has little area, with its two counties bringing up the tail end of Jefferson National Forest. Ranger offices are the Forest Service's public service offices. Maps and other information about the forests can be obtained at these locations; these offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Supervisor's Office in Roanoke is not located in the forest and is an administrative location. District offices are listed from north to south.
Counties are in Virginia. There are 139,461 acres of federally designated wilderness areas in the two forests under the United States National Wilderness Preservation System. All are except as indicated; the largest of these is the Mountain Lake Wilderness, at 16,511 acres. There are 17 wildernesses in Jefferson National Forest, second only to Tongass National Forest, which has 19; the first camp of the Civilian Conservation Corps NF-1, Camp Roosevelt, was established in the George Washington National Forest near Luray, Virginia. It is now the site of the Camp Roosevelt Recreation Area. Great North Mountain Massanutten Mountain Shenandoah Mountain Monongahela National Forest—adjoining forest in West Virginia George Washington and Jefferson National Forests U. S. Forest Service, George Washington National Forest, Dry River District Collection at James Madison University's Special Collections
Bland County, Virginia
Bland County is a United States county located in the southwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Like most of Southwestern Virginia, it is part of the Appalachian region; the county seat is the unincorporated village of Bland. Bland County was created in 1861 from parts of Wythe and Giles counties in Virginia; the new county was named in honor of Richard Bland, a Virginia statesman who served in the House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 6,824, making it the sixth least populated county in Virginia. Bland County is one of the few counties in the United States that do not contain any incorporated municipalities; the push to create Bland County resulted from popular dissatisfaction with the distances required to travel to the various county seats in the area. The distances and the difficult mountain trails created a significant hardship for those needing to conduct legal affairs. In addition, the growing population resented paying taxes for benefits outside of the local area.
This pressure persuaded the Virginia General Assembly to take action to form a new county in the southwestern portion of the state. Bland County was formed on March 30, 1861 from parts of Wythe and Giles counties. Additional land from Giles County was added later; the county was named after Richard Bland, a Virginia statesman and political figure who helped lead the struggle for freedom and independence from England. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 358.7 square miles, of which 357.7 square miles is land and 1.0 square mile is water. Bland County lies within the Appalachian Regional Commission's definition of the Appalachian region; the county is mountainous with small river valleys running through the county. The county lies within the Ridge and Valley physiographic province; the North Fork of the Holston River has its head waters in Bland County. Mercer County, West Virginia – north Giles County – northeast Pulaski County – southeast Wythe County – south Smyth County – southwest Tazewell County – west Jefferson National Forest I-74 I-77 US 52 SR 42 SR 61 SR 598 As of the census of 2000, there were 6,871 people, 2,568 households, 1,908 families residing in the county.
The population density was 19 people per square mile. There were 3,161 housing units at an average density of 9 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 94.82% White, 4.19% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, 0.68% from two or more races. 0.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.4% were of American, 11.8% German, 11.5% English and 10.9% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. There were 2,568 households out of which 28.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.40% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.70% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.85. The population distribution of Bland County is: 19.40% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 27.90% from 45 to 64, 14.50% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 119.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.90 males. The median income for a household in the county was $30,397, the median income for a family was $35,765. Males had a median income of $30,801 versus $23,380 for females; the per capita income for the county was $17,744. 12.40% of the population and 9.10% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 14.20% are under the age of 18 and 22.60% are 65 or older. 2016-2018 District 1: K. Adam Kidd District 2: Nick Asbury, Chair District 3: Randy Johnson, Vice Chair District 4: Karen H. Hodock Clerk of the Circuit Court: Rebecca I. Johnson Commissioner of the Revenue: Cindy U. Wright Commonwealth's Attorney: Patrick D. White Sheriff: Tom Roseberry Treasurer: John F. Goins Bland County is represented by Republican Ben Chafin in the Virginia Senate, Republican James W. "Will" Morefield in the Virginia House of Delegates, Republican H. Morgan Griffith in the U.
