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Bluefield, Virginia facts for kids

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Town of Bluefield, Virginia
Virginia Avenue (US 19)
Virginia Avenue (US 19)
Official seal of Town of Bluefield, Virginia
Virginia's Tallest Town
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County Tazewell
Founded 1860s
Incorporated 1883
 • Town 9.50 sq mi (24.60 km2)
 • Land 9.49 sq mi (24.59 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
2,389 ft (728 m)
 • Town 5,096
 • Density 537/sq mi (207.2/km2)
 • Metro
106,363 (Bluefield Micropolitan Area)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 276 Exchanges: 322,326
FIPS code 51-08152
GNIS feature ID 1481874

Bluefield is a town in Tazewell County, Virginia, United States, located along the Bluestone River. The population was 5,096 at the 2020 census. It is part of the Bluefield WV-VA micropolitan area which has a population of 106,363 in 2020.


Bluefield is located at 37°14′39″N 81°16′30″W / 37.24417°N 81.27500°W / 37.24417; -81.27500 (37.244195, -81.274926).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.6 km²), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,021
1900 1,554 52.2%
1910 1,917 23.4%
1920 2,752 43.6%
1930 3,906 41.9%
1940 3,921 0.4%
1950 4,212 7.4%
1960 4,235 0.5%
1970 5,286 24.8%
1980 5,946 12.5%
1990 5,363 −9.8%
2000 5,078 −5.3%
2010 5,444 7.2%
2020 5,096 −6.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,078 people, 2,134 households, and 1,423 families residing in the town. The population density was 669.9 people per square mile (258.7/km2). There were 2,349 housing units at an average density of 309.9 per square mile (119.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 92.30% White, 4.86% African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.42% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.41% of the population.

There were 2,134 households, out of which 21.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 18.0% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 22.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $32,157, and the median income for a family was $44,000. Males had a median income of $34,167 versus $18,875 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,755. About 3.9% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.6% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.


Bluefield has not always borne the name Bluefield. The town originated around a small post office named "Pin Hook" in the 1860s, named for a small creek that ran through the community. For a brief time it was known as the commununity of Harman, named after a Civil War hero from the area who had been shot during the Battle of Cloyd's Mountain in Pulaski, County, Virginia. Later, after coal was discovered and a company was formed to build a railroad to the coalfields, the community's name was changed again to "Graham" to honor Col. Thomas Graham, a Philadelphia capitalist. The town was first chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia as the town of Graham in 1884 and operated under that name until a referendum that was held on June 10, 1924, after which time it became known as Bluefield, Virginia. The name change was celebrated in a mock marriage ceremony, which was held in the city park between Bluefield, Virginia, and Bluefield, West Virginia, to celebrate the renaming of the town of Graham to match its sister city across the West Virginia state line. Graham was a community whose borders are now roughly the same as the downtown area alongside the railroad. Bluefield, West Virginia beat Graham, Virginia out as the preferred community for the Norfolk and Western railroad to build its regional headquarters and main docking yards for the Pocahontas region. As a result, Bluefield, West Virginia grew at a much faster rate than its neighbor to the west.

Graham still held out hope to become a major city in the region - an effort was made to attract a steel refining industry alongside the railyards. It is possible that the city may have had a chance to boom, had it not been for the Great Depression, which caused development in the region to come to a halt. Even after the name change in 1924, the city did not start to expand outside of the downtown area until the 1950s, when the city annexed the small town of West Graham, Virginia to the west, and then began to expand to the more open rural foothills to the south of the city.

As the largest town in Tazewell County, Virginia, Bluefield underwent a new wave of growth throughout the 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium. After a series of devastating floods in the past five years, the town has relocated its town council chambers and police department from the flood-prone historic downtown area to the southernmost point in the city at the foot of East River Mountain. The area is already booming there - with a Super Wal-Mart and numerous strip malls and a medical center already operating along U.S. Route 460.

Bluefield, Virginia's most prominent residents are Bill Dudley, an NFL Hall of Famer; New York Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw; and the widow of actor Lorne Greene, who previously lived in a mansion atop a hill overlooking one of the town's most historic home, the Sanders house. The Sanders House Center is home to the Tazewell County Visitors Center.

The town was chosen by Hollywood film producers for the 1990s remake of the classic movie, Lassie, and has been mentioned by musicians in numerous songs, including Blessed Union of Souls' "Oh Virginia". Mike Davis of MTV's hit television show "The Real World" is also from the Bluefield area.

The Walter McDonald Sanders House and Alexander St. Clair House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The Bluefield Blue Jays, a Minor League Baseball team, played their home games at Bowen Field, a stadium in the city park that serves both Bluefield and its neighbor of the same name in West Virginia. Although the park is operated by the West Virginia city, the stadium lies entirely within Virginia. In conjunction with a contraction of Minor League Baseball beginning with the 2021 season, the Appalachian League was reorganized as a collegiate summer baseball league, and the Blue Jays were replaced by a new franchise in the revamped league designed for rising college freshman and sophomores.

Bluefield University hosts many sports programs, including basketball, soccer, baseball, and now football.

Graham High School's football team won the Virginia High School League's Class 2 State Football Championship in 2018. The G-Men defeated Goochland High School 31–9 on December 8 at Salem City Stadium for the state crown. Previous state football titles were won in 1962, 1989, and 1995.


Educational institutions include Graham High School and Bluefield University.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bluefield (Virginia) para niños

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