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Ashland is a town located just north of Richmondmarker in Hanover Countymarker, Virginiamarker., United Statesmarker. The population was 6,619 at the 2000 census. Ashland is home to Randolph-Macon Collegemarker (1830). "The Center of the Universe" is a popular thematic phrase displayed on signs in the town.


Ashland is located at (37.759361, -77.477226) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 7.2 square miles (18.7 km²), of which, 7.2 square miles (18.6 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.55%) is water.

Ashland Town Hall


As of the census of 2000, there were 6,619 people, 2,282 households, and 1,453 families residing in the town. The population density was 355.9/km² (922.0/mi²). There were 2,445 housing units at an average density of 131.5/km² (340.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 74.74% White, 22.25% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.68% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.74% of the population.

There were 2,282 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town the population was spread out with 19.9% under the age of 18, 22.2% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,125, and the median income for a family was $43,101. Males had a median income of $31,373 versus $24,054 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,932. About 6.9% of families and 10.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.9% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.


Originally known as Slash Cottage, Ashland is located on the Old Washington Highway (a stage route between Richmondmarker and Washington, DCmarker) and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, a busy north-south route now owned by CSX Transportation. The tracks run through the center of town, and the area near the Ashland train stationmarker is a popular train-watching site for railfans.

Many citizens of Ashland unsuccessfully fought off a bid to build a Wal-Martmarker just outside of town (using pink lawn flamingos as an anti-walmart symbol), and they were featured in the 2001 PBS special Store Wars - When Wal-Mart Comes to Town.

In October 2002, Ashland made national news as the site of one of the Beltway sniper attacks. 37-year-old Jeffrey Hopper was shot on October 19 at 8:00 pm in the parking lot of a Ponderosa Steakhouse as he was leaving the restaurant with his wife.

Fire department

The Ashland Volunteer Fire Company, formed in 1890, is located on 501 Archie Canon Drive. It is one of the oldest all-volunteer fire stations in Virginia, handling about 2,000 calls per year.


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