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Waverly, Virginia
Downtown Waverly
Downtown Waverly
Location of Waverly, Virginia
Location of Waverly, Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County Sussex
 • Total 3.1 sq mi (7.9 km2)
 • Land 3.1 sq mi (7.9 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 112 ft (34 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 2,309
 • Density 752.6/sq mi (290.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 23890-23891
Area code(s) 804
FIPS code 51-83600
GNIS feature ID 1500286

Waverly is an incorporated town in Sussex County, Virginia, United States. The population was 2,309 at the 2000 census.


Popular legend has it that William Mahone (1826–1895), builder of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad (now Norfolk Southern), and his cultured wife, Otelia Butler Mahone (1837–1911), traveled along the newly completed Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad naming stations. Otelia was reading Ivanhoe, a book written by Sir Walter Scott. From his historical Scottish novels, Otelia chose the place names of Waverly, as well as Windsor and Wakefield. She tapped the Scottish Clan "McIvor" for the name of Ivor, a small town in neighboring Southampton County. When they could not agree, it is said that they invented a new name, which is how the tiny community of Disputanta a few miles west of Waverly was named. The N&P railroad was completed in 1858.

William Mahone became a Major General in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, and later, a Senator in the United States Congress. A large portion of U.S. Route 460 between Petersburg and Suffolk is named in his honor.

Waverly is the second largest of the towns Gen. Mahone founded. Waverly has supplied the most state senators and delegate members to the Virginia General Assembly of any Virginia town under 3,000 people. They are Junius Edgar West, Delegate (1910–1912) and Senator (1912–1918); Thomas H. Howerton, Delegate (1912–1914); William O. Rogers, Senator (1924–1934); Garland "Peck" Gray, Senator (1942–1945 and 1948–1971); and Elmon T. Gray, Senator (1971–1992).

The Miles B. Carpenter House, Hunting Quarter, and Waverly Downtown Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On February 24, 2016, an EF1 tornado touched down in Waverly, killing three, as verified by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The storm also caused significant damage to the town. This was all part of a massive storm system that moved rapidly across the region.


Waverly is located at 37°2′2″N 77°5′43″W / 37.03389°N 77.09528°W / 37.03389; -77.09528 (37.033914, -77.095355).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.1 square miles (8.0 km²), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 170
1900 493
1910 1,064 115.8%
1920 1,306 22.7%
1930 1,355 3.8%
1940 1,288 −4.9%
1950 1,502 16.6%
1960 1,601 6.6%
1970 1,717 7.2%
1980 2,284 33.0%
1990 2,223 −2.7%
2000 2,309 3.9%
2010 2,149 −6.9%
Est. 2015 2,073 −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 2,149 people residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 64.7% Black, 29.8% White, 0.0% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.0% from some other race and 1.1% from two or more races. 3.9% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,309 people, 880 households, and 570 families residing in the town. The population density was 752.6 people per square mile (290.4/km²). There were 960 housing units at an average density of 312.9 per square mile (120.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 36.73% White, 61.76% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.48% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.17% of the population.

There were 880 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 20.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the town, the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,698, and the median income for a family was $39,792. Males had a median income of $27,414 versus $21,279 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,848. About 11.7% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.4% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.

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