Bland County, Virginia
According to countryaah.com, Bland County, Virginia is located in the Appalachian Mountains region of the state and is a part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county has an area of 233 square miles and a population of 6,636 as of 2019. The county seat is Bastian and other major towns include Rocky Gap, Rocky Gap Depot, and Big Rock. Bland County has a rich history and was once home to Native American tribes such as the Cherokee and Monacan. In 1772, Bland was formed from parts of Wythe, Montgomery, Giles, Russell and Tazewell counties. It was named for Richard Bland, an early American politician who served in both houses of the Virginia legislature. The economy of Bland County is primarily based on agriculture including livestock farming where corn, hay and tobacco are among the most important crops grown. The county also has some light manufacturing and mining operations as well as some tourism related businesses. The unemployment rate in Bland County is higher than the national average but there are some job opportunities available due to its proximity to larger cities like Roanoke and Blacksburg. Education in Bland County is provided by public schools operated by two school districts: East River Mountain School District and Northwood High School District. There are also several private schools in operation including Blue Ridge Christian Academy which offers K-12 education to students from across Bland County.
History of Bland County, Virginia
Bland County, Virginia has a rich and varied history that stretches back to the earliest days of the American colonies. The county was formed in 1772 from parts of Wythe, Montgomery, Giles, Russell and Tazewell counties and was named for Richard Bland, an early American politician who served in both houses of the Virginia legislature. Prior to its formation, Bland County was home to various Native American tribes such as the Cherokee and Monacan. During the Revolutionary War, British General Cornwallis raided what is now Bland County and destroyed many homes. After the war ended and the United States gained independence from Britain, settlers began to move into Bland County in search of land and opportunity.
In 1809, a post office was established at Rocky Gap Depot which is now one of Bland County’s major towns. By 1860 the population had grown to over 9,000 people mainly due to an influx of German immigrants who moved into the area seeking better economic opportunities than they had in their homeland. During this period, Bland County also experienced an increase in industrial activity with several coal mines opening up in different parts of the county as well as a number of saw mills being opened along its many rivers.
During Reconstruction after the Civil War, African Americans made up a significant portion of Bland County’s population with nearly half living in Rocky Gap Depot alone. However, despite this presence they were still denied basic rights such as voting or owning land until after passage of civil rights legislation in 1965. Today’s population is fairly diverse with whites making up around three quarters followed by African Americans at about 19 percent and other minorities making up around five percent.
Bland County has also been home to some notable figures throughout its history including Confederate General John Brown Gordon who led troops during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg during the Civil War; author Mary Johnston whose best-selling novel “To Have And To Hold” was set largely in Bland County; folk singer Jean Ritchie; composer William Schuman; Senator William Blakley; Governor Albertis Harrison; Congressman Robert Blanton; Senator William Blythe IV; and Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell Jr., among others.
Major cities and towns in Bland County, Virginia
Bland County, Virginia is home to a variety of cities and towns that offer a unique blend of history and modern amenities. The county seat is Rocky Gap Depot, which was established in 1809 as a post office and has since grown into the largest town in the county. It is particularly known for its historic downtown area with buildings that date back to the 1800s. Other notable attractions here include the Bland County Courthouse, several churches, museums, and parks.
The second largest city in Bland County is Bastian which was established in 1883. This small town offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, camping, and more due to its location along the New River. Bastian also has several historic sites including an old schoolhouse from the late 19th century and an abandoned church from the early 20th century.
The town of Max Meadows is another popular destination in Bland County due to its proximity to some of the best trout fishing spots in Virginia. This quaint town also offers plenty of outdoor recreational activities such as horseback riding, boating, kayaking, golfing, hunting and more. There’s even a nearby ski resort for those who want to enjoy some winter fun.
The town of Rocky Gap is one of Bland County’s oldest settlements with many buildings from pre-Civil War times still standing today including an old log cabin that dates back to 1790. This area also offers plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking trails along parts of the Appalachian Trail as well as other scenic routes like Dismal Creek Falls Trail or Big Laurel Trail Loop.
Finally, there’s North Tazewell which was once known for its coal mining industry but now serves primarily as a residential community with easy access to nearby towns like Rocky Gap Depot or Max Meadows for shopping or entertainment purposes. The nearby New River Gorge National Park provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation including rock climbing, rafting, kayaking and much more.
From bustling cities like Rocky Gap Depot to quiet towns like North Tazewell, Bland County has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or just want to explore some local history sites there’s something here that will suit your interests perfectly.
Population in Bland County, Virginia
According to Act-Test-Centers, Bland County, Virginia is home to a population of approximately 8,000 people. The county is located in the Appalachian region of southwestern Virginia and is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is known for its rural atmosphere, rich history, and abundant outdoor activities.
The majority of Bland County’s population is white (90%), with a smaller percentage of African American (5%) and Hispanic (3%) residents. The median age in the county is 44 years old, with the majority of residents aged 25-44. The population density in Bland County is only 33 people per square mile, making it one of the least densely populated counties in the state.
The largest city in Bland County is Rocky Gap Depot which has a population of about 4,800 people and dates back to the 1800s. Other notable cities include Bastian, Max Meadows, and North Tazewell which have populations ranging from 200-500 people each. The majority of Bland County’s communities are small towns that are typically less than 2 square miles in size and have populations under 500 people.
The economy of Bland County has traditionally revolved around farming and coal mining but nowadays there are more diverse economic opportunities such as tourism and technology companies that have recently moved into the area due to its lower cost of living compared to nearby cities like Roanoke or Lynchburg. In addition to these industries, there are also several small businesses located throughout Bland County that provide goods and services to local residents including restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, banks etc.
In terms of education levels in Bland County, most adults have a high school diploma or equivalent (88%). About 10% have some college experience but no degree while only 2% possess a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education. The unemployment rate here is slightly higher than the average for Virginia at 5%.
Bland County provides an idyllic setting for those looking for an escape from city life without sacrificing access to basic amenities like grocery stores or medical facilities. Its rural atmosphere combined with its low cost of living makes it an attractive place for those who want a slower paced lifestyle without having to compromise on quality or convenience.