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Dendron, Virginia
Location of Dendron, Virginia
Location of Dendron, Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County Surry
 • Total 3.6 sq mi (9.2 km2)
 • Land 3.6 sq mi (9.2 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
118 ft (36 m)
 • Total 297
 • Density 83.3/sq mi (32.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 757
FIPS code 51-22160
GNIS feature ID 1492862

Dendron is a town in Surry County, Virginia, United States. The population was 297 at the 2000 census. Sculptor Leslie Garland Bolling was born in Dendron, as was mayor of Hopewell, Virginia, Curtis W. Harris.


Dendron is located at 37°2′40″N 76°56′5″W / 37.04444°N 76.93472°W / 37.04444; -76.93472 (37.044516, -76.934737).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.2 km²), all of it land.


Dendron was originally a mill town, built and run by the Surry Lumber Company in to house employees of its sawmill. The village was known as Mussel Fork Village until 1896 when it was renamed "Dendron." The name was derived from δένδρον, the Greek word for tree. The years after 1896 saw rapid growth and expansion of the sawmill and the Town. More people moved to Dendron and additional Company housing built. By 1906, Dendron had a population of 1513 people, 298 dwellings, two hotels, eighteen Company stores and five churches. By 1928, Dendron's population had reached nearly 3,000 people. In addition to those establishments listed above, there was also a post office, two schools, a jail, two banks, two doctors, a skating rink, a movie theater, and a number of non-company owned businesses; such as a drug store, barber shops, garages, cleaning establishments, a pool room, a restaurant, bakery and an ice cream parlor.

The company also operated a narrow gauge railroad known as Sussex, Surry and Southampton Railway that transported logs to its sawmill in Dendron, and lumber to its wharf on the James River. It also offered passenger service to Dendron and other small towns along its route. One of its steam locomotives built in 1891 was sold to Argent Lumber company in 1926. It was later bought by Midwest Central Railroad in 1960. Completely restored it is still in operation as Midwest Central Railroad's flagship locomotive.

Production peaked in 1920, and the company did not replant after it cut trees. By 1925, most of the area's old growth timber was exhausted. The Surry Lumber Company shut its Dendron sawmills on October 27, 1927. With its major employer gone, the town lost population rapidly, as did nearby Sedley Vicksville and Central Hill. The following year, the company began dismantling and selling its equipment and buildings, leaving Dendron without its railroad, water system, nor electricity.

In February 1931 a fire swept through what was left of Dendron, destroying twenty-one buildings along Main Street erasing much of what was left of the once prosperous town. A decade later, the rival Gray Lumber Company of Waverly, which had long replanted its land with pine seedlings, bought 15,000 acres from the nearly defunct Surry Lumber company, and three other companies soon bought most of the remaining acreage in other counties. The company's headquarters in Dendron was razed in 1970, and the former commissary, converted to a store, burned down in 1989.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,653
1920 1,705 3.1%
1930 671 −60.6%
1940 465 −30.7%
1950 476 2.4%
1960 403 −15.3%
1970 336 −16.6%
1980 307 −8.6%
1990 305 −0.7%
2000 297 −2.6%
2010 272 −8.4%
Est. 2015 256 −5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 297 people, 106 households, and 75 families residing in the town. The population density was 83.3 people per square mile (32.1/km²). There were 121 housing units at an average density of 33.9 per square mile (13.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 48.82% White and 51.18% African American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population.

There were 106 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.40.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 22.9% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 78.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $41,667, and the median income for a family was $46,875. Males had a median income of $35,625 versus $20,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,643. About 3.3% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under the age of eighteen and 5.0% of those sixty five or over.

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