Westmoreland County Public Schools educates the children in all of Westmoreland County except those living in Colonial Beach, who attend schools in the Colonial Beach Public School System. Northern Neck Technical Center provides technical and vocational training along with adult education for residents of Westmoreland County and those living in the other three counties in the Northern Neck area. Rappahannock Community College, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University are nearby.
Westmoreland County’s economy is based primarily on agriculture, specifically dairy farming. Tourism is also a strong influence on the county’s economy. Montross is the home of Northern Neck Coca Cola Bottling Inc., and the Westmoreland News, a weekly newspaper. Westmoreland County is an exurb of Washington, D.C., 80 miles away.
Attractions/Points Of Interests
There are many historic sites in Westmoreland County. George Washington Birthplace National Monument is a 550-arce national park that recreates life on the Washington family’s 18th century plantation. Stratford Hall Plantation, birthplace of General Robert E. Lee, is a 1670-acre working farm offering tours of the grounds and buildings. Westmoreland County Museum and Library features artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the county and its important residents. The museum is also home to the Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society. The Birthplace of James Monroe is on Monroe Bay between Oak Grove and Colonial Beach. The Bell House, built in 1882 in Colonial Beach, was the summer retreat of Alexander Graham Bell.
The foundation of Bray’s Church is all that remains of Leedstown where the Leedstown Resolutions were written. The document, a precursor to the Declaration of Independence was written by Richard Henry Lee and signed in February 1766 by 115 patriots including six members of the Lee family, five Washingtons and Spence Monroe, father of James Monroe. Ingleside, in Oak Grove, has three residences on the National Register of Historic Places. Courthouse Square at Montross is the site of the county’s original courthouse, built in 1707. Today the courthouse is used for special exhibits and events. Burnt House Field, site of Machotick Plantation, is the burial site of Richard Henry Lee of Chantilly, Thomas Lee of Stratford and Richard Henry Lee of Machotick.
Westmoreland County museums include Kinsale Museum On-the-Green, Northern Neck Bottling Company Museum and Port Kinsale Maritime Museum. Skipjack “Virginia W,” a rare example of a Virginia-built skipjack (a wooden Chesapeake Bay workboat), is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is on display at Port Kinsale Maritime Museum. The Village of Kinsale, established in 1706, is the oldest port on the Potomac in Virginia. There are five Civil War battlefield parks in the area and several homes associated with George Washington and his family. Mary Washington College is a cultural center open to the public.
County events include the Northern Neck Food and Harvest Festival at Stratford Hall, Montross Fall Festival, Celebrate Virginia’s Archeological Month, Historical Haunts at Stratford Hall, Haunted Tales, Rockfish Tournament, Christmas at Stratford Hall, and the Mummers Play.
Parks and Recreation
The Westmoreland County Family YMCA provides recreation services to county residents with programs and activities for people of all ages. County parks offer athletic fields, ball fields, courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Bicycling, fresh and saltwater fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, swimming and crabbing are popular activities for Westmoreland residents.
Westmoreland State Park, on the cliffs overlooking the Potomac River, is situated between George Washington Birthplace National Monument and Stratford Hall Plantation. Visitors can hike, camp, fish, boat and swim. Voorhees Nature Preserve is located on the Rappahannock River. There are trails along the river and through the marshes. Next to the Voorhees Nature Preserve is Westmoreland Berry Farm. Visitors may pick berries and fruit, shop for fresh produce and gifts, and play with the animals at the petting zoo.
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