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Western Hampton Roads

Isle of Wight County

Isle of Wight County

Isle of Wight County is one of the oldest county governments in the United States of America. Nestled on the shores of Virginia’s James River, Isle of Wight’s residents enjoy the rural nature of the County coupled with the quaint atmosphere of the two incorporated Towns, Smithfield and Windsor.

The county has a total land area of 316 square miles and is bounded to the northeast by the James River, the City of Suffolk to the southeast, the City of Franklin and Southampton County across the Blackwater River to the west, and Surry County to the northwest. The land is generally low-lying, with many swamps and poquosons.

As of the 2010 census, the population of Isle of Wight County was 35,270; an increase of 18.6% over the 2000 census. The population density is approximately 112 persons per square mile.

The average household size is 2.51 and the average family size is 2.89. 23.2% of the population is under the age of 18, and 13.3% are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 41.5 and for every 100 females there are 94.9 males.

In 2009, the median income for a household in the County was $62,573, and the median income for a family was $70,951. Per capita income for the county was $29,179 with approximately 5.1% of families and 8.1% of individuals below the poverty line.

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Town of Smithfield

Smithfield has many of the charms associated with Hampton Roads communities, including 18th & 19th Century architecture, a revitalized historic downtown, and all the character of a former colonial seaport. According to the Virginia Landmarks Register, Smithfield is "perhaps the best preserved of Virginia's Colonial seaports."

Town of Smithfield

Located in Isle of Wight County, Smithfield has a population of approximately 8,100 (2010 Census population - 8,089) and is approximately 10.1 square miles in size. Smithfield offers residents a small-town atmosphere, a good school system, affordable housing, a historic downtown, and a new state-of-the-art community/conference center - The Smithfield Center. According to the Virginia Review, Smithfield is "without a doubt, one of the prettiest towns in Virginia."

Nurtured by trade and commerce, Smithfield soon became a town of industry with four plants devoted to the art of curing the world famous "Smithfield Ham". Once a commercial center for shipping, Smithfield has evolved to host one of the area's largest meat-processing industries as well as the home to one of Hampton Roads' largest employers - Smithfield Foods, Inc. - a Fortune 500 company with its corporate headquarters in Smithfield. Smithfield was just recently named "one of the 50 best small southern towns".

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Town of Windsor

Town of Windsor

The Town of Windsor is located on Route 460 just west of the City of Suffolk. We have a population of 2,626. The Town of Windsor is governed by a seven member Town Council. All members of the Town Council are elected at large, to include the Mayor. The Council appoints a seven member Planning Commission to assist them in planning for the long term future of the Town.

Windsor is able to maintain its small town charm and atmosphere, yet manage the growth pressures through the thoughtful planning of the Town Council and the Planning Commission.

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City of Franklin

City of FranklinFranklin is located in southeastern Virginia. Its eastern border is the Blackwater River, a south-flowing tributary of the Chowan River, the principal inflow for Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. U.S. Route 58 (Southampton Parkway) follows the southern border of the city, leading east 21 miles to Suffolk and 42 miles to Norfolk. To the west US 58 leads 35 miles to Emporia. U.S. Route 258 passes through the center of Franklin as East Second Avenue, South Main Street, and South Street; US 258 leads northeast 15 miles to Windsor, Virginia, and southwest 21 miles to Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Franklin is listed as being the 13th-most profitable and 12th-largest farming community in the state. The neighboring areas of Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, along with the city of Suffolk, are all ranked in the 20 most profitable farming counties, with Southampton County being the eighth-largest in the state.

Once a railroad and steamboat hub of commerce, the City of Franklin is a laid-back cousin to larger cities in the Coastal Virginia region. The welcoming Visitor Center, in the old railroad depot, is in the heart of the historic area. You'll find a variety of shops and delicious places to eat as well as beautifully restored vintage homes, and parks perfect for an impromptu picnic. A mile or two away you'll find familiar chain restaurants, lodging options and other traveler conveniences. Be sure to check out the mini-museum of firefighting, cast a fishing line at Barrett's Landing on the Blackwater River and take advantage of the unique shopping options in Downtown Franklin.

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Southampton County

Southampton CountySouthampton County is bounded by the Blackwater River on the east and the Meherrin River on the west. The Nottoway River flows through the center of the county. All three rivers are tributaries of the Chowan River, which flows south into Albemarle Sound, North Carolina. The Blackwater River separates Southampton County from Isle of Wight County, and the Meherrin River separates it from Greensville County.

A sprawling landscape boasts small towns waiting to be explored and more Century Farms than any other Virginia county. Scenic trails invite you and your horse to explore all the beautiful nature surrounding Southampton County. Numerous boat landings welcome casual boaters and fishermen. Hunters find abundant game and local outfitters who offer guides and comfortable lodges. Homes from the 1800's surround the classic courthouse and Courtland's quaint business district. The Rawls Museum Arts, part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, exhibits work by local, regional and nationally known artists. The gift shop features the work of local artisans-jewelry, pottery, glass, paintings and fine crafts. The Southampton Agriculture and Forestry Museum/Heritage Museum-with a grist mill, saw mill, county store, schoolhouse and more-reflects rural life form the last 200 years. Here you’ll also see the Rebecca Vaughan House where the last casualties died in the slave rebelion led by Nat Turner in 1831.

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