Culpeper (formerly Culpeper Courthouse, earlier Fairfax) is the only incorporated town in Culpeper County, Virginia, United States. The population was 16,379 at the 2010 census, up from 9,664 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Culpeper County.
"Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future"
Location in Virginia
|• Mayor||Michael T. Olinger|
|• Total||7.31 sq mi (18.94 km2)|
|• Land||7.27 sq mi (18.83 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)|
|Elevation||413 ft (126 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,595.65/sq mi (1,002.19/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1498471|
Culpeper is located at (38.471915, −77.999168).
After establishing Culpeper County, Virginia in 1748, the Virginia House of Burgesses voted to establish the Town of Fairfax on February 22, 1759. The name honored Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781) who was proprietor of the Northern Neck peninsula, a vast domain north of the Rappahannock River; his territory was then defined as stretching from Chesapeake Bay to what is now Hampshire County, West Virginia.
The original plan of the town called for ten blocks, which form the core of Culpeper's downtown area today. The original town was surveyed by a young George Washington, who at age 27 was a protege of the 6th Lord Fairfax. In 1795, the town received a U.S. Post Office under the name Culpeper Court House, although most maps continued to show the Fairfax name. The confusion resulting from the difference in official and postal names, coupled with the existence to the northeast of Fairfax Court House and Fairfax Station post offices in Fairfax County, was finally resolved when the Virginia General Assembly formally renamed the town as simply Culpeper in 1869 (Acts, 1869–1870, chapter 118, page 154).
During the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the Culpeper Minutemen, a pro-Independence militia, formed in the town of Culpeper Courthouse. They organized in what was then known as "Clayton's Old Field," near today's Yowell Meadow Park.
During the Civil War (1861-1865), Culpeper was a crossroads for a number of armies marching through central Virginia, with both Union and Confederate forces occupying the town by turn. In the heart of downtown, the childhood home of Confederate General A.P. Hill stands at the corner of Main and Davis streets. One block north on Main Street (present location of Piedmont Realty) was the frame house where "The Gallant Major" John Pelham died after sustaining a wound at the Battle of Kelly's Ford.
In 1974, the town had a Choral Society, an Odd Fellows Hall, and an American Legion Hall.
Culpeper began to grow dramatically in the 1980s, becoming a "bedroom community" of more densely populated Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. suburbs. A growing number of residents of the town and county of Culpeper once lived and continue to work in those areas.
In 2011, East Davis Street in downtown Culpeper was named as a 2011 America's Great Place by the American Planning Association.
Downtown Culpeper was one of the communities most affected by the August 23, 2011 Virginia earthquake. Several buildings along Main Street and East Davis Street suffered structural damage, and some were later condemned. The earthquake led to the temporary evacuation of the Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation, which at the time was hosting a town hall event for U.S. Senator Mark Warner.
In 2014 the Museum of Culpeper History moved into the town's historic train depot.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 Census, the racial makeup of the town was 61.5% White, 21.9% Black, 0.6% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, and 4.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.0% of the population.
The town's population included 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was at a time $35,438, and the median income for a family was $41,894 but due to the economic downturn this has changed. Males had a median income of $28,658 versus $25,252 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,842. About 23.0% of families and 26.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.8% of those under age 18 and 22.1% of those age 65 or over.
Culpeper has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with very warm, humid summers and cool winters. Precipitation is abundant and well spread (although the summer months are usually wetter), with an annual average of 45.19 in (1,148 mm).
|Climate data for Culpeper, Virginia|
|Record high °F (°C)||80
|Average high °F (°C)||45
|Average low °F (°C)||25
|Record low °F (°C)||−14
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.26
Highways directly serving Culpeper include U.S. Route 15 Business, U.S. Route 29 Business, U.S. Route 522, Virginia State Route 3 and Virginia State Route 229. U.S. Route 15 and U.S. Route 29 pass just southeast of the town limits. US 15 Bus, US 29 Bus and US 522 share the same alignment through downtown, following Main Street. US 29 extends southwest towards Charlottesville and Interstate 64 westbound, while US 15 provides connections southward towards Orange and Gordonsville. US 15 and US 29 are concurrent to the north, providing connections to Warrenton and Washington, D.C.. US 522 connects southward to I-64 eastbound, and northward towards Front Royal, Winchester and Interstate 81. SR 3 extends eastward, connecting to Fredericksburg and Interstate 95. SR 229 provides a connection northward towards Rixeyville and U.S. Route 211.
Amtrak operates a station in Culpeper, station code CLP. This station is served by the Cardinal, Northeast Regional and Crescent trains daily. Nearly 9,000 train passengers in 2010 used Culpeper station, which connects to New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Boston via the Crescent, Cardinal, and Northeast Regional lines.
The town of Culpeper is also serviced by Virginia Regional Transit. Virginia Regional Transit operates three buses in town—one on a northern loop, one on a southern loop, and one for disabled individuals.
Culpeper Regional Airport serves the area with a 5,000 foot runway.