S. House of Representatives; the county is a Republican county. The only Democrats who have carried it since 1910 have been Woodrow Wilson in 1912 when the Republican Party was split between William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt in each of his four elections, Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. All in national Democratic blowouts. Bland Rocky Gap Bastian National Register of Historic Places listings in Bland County, Virginia http://www.bland.org/
Roanoke is an independent city in the U. S. state of Virginia. At the 2010 census, the population was 97,032, it is located in the Roanoke Valley of the Roanoke Region of Virginia. Roanoke is the largest municipality in Southwest Virginia, is the principal municipality of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2010 population of 308,707, it is composed of the independent cities of Roanoke and Salem, Botetourt, Craig and Roanoke counties. Bisected by the Roanoke River, Roanoke is the commercial and cultural hub of much of Southwest Virginia and portions of Southern West Virginia; the town first called Big Lick was established in 1852 and chartered in 1874. It was named for a large outcropping of salt which drew the wildlife to the site near the Roanoke River. In 1882 it became the town of Roanoke, in 1884 it was chartered as the independent city of Roanoke; the name Roanoke is said to have originated from an Algonquian word for shell "money". The name for the river was that used by the Algonquian speakers who lived 300 miles away where the river emptied into the sea near Roanoke Island.
The native people who lived near where the city was founded did not speak Algonquian. They spoke Siouan languages and Catawban. There were Cherokee speakers in that general area who fought with the Catawba people; the city grew through annexation through the middle of the 20th century. The last annexation was in 1976; the state legislature has since prohibited cities from annexing land from adjacent counties. Roanoke's location in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the middle of the Roanoke Valley between Maryland and Tennessee, made it the transportation hub of western Virginia and contributed to its rapid growth. During colonial times the site of Roanoke was an important hub of roads; the Great Indian Warpath which merged into the colonial Great Wagon Road, one of the most traveled roads of 18th-century America, ran from Philadelphia through the Shenandoah Valley to the future site of the City of Roanoke, where the Roanoke River passed through the Blue Ridge. The Carolina Road branched off in Cloverdale, Virginia to Boones Mill, on to the Yadkin River Valley.
The Roanoke Gap proved a useful route for immigrants to settle the Carolina Piedmont region. At Roanoke Gap, another branch of the Great Wagon Road, the Wilderness Road, continued southwest to Tennessee. In the 1850s, Big Lick became a stop on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad which linked Lynchburg with Bristol on the Virginia-Tennessee border. After the American Civil War, William Mahone, a civil engineer and hero of the Battle of the Crater, was the driving force in the linkage of three railroads, including the V&T, across the southern tier of Virginia to form the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad, a new line extending from Norfolk to Bristol, Virginia in 1870. However, the Financial Panic of 1873 wrecked the AM&O's finances. After several years of operating under receiverships, Mahone's role as a railroad builder ended in 1881 when northern financial interests took control. At the foreclosure auction, the AM&O was purchased by E. W. Clark & Co. a private banking firm in Philadelphia which controlled the Shenandoah Valley Railroad under construction up the valley from Hagerstown, Maryland.
The AM&O was renamed Western Railway. Frederick J. Kimball, a civil engineer and partner in the Clark firm, headed the new line and the new Shenandoah Valley Railroad. For the junction for the Shenandoah Valley and the Norfolk and Western roads and his board of directors selected the small Virginia village called Big Lick, on the Roanoke River. Although the grateful citizens offered to rename their town "Kimball", at his suggestion, they agreed to name it Roanoke after the river; as the N&W brought people and jobs, the Town of Roanoke became an independent city in 1884. In fact, Roanoke became a city so that it earned the nickname "Magic City". Kimball's interest in geology was instrumental in the development of the Pocahontas coalfields in western Virginia and West Virginia, he pushed N&W lines through the wilds of West Virginia, north to Columbus and Cincinnati, south to Durham, North Carolina, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This gave the railroad the route structure; the Virginian Railway, an engineering marvel of its day, was conceived and built by William Nelson Page and Henry Huttleston Rogers.
Following the Roanoke River, the VGN was built through the City of Roanoke early in the 20th century. It merged with the N&W in 1959; the opening of the coalfields made N&W Pocahontas bituminous coal world-famous. Transported by the N&W and neighboring Virginian Railway, local coal-fueled half the world's navies. Today it stokes steel mills and power plants all over the globe; the Norfolk & Western was famous for manufacturing steam locomotives in-house. It was N&W's Roanoke Shops that made the company known industry-wide for its excellence in steam power; the Roanoke Shops, with its workforce of thousands, is where the famed classes A, J, Y6 locomotives were designed and maintained. New steam locomotives were built there until 1953, long after diesel-electric had emerged as the motive power of choice for most North American railroads. About 1960, N&W was the last major railroad in the United States to convert from steam to diesel power; the presence of the railroad made Roanoke attractive to manufacturers.
