Charlottesville, Virginia and Albemarle County
The City of Charlottesville is an Independent City government jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia and comprises a population of over 40,000. It's boundaries are adjoining the County of Albemarle, Virginia and is it's basic metropolitan area and comprises an estimated 97,000 in Albemarle County. Charlottesville is the center for commerce in the Central Virginia area of a combined population of about 250,000. The City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle has it's own government jurisdiction, including separate tax assessments. Basically living in the City of Charlottesville limits will be a higher tax on your real estate properties; however, the higher taxes afford the convenience of living close to Downtown Charlottesville and UVA and the Hospitals and other amenities that the City has to offer. You may compare Real Estate Taxes in the Charlottesville Area and surrounding counties at Charlottesville REAL ESTATE Taxes.
Charlottesville, Virginia has been ranked as one of the Best Places to Live in the United States. And in the Top Ten per Ranking Reports.
Some of Charlottesville’s Top Ranking Reports include the following:
Charlottesville Ranked #4 -Kiplinger.com - Kiplinger's Personal/Finance Magazine, July 2009 - Stacy Rapacon, Reporter
Charlottesville Ranked #1 - Sperling's Best Places to Live, 2005 - BestPlaces.net
Charlottesville Ranked # 5 - Cities Ranked and Rated by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander - 2004 - USAToday.com - March 29, 2004, by Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today
Charlottesville is located in the central part of Albemarle County and has several main roads or arteries running through Charlottesville and to the surrounding areas. Use I-64 and the connecting Loop North of I-64 on the Route 250/29 ByPass to get your bearings is suggested. With this in mind you have three main highways connecting or intersecting the Loop 250/29 ByPass and I-64 that being Rt. 250, Rt. 29 and Rt. 20. It is difficult to discuss Charlottesville without ultimately discussing it's rich history and the ambiance which is steeped in generations from the same families still residing in the area and many on the same land as their ancestors before them. Although on smaller pieces of the land as generations mature and marry, they still have brothers, sisters and cousins as neighbors. Many large parcels of land that have been passed down in families have large numbers of absentee owners living out of the area and difficult for any that may actually want to sell their families farm properties instead of leasing out the land to other local farmers. The area which was considered the wild west also had it's share of land speculators and explorers to even gold mines, especially in the area of Buckingham County and Louisa County.
Some navigational problems may result for those out of the Commonwealth of Virginia regarding the custom of local jurisdictions naming routes through their different governed districts. This can be a little frustrating at first until you become aware of the roads. Normally the changes in names although the same route numbers will normally occur at an intersection. Do not become alarmed that you may have taken a wrong turn. Also some other local customs are provided as to the pronunciation of names of streets or towns. Monticello is pronounced as "Monti-chello", Schulyer is pronounced as "Sky-ler", Staunton is pronounced as "Stan-ton", and Rio Road is pronounced as "Rye-O" Road. I am told that RIO Road was actually Route 10 and the Road Signs displayed R10 and slowly it became slang by locals just to call it "Rye-O" Road. Stanardsville in Greene County " is not "Stand-ards-ville", but is "Stan-ards-ville". It is not misspelled, but often over looked and sometimes referred incorrectly as Standardsville.
Route 250/29 ByPass - Charlottesville is encircled by the Route 250/29 ByPass with main arteries connecting to I-64 which runs from East to West and located along the Southern boundary of the City and Albemarle County and connecting points for the Route 250/29 ByPass.
Rt. 250 aka Three Notched Road runs from the East and Richmond, Va area going West through the lower Southern part of Albermarle County and on to the Valley of Virginia, basically I-64 follows near this early colonial highway. Rt. 250 connects to another historical Colonial Road Route 11 (aka The Great Warrior Road aka The Great Wagon Road) in Staunton, VA on the Western side of the Blue Ridge Mountains where the Beverly Plantation Patent was located with the adjoining Borden Patent south of the Beverly Patent.
