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Prince William County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginiamarker, and is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. The estimated population in 2009 of the county was 394,370. Its county seat is the independent city of Manassasmarker . It is part of Northern Virginia and is one of the highest-income counties in the United States.

History

When Captain John Smith and other English explored the upper Potomac beginning in 1608, they reported that the area within present Prince William was occupied by the Doeg tribe. The Doegs still maintained several villages in this area into the 1650s, when colonists began to patent the land.

Prince William County was created by an act of the General Assembly of the colony of Virginia in 1731, largely from the western section of Stafford Countymarker as well as a section of King George Countymarker. The area encompassed by the Act creating Prince William County originally included all of what later became Arlington County, the City of Alexandriamarker, Fairfax Countymarker, the City of Fairfaxmarker, the City of Falls Churchmarker, Fauquier Countymarker, Loudoun County, the City of Manassasmarker, and the City of Manassas Parkmarker (and the various incorporated towns therein). The County was named for Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II.

The County was a rural community for years and the population was centered in two areas, one at Manassas (home to a major railroad junction), the other near Occoquanmarker and Woodbridgemarker along the Potomac River. Beginning in the late 1930s, a larger suburban population grew up near the existing population centers, particularly in Manassas. The town's post-World War II growth led it to become an independent city in 1975. Beginning in the late 1960s, the County began transitioning into a bedroom community of Washington, DCmarker and its population expanded dramatically to the point where, by the end of the 20th century, it was the third most populous local jurisdiction in Virginia. Much of this growth has taken place in the last twenty years.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 348 square miles (902 km²), of which 338 square miles (875 km²) is land and 11 square miles (27 km²) (3.04%) is water. It is bounded on the north by Loudounmarker and Fairfaxmarker counties; on the west by Fauquier Countymarker; on the south by Stafford Countymarker; and on the east by the Potomac River (Charles County, Marylandmarker lies across the river).

Adjacent counties



National protected areas



Government and politics

The county is divided into seven magisterial districts: Brentsville, Coles, Dumfries, Gainesville, Neabsco, Occoquan, and Woodbridge. The magisterial districts each elect one supervisor to the Board of Supervisors which governs Prince William County. There is also a Chairman elected by the county at-large, bringing total Board membership to 8; this may increase after the 2010 census when an eighth magisterial district is likely to be added. A Vice-Chairman is selected by the Board from amongst its membership. The current Chairman is Corey A. Stewart, who previously served as the Occoquan District Supervisor. The current Vice-Chairman is John T. Stirrup, Jr., the Gainesville District Supervisor. The County operates under the county form of the County Executive system of government, with an elected Board of Supervisors. The Board then appoints a professional, nonpartisan County Executive to manage government agencies.

Republicans hold six of the eight seats on the Board of Supervisors as well as the offices of County Sheriff and Clerk of the Court. No Democrat has chaired the Board of County Supervisors since Kathleen Seefeldt left office in January 2000. Republicans hold two of the three U.S. Congressional seats (VA-1 and VA-10). that include parts of Prince William County and control four of the five Virginia House of Delegates seats that include parts of the County. Republican delegates include Robert G. Marshall, Scott Lingamfelter, Jeff Frederick and Jackson Miller. Paul Nichols is the democratic member of the House. The three of county's Virginia State Senate seats are held by Democrats and one by a Republican, including Democratic Sen. Charles Colgan, the President pro tempore of the Senate. In 2005, Democratic Governor Timothy M. Kaine won the County with 49.95% of the vote. In 2006, Democratic U.S. Senator Jim Webb won with 50.51% of the vote. The Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney, Paul Ebert, is also a Democrat. The Sheriff, Glen Hill, is a Republican as is the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Michèle McQuigg.

The County has had several special elections since 2006. That year, the then-Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Sean Connaughton, was appointed as head of the U.S. Maritime Administration by President George W. Bush. A special election to fill the vacancy was called for the same day as the U.S. Senate election between Jim Webb and George F. Allen. Occoquan District Supervisor Stewart won the election and a special election was called for January 2007 to fill the vacancy in the Occoquan District. Mr. Stewart's successor for the Occoquan District was Michael C. May, a fellow Republican.

In the United States presidential election of 2008, Democrat Barack Obama carried Prince William with 57.51% of the vote, compared to Republican John McCain who received 41.62%. His final rally the night before the election was held at Prince William County Fairgrounds, just outside the City of Manassas.

Position Name Affiliation First Election District
  Chairman Corey A. Stewart Republican 2003 At-Large
  Supervisor Wally Covington Republican 2003 Brentsville
  Supervisor Martin E. Nohe Republican 2003 Coles
  Supervisor Maureen S. Caddigan Republican 1995 Dumfries
  Supervisor John T. Stirrup, Jr. Republican 2003 Gainesville
  Supervisor John D. Jenkins Democrat 1982 Neabsco
  Supervisor Michael C. May Republican 2007 Occoquan
  Supervisor Frank Principi Democrat 2007 Woodbridge


Economy

The Consulate-General of El Salvador in Woodbridge is located at 14572 Potomac Mills Road in the Dale City CDPmarker.