American Viscose opened a large rayon plant in Southeast Roanoke in October 1917. This plant closed in 1958; when N&W converted to diesel, 2,000 railroad workers were laid off. Roanoke has a weak mayor-city manager form of government; the city
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, extends 550 miles southwest from southern Pennsylvania through Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia; this province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. To the west of the Blue Ridge, between it and the bulk of the Appalachians, lies the Great Appalachian Valley, bordered on the west by the Ridge and Valley province of the Appalachian range; the Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for having a bluish color. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color. Within the Blue Ridge province are two major national parks – the Shenandoah National Park in the northern section, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the southern section – and eight national forests including George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Cherokee National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest and Chattahoochee National Forest.
The Blue Ridge contains the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile long scenic highway that connects the two parks and is located along the ridge crest-lines with the Appalachian Trail. Although the term "Blue Ridge" is sometimes applied to the eastern edge or front range of the Appalachian Mountains, the geological definition of the Blue Ridge province extends westward to the Ridge and Valley area, encompassing the Great Smoky Mountains, the Great Balsams, the Roans, the Blacks, the Brushy Mountains and other mountain ranges; the Blue Ridge extends as far north into Pennsylvania as South Mountain. While South Mountain dwindles to mere hills between Gettysburg and Harrisburg, the band of ancient rocks that form the core of the Blue Ridge continues northeast through the New Jersey and Hudson River highlands reaching The Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Green Mountains of Vermont; the Blue Ridge contains the highest mountains in eastern North America south of Baffin Island. About 125 peaks exceed 5,000 feet in elevation.
The highest peak in the Blue Ridge is Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet. There are 39 peaks in North Tennessee higher than 6,000 feet. Southern Sixers is a term used by peak baggers for this group of mountains; the Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles along crests of the Southern Appalachians and links two national parks: Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains. In many places along the parkway, there are metamorphic rocks with folded bands of light-and dark-colored minerals, which sometimes look like the folds and swirls in a marble cake. Most of the rocks that form the Blue Ridge Mountains are ancient granitic charnockites, metamorphosed volcanic formations, sedimentary limestone. Recent studies completed by Richard Tollo, a professor and geologist at George Washington University, provide greater insight into the petrologic and geochronologic history of the Blue Ridge basement suites. Modern studies have found that the basement geology of the Blue Ridge is made of compositionally unique gneisses and granitoids, including orthopyroxene-bearing charockites.
Analysis of zircon minerals in the granite completed by John Aleinikoff at the U. S. Geological Survey has provided more detailed emplacement ages. Many of the features found in the Blue Ridge and documented by Tollo and others have confirmed that the rocks exhibit many similar features in other North American Grenville-age terranes; the lack of a calc-alkaline affinity and zircon ages less than 1,200 Ma suggest that the Blue Ridge is distinct from the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, the New York-New Jersey Highlands. The petrologic and geochronologic data suggest that the Blue Ridge basement is a composite orogenic crust, emplaced during several episodes from a crustal magma source. Field relationships further illustrate that rocks emplaced prior to 1,078–1,064 Ma preserve deformational features; those emplaced post-1,064 Ma have a massive texture and missed the main episode of Mesoproterozoic compression. The Blue Ridge Mountains began forming during the Silurian Period over 400 million years ago.
320 Mya, North America, Europe collided, pushing up the Blue Ridge. At the time of their emergence, the Blue Ridge were among the highest mountains in the world and reached heights comparable to the much younger Alps. Today, due to weathering and erosion over hundreds of millions of years, the highest peak in the range, Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, is only 6,684 feet high – still the highest peak east of the Rockies; the English who settled colonial Virginia in the early 17th century recorded that the native Powhatan name for the Blue Ridge was Quirank. At the foot of the Blue Ridge, various tribes including the Siouan Manahoacs, the Iroquois, the Shawnee hunted and fished. A German physician-explorer, John Lederer, first reached the crest of the Blue Ridge in 1669 and again the following year. At the Treaty of Albany negotiated by Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood, of Virginia with the Iroquois between 1718 and 1722, the Iroquois ceded lands they had conquered south of the Potomac River and east of the Blue Ridge to the Virginia Colony.
