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Warrenton, Virginia
Courthouse Square
Courthouse Square
Official seal of Warrenton, Virginia
Seal
Location in Virginia
Location in Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County Fauquier
Founded 1810
Named for Joseph Warren
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
Area
 • Total 4.38 sq mi (11.34 km2)
 • Land 4.37 sq mi (11.33 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation
643 ft (196 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 9,611
 • Estimate 
(2019)
10,027
 • Density 2,292.41/sq mi (885.01/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
20186-20188
Area code(s) 540, 703, 571
FIPS code 51-83136
GNIS feature ID 1500278

Warrenton is a town in and the county seat of Fauquier County, Virginia in the United States. The population was 9,611 at the 2010 census, up from 6,670 at the 2000 census. The estimated population in 2019 was 10,027. It is at the junction of U.S. Route 15, U.S. Route 17, U.S. Route 29, and U.S. Route 211. The town is in the Piedmont region of Virginia, just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The well-known Airlie Conference Center is 3 miles (5 km) north of Warrenton, and the historic Vint Hill Farms military facility is 9 miles (14 km) east. Fauquier Hospital is located in the town. Surrounded by Virginia wine and horse country, Warrenton is a popular destination outside Washington, D.C.

Warrenton shares some services with the county, such as schools and the county landfill. The area was home to Bethel Military Academy.

History

The settlement which would grow into the town of Warrenton began as a crossroads at the junction of the Falmouth-Winchester and Alexandria-Culpeper roads, where a trading post called the Red Store was located. In the 1790s, a courthouse was built in the area, and the location was known as "Fauquier Courthouse".

The Town of Warrenton was incorporated on January 5, 1810, and named for General Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War hero. Richard Henry Lee donated the land for the county seat. John S. Horner, Secretary of Wisconsin Territory and Acting Governor of Michigan Territory, was born in Warrenton. John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, was from Germantown, modern-day Midland, 10 miles (16 km) south of Warrenton.

Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby made raids in the town during the Civil War and later made his home and practiced law in Warrenton. The Warren Green Hotel building hosted many famous people, including the Marquis de Lafayette, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, President Theodore Roosevelt, and divorcée Wallis Simpson. Union General George B. McClellan bade farewell to his officers November 11, 1862, from the steps of the hotel. It now hosts some offices of the Fauquier County government.

In 1909, a fire destroyed almost half the structures in the town, and was halted with the use of dynamite to create a firebreak to stop the flames from spreading.

In 1951, the federal government established the Warrenton Training Center just outside Warrenton. The center is a secret Central Intelligence Agency communications facility, which also houses an underground relocation bunker containing communications infrastructure to support continuity of government in the event of a nuclear attack on Washington, DC.

A bypass route around the town was built in the early 1960s, which attracted restaurants, gas stations, and shopping centers, but also drew businesses away from the center of town.

The Warrenton Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Other listings in or near Warrenton include Brentmoor, Dakota, Hopefield, Loretta, Monterosa, North Wales, The Oaks, the Old Fauquier County Jail, and Yorkshire House.

Geography

Warrenton is located in central Fauquier County at 38°43′06″N 77°47′50″W / 38.71833°N 77.79722°W / 38.71833; -77.79722 (38.718307, -77.797085). U.S. Route 29 leads northeast 12 miles (19 km) to Gainesville and 47 miles (76 km) to Washington, D.C., and southwest 25 miles (40 km) to Culpeper. U.S. Route 15 follows US 29 out of town in both directions, but leads north-northeast 34 miles (55 km) to Leesburg. U.S. Route 17 leads northwest 42 miles (68 km) to Winchester and southeast 44 miles (71 km) to Fredericksburg, and U.S. Route 211 leads west 34 miles (55 km) to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Warrenton has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.7 km2), of which 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2), or 0.13%, is water. The eastern, southern, and northern parts of the town drain east to Cedar Run, a tributary of the Occoquan River and part of the Potomac River watershed, while the western part of town drains south via Great Run to the Rappahannock River.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 604
1870 1,256 107.9%
1880 1,464 16.6%
1890 1,346 −8.1%
1900 1,627 20.9%
1910 1,427 −12.3%
1920 1,545 8.3%
1930 1,450 −6.1%
1940 1,651 13.9%
1950 1,797 8.8%
1960 3,522 96.0%
1970 4,027 14.3%
1980 3,907 −3.0%
1990 4,830 23.6%
2000 6,670 38.1%
2010 9,611 44.1%
Est. 2019 10,027 4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,670 people, 2,683 households, and 1,591 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,574.8 people per square mile (607.4/km2). There were 2,856 housing units at an average density of 674.3 per square mile (260.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 80.04% White, 16.49% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.00% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.25% of the population.