Education

Public schools

Prince William County Public Schoolsmarker is the second largest school system in Virginiamarker (having recently overtaken Virginia Beach City Public Schools). The system consists of around 62 elementary, 15 middle, and 10 high public schools, as well as a virtual high school, two traditional schools, five special education schools, and two alternative schools. The Superintendent of Prince William County Public Schools is Steven L. Walts.

The system has a television station called PWCS-TV. It is programmed and operated by Prince William County Public Schools' Media Production Services Department and is accessible to all Prince William County Comcast subscribers.

Edulink Intouch Online is a parent-school communication system that allows secure access to student information such as school attendance and grades.

Prince William County's illegal immigration crackdown, according to the Prince William County School System, has led to the enrollment in the English as a Second Language class to drop by 759 students from September 2007 to March 2008. Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart says the county expects to save $6 million in education costs because of the transfers.

Private/Religious schools



Colleges



Universities



Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 280,813 people, 94,570 households, and 72,724 families residing in the county. The population density was 831 people per square mile (321/km²). There were 98,052 housing units at an average density of 290 per square mile (112/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.93% White, 18.76% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 3.81% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 4.35% from other races, and 3.62% from two or more races. 9.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

By 2005 non-Hispanic whites were 54.2% of Prince William County's population. 19.4% of the population was African-American. 0.5% was Native American. 6.4% of the population was Asian American. The growth of the Asian population was, numerically and as a percentage of the total population in this subgroup, dwarfed by the growth of the Latino population, which made up 18.0% of the county's total population by 2005.

There were 94,570 households, out of which 44.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.30% were married couples living together, 11.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.10% were non-families. 17.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94, and the average family size was 3.32.

In the county, the population distribution included 30.40% under the age of 18, 8.80% from 18 to 24, 35.20% from 25 to 44, 20.80% from 45 to 64, and 4.80% 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $65,960, and the median income for a family was $71,622. Males had a median income of $45,595, compared to $34,286 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,641. About 3.30% of families and 4.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.60% of those under age 18 and 4.70% of those age 65 or over.

Sports

The Potomac Nationals are a Minor League Baseball team located in Woodbridge, Virginiamarker. The Nationals play in the high-A Carolina League and are an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Northern Virginia Royals are an American minor league soccer team, also located in Woodbridge, Virginiamarker. The Royals have minor league affiliation with D.C. United, Washington, DCmarker Major League Soccer franchise.

Located in Manassas is the historic Old Dominion Speedwaymarker. Opened in 1948, it was the location of the first commercial drag race held on the East Coast. It was also a stop on the NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup Series) schedule in the late 50's and early 60's. It still holds weekly drag races and NASCAR-sanctioned races.

Museums

The National Museum of the Marine Corpsmarker is the new historical museum of the United States Marine Corps. It is located in Triangle, Virginiamarker and is free to the public.

National Parks

Prince William Forest Park

Prince William Forest Parkmarker was established as Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area in 1936 and is located in eastern Prince William County, Virginiamarker. The park is the largest protected natural area in the Washington, D.C.marker metropolitan region at over 15,000 acres (61 km²).

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Parkmarker, located north of Manassasmarker in Prince William County, Virginiamarker, preserves the site of two major American Civil War battles: the First Battle of Manassasmarker on July 21, 1861, and the Second Battle of Manassas which was fought between August 28 and August 30, 1862. These battles are commonly referred to as the first and second battles of Bull Run outside the South.

Transportation

Airports



Public Bus Service

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) is the public transportation system in Prince William County, Virginiamarker. Services provided by PRTC include OmniRide, OmniLink, and OmniMatch.

Commuter Rail Service

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) is a commuter rail service that connects the Northern Virginia area with Washington, DCmarker. Both VRE lines have three stations each in Prince William County. The Manassasmarker line has the Manassas Parkmarker, Manassasmarker, and Broad Run / Airportmarker stations. The Fredericksburgmarker line has the Woodbridgemarker, Ripponmarker, and Quanticomarker stations.

Major highways



Towns and other localities

Incorporated towns

Four incorporated towns are located within Prince William County:


Unincorporated communities



Extinct towns/communities



Independent cities

The independent cities of Manassasmarker and Manassas Parkmarker are surrounded by Prince William County. Prince William, Manassas Park, and Manassas are combined for purposes of criminal, traffic, civil, and juvenile and domestic relations courts within Circuit 31. The Courthouse Complex itself is located in a Prince William County enclave surrounded by the City of Manassas. The County Government Administration Complex is in the unincorporated community of Woodbridgemarker. Its mailing address is 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, Virginia 22192.

Other important features

Potomac Mills


See also



References

  1. " Norte América." Consulate-General of El Salvador in Miami. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  2. " Dale City CDP." United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  3. VRE Station Map Retrieved 08/09/2009


External links




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