Patrick County, Virginia

Patrick County is a county located on the central southern border of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,490.[2] Its county seat is Stuart.[3] It is located within both the rolling hills and valleys of the Piedmont Region and the more mountainous Southwest Virginia.

Patrick County
Bull Mountain in Patrick County

Location within the U.S. state of Virginia

Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°41′N 80°17′W
Country United States
State Virginia
Named forPatrick Henry
Largest townStuart
  Total486 sq mi (1,260 km2)
  Land483 sq mi (1,250 km2)
  Water2.8 sq mi (7 km2)  0.6%
  Density38/sq mi (15/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district9th


Patrick County was formed in 1791, when Patrick Henry County was divided into Patrick County and Henry County. Patrick Henry County was named for Patrick Henry, and was formed in 1777.

Prior to the formation of Patrick County, one of the Virginia colony's first frontier forts lay within the boundaries of what was then Halifax County on the banks of the North Mayo River. The location of Fort Mayo, now marked by a Virginia state historic marker, lies within present-day Patrick County. One of a number of such forts built by Virginia colonists from the Potomac River south to North Carolina, it was commanded by Captain Samuel Harris in 1756, the year in which George Washington made a tour of Fort Mayo and several other forts on the Virginia frontier. Fort Mayo was the southernmost of the Virginia frontier forts and saw action during the French and Indian War (1754-1763) between the English and French and associated Native American allies.

One of Patrick County's most prominent early settlers was Col. Abraham Penn (sometimes written Abram Penn), born in 1743 in what is today Amherst County, Virginia. Penn qualified as Lieutenant in the Amherst County militia in June 1768, and led a company under Col. Andrew Lewis at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774.[4] Penn later moved with his wife Ruth (née Stovall) to present-day Henry County, Virginia, where he patented lands at the later site of Beaver Creek Plantation. Penn served on the Committee of Safety for both Henry and Pittsylvania counties, and as a delegate to the Virginia General Assembly from Henry County.

Eventually selling those lands to the Hairston family, Penn moved with his family a few miles farther west to what is today Patrick County, where he built his plantation home Poplar Grove. During the American Revolution, Col. Penn ordered the muster of some 300 militiamen under his command to march south to aid General Nathanael Greene at the battle of Guilford Court House. Historians question whether the troops arrived in time for the fighting.[5][6]

It is documented that Penn commanded militia in the Battle of Eutaw Springs.[7][8][9] Penn was later present at Yorktown to witness the surrender of the British forces under General Cornwallis.

Col. Penn was one of the organizers of Patrick County, which he served many years as a justice. The unincorporated community of Penn's Store is named for Col. Penn and his descendants.[10][11] The Abram Penn Highway in Patrick County is named for Col. Penn, who died in 1801.

On October 24, 2004, a private corporate plane crashed on Bull Mountain, killing all eight passengers and two crew, including Busch Series racer Ricky Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports lead engine builder Randy Dorton.[12]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 486 square miles (1,260 km2), of which 483 square miles (1,250 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (0.6%) is water.[13]

Patrick County has two defined physiographic provinces lying within its boundaries. One-third of Patrick County is in the rolling Piedmont region, and the remaining two-thirds are in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, where the Blue Ridge Parkway forms the county's western border with Carroll and Floyd counties to the north.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Major highways


Historical population
Est. 201817,673[1]−4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
1790-1960[15] 1900-1990[16]
1990-2000[17] 2010-2012[2]

As of the 2010 census,[18] there were 18,490 people, 8,081 households, and 5,410 families residing in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (16/km²). There were 10,083 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.10% White, 5.9% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 1.10% from two or more races. 2.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the 2000 Census, there were 8,141 households out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.90% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.70% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 26.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,705, and the median income for a family was $36,232. Males had a median income of $25,391 versus $18,711 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,574. About 9.60% of families and 13.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.40% of those under age 18 and 18.00% of those age 65 or over.


Part of the Rocky Knob American Viticultural Area, as defined by the federal government, is located in Patrick County. Patrick County was also a setting for the ministry of Reverend Bob Childress whose life was chronicled in the book "The Man Who Moved a Mountain".


Patrick County is one of the great tourist areas of Virginia. The county has one of Virginia's seven remaining covered bridges (Bob White covered bridge washed away in September 2015), rises from 900 feet to well over 3,000 feet, providing panoramic views. Patrick County is Virginia's Gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and is only minutes from Mabry Mill, the most photographed destination on the parkway. It is also the home of Fairy Stone State Park.The county hosts the longest running beach music festival on the East coast, is home to the legendary NASCAR team the Wood Brothers, and many more attractions each year provide a wide range of activities for every group of every age.

