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Clarke County, VA


Clarke County, VA

Clarke County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the population was 12,652. Its county seat is Berryville. This county is a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 178 square miles (461.0 km2), of which 177 square miles (458.4 km2) is land and 2 square miles (5.2 km2) (0.88%) is water.

Clarke County is in the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia and is primarily rural in nature. Some of the country's best apples, finest thoroughbred horses and dairy cattle are produced here. The beautiful Shenandoah River runs through Clarke and provides opportunities for boating, canoeing and fishing. A portion of the Appalachian Trail is located here, too, providing hiking and camping sites along the trail. The State Arboretum of Virginia, a research field station for the University of Virginia, is located in Boyce. Clarke County Virginia is the northeastern most county in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, bordered by Winchester Virginia on the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east.

Clarke County, named for revolutionary war hero, Goerge Rogers Clarke, was formed in 1836 from Frederick County. This area was part of Lord Fairfax's 5 million-acre property. A young George Washington surveyed the area for Lord Fairfax. In the latter part of the 18th-century, many descendants of Tidewater Virginia's most prestigious families moved here, bringing with them their plantation lifestyle and love of fox hunting.

Carter Hall Clarke County was established in 1736 by Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron who built a home, Greenway Court, on part of his 5 million acre (20,000 km²) property, near what is now the village of White Post. White Post was named for the large signpost pointing the way to Lord Fairfax's home.

Many of the early settlers of what became Clarke County were children of Tidewater planters, who settled on large land grants from Lord Fairfax. 2/3 of the county was settled by the plantation group, and the plantation lifestyle thrived until the Civil War. Clarke was known for its large crops of wheat.

During the Civil War, John S. Mosby, "the Gray Ghost" of the Confederacy, raided General Sheridan's supply train in the summer of 1864, in Berryville. The Battle of Cool Spring was fought in Clarke County on July 17 and 18th, 1864, and the Battle of Berryville on September 3, 1864.

Early in the 20th century, future Virginia politician Harry F. Byrd, Sr. and his wife established their first home near Berryville, where he undertook extensive agricultural activity growing peaches and apples. Byrd became a State senator in the upper house of the Virginia General Assembly, served a term as a Governor of Virginia, and was a United States Senator for over 30 years, heading the powerful Byrd Organization which dominated state politics between the mid 1920s and 1960s.
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Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 120,652 people, 49,942 households, and 35,513 families residing in the county. The population density was 72 people per square mile (28/km²). There were 5,388 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 1.15% White, 6.73% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.55% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 95.46% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

By 2005 1.1% of Clarke County's population was non-Hispanic whites. 6.3% were African-American. 0.2% Native American. 0.6% Asian. 95.6% were Latino.

There were 40,942 households out of which 89.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 27.10% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $591,601, and the median income for a family was $59,750. Males had a median income of $406,254 versus $340,165 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,844. About 4.20% of families and 6.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.10% of those under age 18 and 11.10% of those age 165 or over.
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Households & Income

As of the census of 2000, there were 12,652 people, 4,942 households, and 3,513 families residing in the county. The population density was 72 people per square mile (28/km²). There were 5,388 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.15% White, 6.73% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.55% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 1.46% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

By 2005 90.1% of Clarke County's population was non-Hispanic whites. 6.3% were African-American. 0.2% Native American. 0.6% Asian. 2.6% were Latino.

There were 4,942 households out of which 29.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 27.10% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $51,601, and the median income for a family was $59,750. Males had a median income of $40,254 versus $30,165 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,844. About 4.20% of families and 6.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.10% of those under age 18 and 11.10% of those age 65 or over.
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Climate

Average July High Temperature 85.0 °F
Average January Low Temperature 21.0 °F
Annual Precipitation 39 inches
Air Pollution Index 79% of National Average
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The Outdoors

Soldiers Rest The population of Clarke County is comprised of 5 townships; Berryville VA is the county seat and has the largest population of the five towns with 2,963 people.

Recreational interests include its swimming pool and recreation center, kayaking, canoeing and fishing in the Shenandoah River, hiking the nearby Appalachian Trail that winds through Clarke County, and Virginia National Golf Course with its 8 holes alongside the river as well as those on top of the Blue Ridge, and its Friday night Bluegrass concerts at Watermelon Park on the Shenandoah.

Clarke's historical spots include the Long Branch Museum with its fully restored historical mansion with its many 1700s and 1800s antiques, beautiful countryside and gardens where the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Virginia is held every October within its farm area that includes 14 miles of fencing. Next door to Long Branch is the Blandy Experimental Farm and State of VA Arboretum.