** Select a county seal below to learn more about each county. **
Albemarle County was named in honor of Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle but is most known for Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson built his home, Monticello within Albemarle and designed the University of Virginia in Albemarle’s county seat, Charlottesville. Albemarle is a gateway for the Appalachian Trail which is approximately 2,200 miles in length making it one of the longest marked footpaths in the world. Ablemarle also hosts twice annually the Foxfield steeplechase race that originated in 1978 and in one of the most popular horse races in Central Virginia.
Culpeper County was established in 1749 and is named for Thomas Culpeper. In July 1749, 17-year-old George Washington was commissioned to survey the County’s courthouse complex, which included the courthouse, jail, stocks, gallows and accessory buildings on what is now the northeast corner of Davis and Main Streets.
Greene County was established in 1838 and is named for American Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene. His command in the Southern Campaign forced British general Charles Cornwallis to abandon the Carolinas and head north. Greene County is the second-smallest county in Virginia by total area but makes up for it in beauty.
Louisa County was established in 1742 and is named for Princess Louise of Great Britain who is the youngest daughter of King George II. Patrick Henry lived for a little while in Louisa County on Roundabout Creek in 1764. The Battle of Trevilian Station took place in the western portion of Louisa County and was the largest cavalry battle of the War Between the States. Louisa offers beautiful Lake Anna for boating enthusiasts.
Madison county is named for James Madison’s ancestors that owned land along the Rapidan River. Madison County offers access to Old Rag Mountain, Graves Mountain Lodge, White Oak Canyon and Rapidan Camp, the presidential retreat built by Herbert Hoover which are all some of Central Virginia’s most beautiful natural attractions.
Orange County’s first European settlement was Germanna, formed when Governor Alexander Spotswood settled 12 immigrant families from Westphalia, Germany in 1714. The settlement had a total of 42 people. Orange County later became the home of the 4th President of the United States and “Father of the Constitution”, James Madison. Madison built his home, Montpelier, a 2,700 acre estate just outside of the town of Orange and hosts an annual steeplechase in November.
Rappahannock County was founded in 1833 by an act of the Virginia General Assembly to secure better access to a county seat for the county’s growing population. Rappahannock county was named for the river that separates it from Fauquier County. The Town of Washington serves as the county seat and is home to the Inn at Little Washington which has claimed a fine-star and five-diamond rating. Rappahannock also hosts an annual Spring point-to-point steeplechase at Thornton Hill.