Patrick County is featured on the Virginia is For Lovers website.

The Bob White Covered Bridge once located in Woolwine washed away by Flood Waters in September, 2015. Bob White Covered Bridge Washes Away


Patrick County Public Schools has seven total public schools, of which four are for grades K-7, one is for grades K-3, one is for grades 4-7, and Patrick County High School is for grade 8-12.[19] One school, Stuart Elementary was recognized in 2008 as receiving the Governor's VIP award. Recently two schools, Stuart Elementary and Woolwine Elementary were designated as Distinguished Title I schools. In 2006, Patrick County Public Schools was listed as an outperforming school district, one of 12 in the state of Virginia, by Standard and Poor's. All of the schools have received "full accreditation" status by the State of Virginia and all schools have met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.



Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Notable residents


Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[21]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 75.7% 6,454 20.7% 1,768 3.6% 303
2012 68.1% 5,622 29.3% 2,417 2.7% 220
2008 64.4% 5,491 33.8% 2,879 1.9% 161
2004 67.0% 5,507 31.3% 2,572 1.7% 136
2000 66.4% 4,901 30.5% 2,254 3.1% 230
1996 52.4% 3,547 34.0% 2,301 13.6% 923
1992 49.0% 3,521 34.3% 2,465 16.7% 1,203
1988 64.1% 3,990 33.6% 2,093 2.3% 146
1984 70.5% 4,703 28.6% 1,908 0.9% 63
1980 56.1% 3,436 38.9% 2,382 5.0% 305
1976 43.7% 2,349 51.0% 2,740 5.4% 288
1972 73.4% 2,951 23.4% 942 3.2% 130
1968 41.5% 2,187 21.0% 1,105 37.6% 1,983
1964 38.9% 1,468 61.1% 2,306 0.1% 2
1960 45.0% 1,362 54.7% 1,655 0.4% 11
1956 43.9% 1,345 54.8% 1,677 1.3% 40
1952 45.8% 1,314 54.1% 1,554 0.1% 4
1948 35.2% 648 41.3% 760 23.5% 432
1944 33.7% 706 66.0% 1,383 0.3% 7
1940 25.7% 514 74.0% 1,479 0.3% 6
1936 31.3% 726 68.5% 1,588 0.3% 6
1932 26.2% 486 72.4% 1,342 1.4% 25
1928 57.4% 1,191 42.6% 883
1924 40.5% 783 58.9% 1,138 0.6% 11
1920 51.5% 1,230 48.4% 1,154 0.1% 3
1916 48.2% 815 51.6% 872 0.2% 3
1912 29.1% 434 46.9% 698 24.0% 358

See also


  1. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  2. "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  4. Serving under Capt. Penn during his militia service under Col. Andrew Lewis was a young lieutenant Joseph Martin, for whom Martinsville, Virginia was later named.
  5. "The Henry County Militia and the Battle of Guilford Courthouse: Colonel Penn's Militiamen Arrive Too Late," Guilford Courthouse National Military Park Historical Publication 05-07
  6. The National Park Service, while conceding that tradition places the Henry County militia at the battle, claims that no documentary evidence places the unit there. The NPS says, "how many, if any, were in the battle is unknown." Archived 2017-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Judith Parks America Hill, A History of Henry County, Virginia, with Biographical Sketches of Its Most Prominent Citizens, Reissued by Heritage Books, 2009 ISBN 0-7884-2302-9
  8. Virginia G. Pedigo; Lewis Gravely Pedigo (1933). History of Patrick and Henry Counties, Virginia. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8063-8010-1. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  9. The first organizer of militia troops from Henry and Pittsylvania Counties, Col. Penn issued an order on March 11, 1781, ordering his regiment of militia to leave Beaver Creek to reinforce General Nathanael Greene at Guilford Court House. Penn's order may have allowed his regiment to reach the battle in time for the engagement four days later, on March 15, 1781.
  10. Warren Skidmore, Donna Kaminsky, Lord Dunmore's Little War of 1774, Charles County, Maryland: Heritage Books, 2002
  11. The professor and novelist Robert Penn Warren is a descendant of Col. Abraham Penn.
  12. "Ten die in crash of Hendrick plane". Usatoday.Com. October 26, 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  13. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  14. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  15. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  16. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  17. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  18. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  19. "Home - Patrick County Public Schools". Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  20. Laurel Hill Farm
  21. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2018-08-22.

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