Page 19 - History of Rockingham Co
P. 19


Rockingham County, Virginia, extends from the Blue
Ridge on the southeast entirely across the great valley to the
first Alleghany ranges on the northwest, and has an area of 870
square miles. Only two counties in the State, Augusta and
Pittsylvania, are larger. Excepting a great notch, cut out of
the east corner in 1831 in the formation of Page County,

Rockingham is nearly a square, and lies on the map as if its

corners were approaching the cardinal points of the compass
in a right-hand turn. The corner farthest north extends
nearly up to the 39th parallel of latitude, the south corner be-
ing almost as near to the [38th. As to longitude, the 79th
meridian cuts it almost in half.

A line drawn due east from the north corner of Rock-

ingham, and measured in that course 107 miles, would end in
sight of the Washington Monument, on the south side to-
wards Alexandria. One drawn southeastward from the south
corner, and measured 87 miles, would end at a point near
enough to Manchester and Richmond to be in sound of the
chiming bells in those cities beside the James.

The northeastern half of the great valley of Virginia, com-
prising now the ten counties of Augusta, Rockingham, Page,
Shenandoah, Warren, Frederick, Clark, Jefferson, Berkeley,

and Morgan (the last three being in West Virginia), may

properly be termed the Shenandoah Valley, since it is drained
into the Potomac by the Shenandoah River through its sev-
eral branches. Prior to the year 1738 the entire Shenandoah

Valley, with much more territory west and southwest, was a
part of Orange County. In 1738 it was cut off from Orange,

and divided into two counties, Frederick and Augusta. In
1777 a large part of Augusta was cut off and erected into
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