There were 2,683 households, out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.9% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,760, and the median income for a family was $59,744. Males had a median income of $40,405 versus $31,689 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,552. About 6.7% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Warrenton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.



Education

Fauquier County Public Schools serves Warrenton. Public schools in the town include Fauquier High School, Warrenton Middle School, and Taylor Middle School. The elementary schools consist of J.G. Brumfield, C.M. Bradley, and P. B. Smith. There are three private schools in the town of Warrenton: Highland School, St. John The Evangelist's Catholic School, and St. James' Episcopal School.

Transportation

2019-09-02 13 59 10 View north along U.S. Route 15 and U.S. Route 29 (Eastern Bypass) from the overpass for U.S. Route 15 Business and U.S. Route 29 Business (Lee Highway) in Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia
US 15/US 29 northbound in Warrenton

Warrenton is served by several significant highways, including U.S. Route 15, U.S. Route 17, U.S. Route 29 and U.S. Route 211. US 15 extends north and south, heading towards Leesburg in the north and Orange to the south. US 17 is oriented northwest to southeast, connecting to Winchester to the northwest and Fredericksburg to the southeast. US 29 is oriented northeast to southwest, reaching Washington, D.C. to the northeast and Charlottesville to the southwest. Finally, US 211 extends westward, passing through Luray. All four highways originally passed directly through the center of town and now follow bypasses. However, downtown Warrenton is now served by U.S Route 15 Business, U.S Route 17 Business, U.S Route 29 Business and U.S Route 211 Business.

Virginia Regional Transit operates the Circuit Rider bus in Warrenton. Academy Bus operates a commuter bus from Warrenton to Washington, D.C.

Notable people

  • James DeRuyter Blackwell, Civil War-era poet and writer
  • Steve Brodie, Major League Baseball player
  • Edward Brooke, U.S. senator
  • Anthony Cave Brown, Journalist and historian
  • Jesse Brown, former U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Samuel Chilton, 19th-century politician and lawyer
  • Walter Chrysler, founder of the Chrysler Corporation
  • Walter P. Chrysler Jr., art collector, museum benefactor, and Thoroughbred horse breeder
  • Julia Ringwood Coston, 19th-century Afro-American publisher and magazine editor who founded the first magazine ever published for black women
  • Mike Duvall, Major League Baseball player
  • George B. Fitch, former mayor of Warrenton and co-founder of the Jamaican bobsled team
  • Ella Fitzgerald, drag queen
  • Benita Fitzgerald-Brown, Olympic athlete
  • Craig Gilmore, winner, 2013 ESPN Tournament Challenge
  • John S. Horner, acting governor of Michigan Territory
  • Eppa Hunton, U.S. congressman and senator, brigadier general in the Confederate Army
  • John C. Mackie, U.S. congressman
  • Malcolm MacPherson, Newsweek correspondent and author
  • Frances Harrison Marr (1835–1918), poet
  • Charles Marshall, Confederate States Army colonel
  • James K. Marshall, Confederate States Army colonel
  • John Augustine Marshall, U.S. federal judge
  • Thomas Love Moore, U.S. congressman and lawyer
  • William Moore, blues musician
  • John S. Mosby, Confederate cavalry battalion commander
  • William H. F. Payne, Confederate States Army general
  • Ric Savage, pro wrestler, television star, archaeologist
  • Scott Shipp, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute
  • William "Extra Billy" Smith, congressman, twice governor of Virginia, and Confederate general
  • Gwyn R. Tompkins, Thoroughbred horse racing trainer
  • Septimus Tustin, clergyman
  • Sarah White, singer-songwriter
  • Charles S. Whitehouse, career Foreign Service officer, U.S. Ambassador to Laos and Thailand
  • Bonnie Zacherle, illustrator and designer
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