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Tazewell County, Virginia facts for kids

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Tazewell County
Tazewell County Courthouse
Tazewell County Courthouse
Official seal of Tazewell County
Seal
Map of Virginia highlighting Tazewell County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Virginia
Founded December 20, 1799
Named for Henry Tazewell
Seat Tazewell
Largest town Richlands
Area
 • Total 520 sq mi (1,300 km2)
 • Land 519 sq mi (1,340 km2)
 • Water 1.1 sq mi (3 km2)  0.2%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 40,429
 • Density 77.7/sq mi (30.02/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 9th

Tazewell County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,429. Its county seat is Tazewell.

Tazewell County is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA Micropolitan Statistical Area. Its economy was dependent on coal and iron of the Pocahontas Fields from the late 19th into the 20th century.

History

Before the arrival of pioneers, Tazewell County was a hunting ground for Native Americans. Although rare in the eastern United States, there are petroglyphs near the summit of Paintlick Mountain.

In the spring of 1771, Thomas and John Witten established the first permanent settlement in Tazewell County at Crab Orchard.

Tazewell County was created on December 20, 1799. The land for the county was taken from portions of Wythe and Russell counties. It was named after Henry Tazewell, a United States Senator from Virginia, state legislator and judge. Delegate Littleton Waller Tazewell originally opposed the formation of the new county but when Simon Cotterel, who drew up the bill to form the county, changed the originally proposed name of the county to Tazewell's namesake, in honor of his father Henry who had died earlier that year. The bill passed.

Jeffersonville was established the following year (1800) as the county seat. On February 29, 1892, Jeffersonville was renamed Tazewell.

Paramount's 1994 film Lassie was filmed here.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 520 square miles (1,300 km2), of which 519 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (0.2%) is water.

Since it contains portions of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau, Tazewell County has very distinct geologic areas within the county. Of the most unusual areas is Burke's Garden, a bowl-shaped valley formed by the erosion of a doubly plunging anticline. Tazewell County includes the headwaters of four watersheds, which are the Upper Clinch, Middle New, North Fork Holston, and Tug.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Jefferson National Forest (part)

Major highways

  • US 19
  • US 460
  • SR 16
  • SR 61
  • SR 67
  • SR 91
  • SR 102

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1800 2,127
1810 3,007 41.4%
1820 3,916 30.2%
1830 5,749 46.8%
1840 6,290 9.4%
1850 9,942 58.1%
1860 9,920 −0.2%
1870 10,791 8.8%
1880 12,861 19.2%
1890 19,899 54.7%
1900 23,384 17.5%
1910 24,946 6.7%
1920 27,840 11.6%
1930 32,477 16.7%
1940 41,607 28.1%
1950 47,512 14.2%
1960 44,791 −5.7%
1970 39,816 −11.1%
1980 50,511 26.9%
1990 45,960 −9.0%
2000 44,598 −3.0%
2010 45,078 1.1%
2020 40,429 −10.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Tazewell County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 42,692 37,336 94.71% 92.35%
Black or African American alone (NH) 1,330 961 2.95% 2.38%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 54 56 0.12% 0.14%
Asian alone (NH) 286 213 0.63% 0.53%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 6 15 0.01% 0.04%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 23 89 0.05% 0.22%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 391 1,252 0.87% 3.10%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 296 507 0.66% 1.25%
Total 45,078 40,429 100.00% 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.

Communities

Towns

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Professional sports teams

  • Bluefield Blue Jays, minor league baseball team based in Bluefield

Education

Colleges

  • Bluefield University, Bluefield
  • Southwest Virginia Community College, borders Russell County, near Richlands

Public high schools

All public schools in Tazewell County are operated by Tazewell County Public Schools system.

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