- A.G. Richardson Elementary (18370 Simms Dr., Culpeper Va. 22701)
- Emerald Hill Elementary (11245 Rixeyville Road, Culpeper VA 22701)
- Farmington Elementary (500 Sunset Lane, Culpeper VA 22701)
- Pearl Sample Elementary (18480 Simms Drive, Culpeper VA 22701)
- Sycamore Park Elementary (451 Radio Lane, Culpeper, Virginia 22701)
- Yowell Elementary (701 Yowell Drive, Culpeper, VA 22701)
- Culpeper Middle School (14300 Achievement Drive, Culpeper VA 22701)
- Floyd T. Binns Middle School (205 E. Grandview Ave. Culpeper, VA 22701)
- Culpeper County High School (14240 Achievement Drive, Culpeper Va. 22701)
- Eastern View High School (16332 Cyclone Way, Culpeper, VA 22701)
- Nell Arthur, 21st First Lady of the United States
- Kenny Alphin, of the country music group Big & Rich
- John S. Barbour, Jr., U.S. congressman (1881–1887) and U.S. senator (1889-1892)
- Robert Young Button, Attorney General of Virginia (1962-1970) and Virginia State Senator (1945-1961)
- Cary Travers Grayson, highly decorated U.S. Navy surgeon, onetime chairman of the American Red Cross, and personal aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
- A. P. Hill, Confederate general during the American Civil War, commander of "Hill's Light Division," under Stonewall Jackson
- John Preston "Pete" Hill, Negro league baseball player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, born in nearby Buena, Virginia
- John Jameson, Colonel in the American Revolutionary War
- Ann Jarvis, for whom Mother's Day was established by her daughter Anna Jarvis
- Keith Jennings, former NBA point guard, Golden State Warriors
- William Morgan, whose 1826 disappearance in New York state sparked a powerful anti-Freemasonry movement
- Waller T. Patton, Confederate colonel during the American Civil War, great-uncle of World War II General George S. Patton
- John Pendleton, American diplomat
- Eppa Rixey, major league pitcher and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
- D. French Slaughter, Jr., Former U.S. Congressman
- Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle
- J. Loren Wince, lead singer/songwriter for the band Hurt
- Culpeper was the location of the main encampment for the Army of the Potomac during the winter of 1863-64 during the Civil War. It was from Culpeper that General Ulysses S. Grant began the Overland Campaign against General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
- During the presidential election campaign of 1960, vice presidential nominee Lyndon B. Johnson began his whistle-stop campaign of the South by giving a speech at Culpeper. As the train was pulling away from the station, Johnson yelled out a phrase that would become a battle cry of the campaign: "What did Dick Nixon ever do for Culpeper?!"
- In 1967, it was the site of a one-day standoff between members of the American Nazi Party and police and military personnel over the group's attempt to bury their leader George Lincoln Rockwell in the local National Cemetery.
- In 1995, former "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve lost his balance during a horse competition and became paralyzed.
In popular cultureEdit
- In the 1992 movie Sneakers, starring Robert Redford, the character Carl (played by River Phoenix) asks the character Whistler (played by David Strathairn) to use a decryption device to hack into the Federal Reserve Transfer Node in Culpeper, stating that "900 billion [dollars] a day goes through there."
- The 1998 movie Hush, starring Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Hal Holbrook, was partially filmed in downtown Culpeper and showcased several local businesses. The producers of the movie did not mention Culpeper or its residents in the credits of the movie.
- In a 2006 television episode of Bones, titled The Girl with the Curl, a point of the murder mystery plot involves the beauty pageant winner of "Little Miss Raspberry Blossom" who is from Culpepper [sic], Virginia. The misspelled town name was stamped on a medal.
- In a 2007 television episode of The Sopranos, titled Remember When, the characters Tony Soprano and Paulie Walnuts pull off of Interstate 95 on their way to Miami to visit a hotel brothel they remember patronizing years past in Culpeper. (Both the remembered brothel and its modern Marriott replacement depicted in the show were fictional creations of the show's writers.)
- Throughout the presidential election year of 2008, BBC Newsnight correspondent Matt Frei produced a series of television segments in Culpeper, characterizing the city as an exemplar of small town America. Frei interviewed city and county residents about their political opinions and feelings through the primary election contests and reported live updates to the BBC on Election Night from the Raven's Nest Coffee House in Culpeper. Frei also returned to Culpeper in 2009 to take the pulse of the town one year after Barack Obama's election as president.
- The 2011 movie 25 Hill, produced by and starring Corbin Bernsen, had its world premiere screening in Culpeper.
- In the television series Homeland, Culpeper was a part of the fictional congressional district represented by the character Nicholas Brody. Brody mentions visiting with constituents in Culpeper in the 2012 episode "State of Independence."
- In a 2013 television episode of Revolution, titled Ghosts, the characters Miles Matheson and Nora Clayton travel to Culpeper to recruit an old colleague named Jim Hudson and fight off a militia squad that invades the town.
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Culpeper town, Virginia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 26, 2015.[dead link]
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census.gov". US Census. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 97.
- Wallace, Hester W (December 5, 1974). "Culpeper News". Charlottesville-Albemarle Tribune.
- "Davis Street Culpeper, Virginia". Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "EARTHQUAKE IN CULPEPER: The damage done". Star-Exponent; Culpeper, Virginia. August 24, 2011. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Johnston, Donnie (August 24, 2011). "Earthquake forces Warner outside for public forum". The Free Lance-Star; Fredericksburg, Virginia. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
- Museum of Culpeper History web site
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "Average Weather for Culpeper, VA - Temperature and Precipitation". Weather.com. August 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
- Hoppe, Arthur. Having a Wonderful Time: My First Half Century As a Newspaperman. Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1995, p. 19. ISBN 081181145X
- Nelson, Zann (October 7, 2010). "Celebrating Johnson's visit to Culpeper". Star-Exponent; Culpeper, Virginia. Archived from the original on 2 January 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "Warning: 'The Sopranos' were here". Free Lance-Star; Fredericksburg, Virginia. April 24, 2007. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Newsnight in Culpeper (Part 1)". BBC News. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Newsnight in Culpeper (Part 2)". BBC News. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Newsnight in Culpeper (Part 3)". BBC News. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Newsnight in Culpeper (Part 4)". BBC News. 12 February 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "BBC News America (Return to Culpeper)". BBC News. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
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