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Lexington, Virginia
Main Street, Lexington
Main Street, Lexington
Lexington, Virginia is located in Shenandoah Valley
Lexington, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Location in Shenandoah Valley
Lexington, Virginia is located in Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Location in Virginia
Lexington, Virginia is located in the United States
Lexington, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Virginia
County None (Independent city)
 • Total 2.52 sq mi (6.54 km2)
 • Land 2.50 sq mi (6.47 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
1,063 ft (324 m)
 • Total 7,320
 • Density 2,905/sq mi (1,119.3/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 540
FIPS code 51-45512
GNIS feature ID 1498506
Website Lexington, Virginia

Lexington is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2020 census, the population was 7,320. It is the county seat of Rockbridge County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Lexington (along with nearby Buena Vista) with Rockbridge County for statistical purposes. Lexington is about 57 miles (92 km) east of the West Virginia border and is about 50 miles (80 km) north of Roanoke, Virginia. It was first settled in 1778.

Lexington is the location of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and of Washington and Lee University (W&L).

City Council

Official Position
Frank Friedman Mayor
Marylin E. Alexander Councilwoman
Leslie Straughan Councilwoman
Michele Hentz Councilwoman
J. Patrick Rhamey, Jr. Councilman
David Sigler Councilman
Charles "Chuck" Smith Councilman


Lexington was named in 1778. It was one of the first of what would be many American places named after Lexington, Massachusetts, known for being the place at which the first shot was fired in the American Revolution.

The Union General David Hunter led a raid on Virginia Military Institute during the American Civil War. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are buried here. It is the site of the only house Jackson ever owned, now open to the public as a museum. Cyrus McCormick invented the horse-drawn mechanical reaper at his family's farm in Rockbridge County and a statue of McCormick is located on the Washington and Lee University campus. McCormick Farm is now owned by Virginia Tech and is a satellite agricultural research center.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), virtually all of which is land. The Maury River, a tributary of the James River, forms the city's northeastern boundary.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Lexington has a humid subtropical climate, similar to Northern Italy, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,743
1860 2,135 22.5%
1870 2,873 34.6%
1880 2,771 −3.6%
1890 3,059 10.4%
1900 3,203 4.7%
1910 2,931 −8.5%
1920 2,870 −2.1%
1930 3,752 30.7%
1940 3,914 4.3%
1950 5,976 52.7%
1960 7,537 26.1%
1970 7,597 0.8%
1980 7,292 −4.0%
1990 6,959 −4.6%
2000 6,867 −1.3%
2010 7,042 2.5%
2020 7,320 3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010

2020 census

Lexington city, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 5,807 6,015 82.46% 82.17%
Black or African American alone (NH) 668 454 9.49% 6.20%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 8 8 0.11% 0.11%
Asian alone (NH) 153 281 2.17% 3.84%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 4 0 0.06% 0.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 12 23 0.17% 0.31%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 119 204 1.69% 2.79%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 271 335 3.85% 4.58%
Total 7,042 7,320 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

Points of interest

LexingtonVA HighSchool
Lexington High School, designed by architect Charles M. Robinson and constructed in 1908, was typical of the modern public schools that cities built during the Progressive Era.


Lee Chapel
University Chapel

Today, Lexington's primary economic activities stem from higher education and tourism. With its various connections to the Civil War, Lexington attracts visitors from around the country. Places of interest in Lexington include the Stonewall Jackson House, Lee Chapel, the George C. Marshall Museum, Virginia Military Institute Museum, Museum of Military Memorabilia, and the downtown historic district. Hull's Drive In theater attracts visitors to the area and was the first community-owned, non-profit drive-in in the U.S.

Lexington also contains a host of small retail businesses, bed and breakfast inns, and restaurants catering to a unique mixture of local, tourist, and collegiate clientele. The historic R. E. Lee Hotel, built in the 1920s, underwent extensive renovation and re-opened its doors late 2014.


Lexington is located at the intersection of historic U.S. Route 11 and U.S. Route 60 and more modern highways, Interstate 64 and Interstate 81. RADAR Transit operates the Maury Express, which provides local bus service to Lexington and Buena Vista. The Virginia Breeze provides intercity bus service between Blacksburg and Washington, D.C., with a stop in Lexington.

Notable people

See also

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