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Warrenton, Virginia

Warrenton, Virginia
Town of Warrenton
Courthouse Square in Old Town Warrenton
Courthouse Square in Old Town Warrenton
Official seal of Warrenton, Virginia
Location in Virginia
Location in Virginia
Coordinates: [1]
Country United States
State Virginia
County Fauquier
Founded 1810
 • Mayor Powell Duggan
 • Total 4.2 sq mi (11.0 km2)
 • Land 4.2 sq mi (11.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 643 ft (196 m)
Population (2014 US Census Estimate)
 • Total 9,907
 • Density 1,574.8/sq mi (608.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 20186-20188
Area code(s) 540, 703, 571
FIPS code 51-83136[2]
GNIS feature ID 1500278[3]

Warrenton is a town in Fauquier County, Virginia, United States. In 2011, Fauquier County was number eight on the U.S. Census Bureau list of highest-income counties in the United States. Population was 6,670 at the 2000 census, 9,611 at the 2010 census, and 9,907 as of a 2014 estimate. It is the county seat of Fauquier County.[4] Public schools in the town include Fauquier High School, Warrenton Middle School, Taylor Middle School, and two elementary schools. There are three private schools in the town of Warrenton: Highland School, St. John The Evangelist's Catholic School, and St. James' Episcopal School. Warrenton is at a junction of U.S. Route 15, U.S. Route 17, U.S. Route 29, and U.S. Route 211. The town is in the Piedmont region of Virginia, near the Blue Ridge Mountains. The well-known Airlie Conference Center is on the northeast boundary of Warrenton, and the historic Vint Hill Farms military facility is several miles east. Fauquier Hospital is also located in the town. Surrounded by Virginia wine and horse country makes Warrenton a popular destination outside of Washington D.C.

Like many incorporated towns in Virginia, the town of Warrenton has government and taxation separate from the county. The town and the county do share some services, such as schools and the county landfill.[5]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Education 4
  • Notable people 5
  • Climate 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Street scene, Warrenton, Virginia, ca. 1862.

The settlement which would grow into the Town of Warrenton began as a cross roads at the junction of the Falmouth-Winchester and Alexandria-Culpeper roads.,[6] where a trading post called the Red Store was located. In the 1790s, a courthouse was built in the area, and the location was known as Fauquier Courthouse.[7]

The Town of Warrenton was incorporated on January 5, 1810,[8] and named for General Joseph Warren, a Revolutionary War hero.[9] Richard Henry Lee donated the land for the county seat. John S. Horner, Secretary of Wisconsin Territory and Acting Governor of Michigan Territory, was born in Warrenton. John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, was from nearby Germantown, Virginia modern-day Midland.

[10] It now hosts some offices of the Fauquier County Government.

Arthur Jordan, an African-American man, was lynched by a mob of approximately 60-75 men in white hoods in the early hours of January 19, 1880. Jordan had been accused of miscegenation and bigamy for eloping with Elvira (Lucille) Corder, the daughter of his white employer, Nathan Corder, a landowner and farmer in the upper part of the county along the Rappahannock River. A group of local men hunted the pair down near Williamsport, Maryland, captured Mr. Jordan and returned him to Fauquier, whereupon he was delivered to the town jail. Later that night, the masked lynch mob gained access to the jail and dragged Jordan to the nearby town cemetery, where he was hanged from a small locust tree. Ms. Corder remained in Maryland, estranged from her family, until her death a few years later.[11] News of the lynching was reported in papers across the nation. Some foreign papers, such as Australia's The Sydney Morning Herald, even reprinted articles of the account.[12][13][14][15][16]

In 1909, a fire destroyed almost half the structures in the town, and was halted with the use of dynamite to create a firebreak to stop the flames from spreading.[7]

In 1951, the federal government established the Warrenton Training Center just outside of Warrenton. The center is a secret Central Intelligence Agency communications facility, which also houses an underground relocation bunker containing communications infrastructure to support continuity of government in the event of a nuclear attack on Washington, DC.[17][18][19]

A bypass route around the town was built in the early 1960s, which attracted restaurants, gas stations, and shopping centers, but also drew businesses away from the center of town.[8]

The Warrenton Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Other listings include Brentmoor, Dakota, Hopefield, Loretta, Monterosa, North Wales, The Oaks, the Old Fauquier County Jail, and Yorkshire House.[20]


Warrenton is located at (38.718307, -77.797085),[1] along U.S. Route 29 about 10 miles (16 km) west of Gainesville.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.2 square miles (11.0 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 6,670 people, 2,683 households, and 1,591 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,574.8 people per square mile (607.4/km²). There were 2,856 housing units at an average density of 674.3 per square mile (260.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 80.04% White, 16.49% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.00% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.25% of the population.

There were 2,683 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the town the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,760, and the median income for a family was $59,744. Males had a median income of $40,405 versus $31,689 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,552. About 6.7% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 10.2% of those age 65 or over.


Fauquier County Public Schools serves Warrenton.

Fauquier High School is located in Warrenton.

Notable people


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Warrenton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[23]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ "Tax Information" on the Warrenton, Virginia website
  6. ^ "History" Town of Warrenton. Accessed April 17, 2010.
  7. ^ a b "What you should know about Fauquier History: Town of Warrenton" Fauquier Historical Society. Accessed April 17, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Warrenton Historic District Design Guidelines" Town of Warrenton. Accessed April 17, 2010.
  9. ^ Dyson, Cathy (July 20, 2003). "History and legend unlock origins of unusual names". The Free Lance-Star. pp. A7. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  10. ^ a b [2]
  11. ^ Corder, Shawn, Research: Last Will and Testament of Nathan Corder (PDF), retrieved February 19, 2015 
  12. ^ , 20 January, 1880New York Times"Crime and Its Results,"
  13. ^ (University of Virginia Library: Special Collections)The Horner Papers, 22 January, 1880, as cited in reference to Gustavus Richard Brown Horner, The Mirror (Leesburg, VA)
  14. ^ , 22 January 1880St. Louis Post Dispatch"Virginian Vengeance. Lynching a Negro for a Social Indiscretion,"
  15. ^ Brenner, Kate (2014). Images of America: Warrenton. Arcadia. p. 119.  
  16. ^ "A Lynch-law Hanging". The Sydney Morning Herald. (via Weekly Alta California). March 24, 1880. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Warrenton Training Center: Current Site Information".  
  18. ^  
  19. ^ "Bunkers Beyond the Beltway: The Federal Government Backup System". The Lay of the Land ( 
  20. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  21. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  23. ^ Climate Summary for Warrenton, Virginia

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

  • Town of Warrenton, Virginia website
  • Warrenton Branch of the Fauquier County Public Library
  • Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company
  • Historic Warrenton Presbyterian Church
  • Warrenton Historic District - National Register of Historic Places, Final Nomination Form
  • Warrenton Historic District Design Guidelines
  • Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce
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