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The Mother County of the Northern Neck

Northumberland County, Virginia, was originally known as Chickacoan, an Indian district on the Northern Neck, lying between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers, tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. In 1648, this “Mother County of the Northern Neck” was officially formed by an act passed by the Burgesses in Jamestown, Virginia and named after County Northumberland, England.

It was later divided into three additional counties: Lancaster, Richmond and Westmoreland. Northumberland County has an area of approximately 222 square miles and a population of 12,400 people. (See Map below)

Today, the county seat at Heathsville, a remarkably well-preserved village comprising a veritable museum of 18th, 19th and 20th-century architecture. It was the birthplace of Congressman John Heath, one of the founders of Phi Beta Kappa at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg. Heathsville Historic District is located in Northumberland County, Virginia. Established in 1681 and surveyed by Benjamin Latrobe, this rural village has remained the county seat for over three hundred years. Its shady courthouse square is a stroll away from a pre-Civil War jail, tavern, church, and one of the largest extant assemblages of antebellum buildings in Virginia. Equally as important, Heathsville is a vibrant community-based in the 18th century but living in the 21st. In Reedville, Main Street provides a striking example of the elegance and diversity of the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

Northumberland County…’s a great place to visit and a place we’re proud to call home.

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