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Rocky Mount, Virginia

Rocky Mount
Template:Infobox settlement/columns
Location within the state of Virginia

Coordinates: 36°59′59″N 79°53′23″W / 36.99972°N 79.88972°W / 36.99972; -79.88972Coordinates: 36°59′59″N 79°53′23″W / 36.99972°N 79.88972°W / 36.99972; -79.88972{{#coordinates:36|59|59|N|79|53|23|W|region:US_type:city |primary |name=

Country United States
State Virginia
County Franklin
Founded 1786
 • Mayor Steve Angle
 • Total 4.6 sq mi (11.9 km2)
 • Land 4.6 sq mi (11.9 km2)
Population (2000)
 • Total 4,066
 • Density 880/sq mi (340/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Website Official website

Rocky Mount is the county seat of Franklin County, Virginia, United States.[1] The town is part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area, and had a population of 4,066 at the 2000 census. It is located in the Roanoke Region of Virginia[2]


The first English colonists arrived here in 1760, and they named Rocky Mount for a steep cliff near the town. The area originally consisted of two adjacent villages, Rocky Mount and Mount Pleasant. The first court was held at Rocky Mount in 1786 following the American Revolutionary War. The first courthouse, made of logs, was replaced in 1831. By 1836 the town consisted of 30 homes and several businesses.

During the American Civil War, numerous planter families from the Tidewater sought refuge in Rocky Mount, and many brought substantial numbers of slaves with them. Among these were the immediate past governor, Henry Wise, who settled his family here before he served in the military. The Confederate General Jubal Anderson Early, born on a farm nearby, practiced law in Rocky Mount before and after the war.

In 1873, Rocky Mount absorbed the smaller village, creating the present boundaries of the town, and it was incorporated that year.[3] The present Franklin County courthouse was constructed in 1909 at Rocky Mount.

The Booker T. Washington National Monument, Evergreen-Callaway-Deyerle House, The Farm, Greer House, Rocky Mount Historic District, Washington Iron Furnace, and Woods-Meade House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]


Rocky Mount is located at 36°59′59″N 79°53′23″W / 36.99972°N 79.88972°W / 36.99972; -79.88972{{#coordinates:36|59|59|N|79|53|23|W|region:US_type:city | |name= }} (36.999855, -79.889673),[5] along the Pigg River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.6 square miles (11.9 km²), all of it land.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Rocky Mount has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[6]


File:Rocky Mount Virginia state historical marker.JPG
State historical marker for Rocky Mount

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 4,066 people, 1,698 households, and 1,018 families residing in the town. The population density was 886.5 people per square mile (342.0/km²). There were 1,796 housing units at an average density of 391.6 per square mile (151.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 74.50% White, 22.26% African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.67% of the population.

There were 1,698 households out of which 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the town the population was spread out with 21.4% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 23.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 85.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $26,927, and the median income for a family was $38,688. Males had a median income of $30,947 versus $22,472 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,207. About 16.6% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.6% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

Further reading

  • Fussell, Fred C. (2003). Blue Ridge Music Trails: Finding a Place in the Circle. North Carolina Folklife Institute. 080785459X. 
  • Watman, Max (2010). Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-7178-0. 
  • Greer, T. Keister. The Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935, History House Press, 2003
  • Bondurant, Matt. The Wettest County in the World (2008)


  1. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. Roanoke Region of Virginia
  3. Frank H. Gille (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Virginia 1999; Volume One. Somerset Publishers. p. 329. ISBN 0-403-09753-3. 
  4. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  5. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. Climate Summary for Rocky Mount, Virginia
  7. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links

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