Spotsylvania – Where it Came from and Where it is Now

spotsylvania, va

Spotsylvania County is set on a mix of rural and suburban landscapes surrounded by picturesque Lake Anna. It is midway between Washington D.C. and Richmond, VA. With roots in the Colonial and Civil war era, Spotsylvania is a county with rich history. It’s popular for tourists and provides a comfortable life for locals.

History of Spotsylvania, VA

Founded in 1721, the town was named after Alexander Spotwood, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia at that time.  Much of Spotsylvania’s development stemmed from Spotwood’s ironworks. The Lieutenant’s Iron Mines Company became first in the county’s industry.

Spotsylvania is also known as the “Crossroads of the Civil War” because four major Civil War battles happened on its soil: Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of the Wilderness, Battle of Fredericksburg, and Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. The bloodiest of them all was the latter, led by the armies of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

What’s It’s Like Now

Today, Spotsylvania offers tourists and locals historical, cultural, and outdoor activities. The county lies along I-95, and is near an airport, a hospital, and commuter rail.

The county provides activities suited for every interest:

  • Cultural events — Spotsylvania’s County Museum offers cultural events year-round. Its displays preserve the county’s past through photos and artifacts.
  • Civil War Battlefield Sites — National Military Park is home to the Civil War battlefields. Visitors can take a walking tour guided by local historians.
  • Nature and Outdoor Recreation — The county has a myriad of fun activities for all ages. Locals and visitors can enjoy a swim at the beach, kayak, and paddleboard or hike all at Anna Lake and State Park. For those interested in water crafting, the Anna Point Marina is a great place to water-ski or sail. The Hunting Run Reservoir is a great spot for fishing. Head to Wilderness Presidential Resorts for zip lining and a variety of outdoor activities.
  • Shopping and Dining — Spotsylvania Towne Centre has shops, restaurants, and entertainment. A farmers market, antique shops, and plantations provide a unique shopping experience.
  • Wineries and Breweries — The County offers a variety of options to beer, wine, and liquor connoisseurs. Check out Wilderness Run Vineyards or Maltese Brewing Company.

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Spotsylvania had an estimated population of over 131,000 at the beginning of 2016. According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2014, the racial makeup of the county’s residents was 77.3% White, 16.1% African-American, and 8.7% Hispanic.

Employment Opportunities

With dynamic retail and commercial business opportunities, there are a lot of job opportunities in Spotsylvania. The largest private employer is the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. Most government jobs are in the school system and county government.

County Vision

Spotsylvania County aims to lead the area in quality living and in sustained economic development. With its rich history, culture, and its modern attractions, the county is worth the exploration.  

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