This treaty made the Blue Ridge the new demarcation point between the areas and tribes subject to the Six Nati
Floyd County, Virginia
Floyd County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,279, its county seat is Floyd. Floyd County is included in VA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Floyd County's recorded history begins with the arrival of traders and hunters in Southwest Virginia in the 18th century; the earliest known travel way through present day Floyd County was the Trader's Path, running from east to west across the Roanoke River where Back Creek enters the river, by John Mason's, R. Poage's, the headwaters of Back Creek and southwest over Bent Mountain; the trail continued westward through the Little River area to the Lead Mines. The first known attempts to settle the area appear to have been made during the 1740s. In 1745 the Virginia Council granted James Patton, of Augusta County, among others, 100,000 acres on the New River and the westward flowing waters, including the Little River area. In 1749 the Royal Company of Virginia received a grant on the westward flowing waters, putting the two companies in competition with one another to settle the area.
The first surveying of the land occurred in the late 1740s. On January 15, 1831, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act creating the present county of Floyd out of the county Montgomery; the new county was named for the Governor of Virginia, John Floyd. The new county's courthouse was completed in 1834. In 1870 a portion of Franklin County was added to Floyd County; the first Commonwealth's Attorney was William Ballard Preston, a nephew of John Floyd, who would serve as Secretary of the United States Navy. Preston was followed in years by Jubal Early, who would serve as a general for the Confederate Army; the county seat of Floyd County was first called Jacksonville for Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States. Jacksonville was first incorporated in 1858 and re-incorporated on February 19, 1892 to expand the town boundaries. On January 23, 1896, the General Assembly passed an Act changing the name of the Town of Jacksonville to the town of Floyd; the county became a destination for those involved in the counterculture during the 1960s and 1970s those who wanted to live in closer contact with nature.
In the late 1990s, the Rivendell community was established by a group of Christians so they could practice a lifestyle consistent with their Reformed Churches' interpretations of the Bible and in part, to be better isolated from possible societal disruptions caused by the Y2K computer problem. Most of the original members of this community have moved on. Floyd County was a setting for the ministry of Reverend Bob Childress, whose life was chronicled in the book The Man Who Moved a Mountain; the county's location directly adjacent to both the Roanoke and the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metropolitan Statistical Areas have contributed to modest population growth in contrast to most rural counties in Southwest Virginia. Several bloggers live in the county and post observations about the community and its rural setting. Floyd County has a strong music and literary scene. Three establishments in Floyd offer a variety of live music during the weekends ranging from traditional styles such as Bluegrass and Old-timey_music to contemporary and alternative acts.
Best known is the Friday Night Jamboree held at The Floyd Country Store. Both the Country Store and County Records, founded in the 1960s, are featured on the Virginia Heritage Music Trail called "The Crooked Road." In the early 21st century, Floyd became. The Chateau Morrisette and Villa Appalaccia wineries have been established since the 1980s. According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 381.8 square miles, of which 380.9 square miles is land and 0.9 square miles is water. It is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia; the county seat, the town of Floyd, is 40 miles southwest of Roanoke on US 221. Buffalo Mountain, at 3,971 feet, is the highest point in the county. Floyd County is situated atop a high plateau of the Blue Ridge Mountains which divides the eastward flowing from the westward flowing waters. With the high topography, no streams flow into Floyd County; the county is drained by Little River and its tributaries which flow into New River below the Claytor Lake Dam and, in turn, by way of the Kanawha River, the Ohio River and the Mississippi River, into the Gulf of Mexico.
The headwaters of the south fork of the Roanoke River are in the northeastern part of the county. No water flows into Floyd County - it all flows out - one particular fast stream is Shooting Creek. Named for its speed over rocks; this creek today follows Shooting Creek Road from Floyd into Franklin County. In years, it would become the site of moonshine liquor distilleries and the lawlessness that surrounded this industry. Franklin County, Virginia – east Patrick County, Virginia – southeast Carroll County, Virginia – southwest Pulaski County, Virginia – northwest Montgomery County, Virginia – northwest Roanoke County, Virginia – north Blue Ridge Parkway Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve US 221 SR 8 As of the census of 2000, there were 13,874 people, 5,791 households, 4,157 families residing in the county; the population density was 36 people per square mile. There were 6,763 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 96.71% White, 2.00% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, 0.74% from two or more races.
1.35% of the population were Hispanic or