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Spotsylvania County is a county in the U.S. state of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the population was 90,395, growing to 122,397 by 2010, a 35.40% increase since 2000, making it the 84th fastest growing county in the nation during this time period. Its county seat is Spotsylvania Courthouse. The independent city of Fredericksburg is located northeast of the county but is politically separate.
The county is a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. A number of commuters travel north on Interstate 95 or the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) for work in Washington, D.C.
At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Spotsylvania County were a Siouan-speaking tribe called the Manahoac.
Spotsylvania County was established in 1721 from Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties. The county was named in Latin for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Alexander Spotswood.
Many battles were fought in this county during the Civil War, including the battles of Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania Court House.
Stonewall Jackson was shot and mortally wounded in Spotsylvania County during the Battle of Chancellorsville. A group of Confederate soldiers from North Carolina were in the woods and heard General Jackson's party returning from reconnoitering the Union lines. They mistook him for a Federal patrol and fired their weapons, wounding him in both arms. His left arm was amputated. General Jackson died a few days later from pneumonia at nearby Guinea Station. Confederate wounded were being gathered there for evacuation to hospitals further to the south and away from enemy lines.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 412 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 401 square miles (1,040 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (2.77%) is water.
It is bounded on the north by the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers, the independent city of Fredericksburg (all of which were part of the area's early history), and the counties of Stafford and Culpeper; on the south by the North Anna River and its impoundment, Lake Anna, and by the counties of Hanover and Louisa; on the west by Orange County and Culpeper County; and on the east by Caroline County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 90,395 people, 31,308 households, and 24,639 families residing in the county. The population density was 226 people per square mile (87/km²). There were 33,329 housing units at an average density of 83 per square mile (32/km²). The racial makeup of the county was:
2.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 31,308 households out of which 42.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.80% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.30% were non-families. 16.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the county, the population was spread out with 30.00% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 32.20% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 8.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 97.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.00 males.
The 2006 median income for a household in the county was $72,453, and the median income for a family was $75,507. Males had a median income of $49,166 versus $38,076 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,458. About 3.90% of families and 5.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.70% of those under age 18 and 5.20% of those age 65 or over.
Spotsylvania County Public Schools is a public school district serving Spotsylvania County, Virginia. It consists of 17 Elementary, 7 Middle, and 5 High Schools and has a total enrollment of over 24,000 students. The Spotsylvania County School division also has a Career and Technical Center and participates with other local school systems to offer the Commonwealth Governor's School. The district partners with area businesses to develop learning opportunities for the students. Spotsylvania County Public Schools works with the area Parks and Recreation Department to help maintain the area around the Schools (athletic facilities, etc.).
Fredericksburg Academy, Fredericksburg Christian School, Odyssey Montessori School, Saint Patrick School, Saint Michael the Archangel High School, and Faith Baptist Christian School are private schools that serve the area.
Germanna Community College is part of the Virginia Community College System and serves the City of Fredericksburg, and the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, Orange, Culpeper, and King George.
The University of Mary Washington located in nearby Fredericksburg, Virginia, is a four-year university and graduate school that also serves the area.
Fire and rescue services in Spotsylvania County are provided by a combination of career and volunteer organizations. These organizations work together to provide quality service to the citizens of Spotsylvania County. The career staff of the Department of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Management provide fire and rescue services from 04:40 AM till 6:00 PM Monday through Friday. The volunteer organizations include: Chancellor Volunteer Fire & Rescue, The Spotsylvania Volunteer Fire Department, and The Spotsylvania Volunteer Rescue Squad. Each organization is supplemented by Spotsylvania County Fire and Rescue during daytime hours.[