Rt. 29 aka Monacan Trail Road, Seminole Trail and Confederate Highway runs North Northeast from Lynchburg through Nelson County (aka the Monacan Trail Road) and then into the lower Western side of Albemarle County where Rt. 29 meets Route 250 or the 250/29 ByPass and continues going North and then exiting the ByPass to Rt. 29 North which will have a newer Business and Shopping District along with the Communities of Forest Lakes and Hollymead, then the Charlottesville Airport, UVA Research Center, the National Ground Intelligence Center aka as NGIC located on the Rivanna Station Military Base aka Camp Rivanna, the General Electric (GE Fanuc) Office Complex, then continuing North Northeast through Greene County and Ruckersville where Rt. 33 intersects going east to west. If you go East on Rt. 33 you will enter the lower boundaries of Orange County and Rt. 20 Constitution Highway. Rt. 29 North is often taken by local Charlottesville residents for travel to Dulles International Airport and the D.C. area, it is 4 Lanes, but is a Limited Access Highway and caution should be observed.
Route 29 Business aka Emmet Street goes through Charlottesville and the UVA Campus area and intersects Route 250 Business aka Ivy Road running west to the Communities of Ivy and Crozet and University Avenue running west past the Main UVA Campus and Rotunda area, then becomes West Main Street through Charlottesville UVA Hospital, Medical Centers, Campus area shops, cafes and clubs and the George Rogers Clark statue memorial on the right side of the street then further east to where it meets and intersects Five Corners marked by a statute and monument of Lewis and Clark facing you at the 5th St. SW/Ridge St./McIntire Road where it proceeds to the Downtown Mall area and South Street which has the local 200 South Street Inn. Due to the change made by the City for closing off streets and designing the Downtown Mall, West Main Street stops and Waters Streets follows along the southern border of the Downtown Mall area. If you take a left at Five Corners onto Ridge Road/McIntire Road one block to the intersection of Preston Avenue, High Street and Market Street (Rt. 250) you will then connect back to Route 250 going east on Market Street, the northern border of the Downtown Mall to the intersection of 9th Street Rt. 20 South / High Street Rt. 250 East and Rt. 20 Northwest towards the Rt. 250/29 ByPass on the Eastern side of the City of Charlottesville.
Rt. 20 aka the Constitution Highway runs in a North Northeastern direction on the Eastern side of Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. At the intersection of Market Street you can go south on 9th Street to Monticello Avenue, then making a left or Southwestern direction on Rt. 20 Monticello Avenue aka Scottsville Road to Rt. 53 Thomas Jefferson Parkway going east and to Jefferson,s Monticello and then proceeding east of Jefferson's Monticello you will find a southerly road County Route 795 James Monroe Parkway and Monroe's Ashlawn-Highland. If you proceed south on Rt. 20 aka Scottsville Road you will find the town of Scottsville on the James River, the first county seat of Albemarle County before being relocated to Charlottesville.
Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe of Charlottesville had access direct to Thomas Barbour's Plantation and one of his son's James Barbour which was about 20 miles north of Monticello on Rt. 20 North in current Barboursville, VA and with another 8 miles to James Madison at Montpelier in Orange, VA. So while you are driving around the Charlottesville beautiful country side and walk around the UVA Rotunda and Lawn, you might see the glassed in Dorm Room that had been occupied by Edgar Allan Poe when he attended UVA. The shops that still exist along the Jefferson Street at the Albemarle County Courthouse area. Men such as Dr. Thomas Walker of Castle Hill, Peter Jefferson of Shadwell where his son President Thomas Jefferson was born, and just further west to Thomas Mann Randolph of Edgehill who was married to President Thomas Jefferson's daughter Martha, Nicholas Meriwether of The Farm which is currently known as the Locust Grove and Belmont Communities in Charlottesville, his son was Nicholas Meriwether. The Farm is located off of Jefferson Street Southeast of the Albemarle Courthouse complex of Old Charlottesville going just south on Jefferson Street the Farm Lane and Facing 12th Street NE and the Rivanna River it has a view of Montpelier. Other names of historical importance with be George Gilmer, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. George Rogers Clark was the highest ranking American military officer on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. He served as leader of the Kentucky militia throughout much of the war, Clark is best-known for his celebrated capture of Kaskaskia (1778) and Vincennes (1779), which greatly weakened British influence in the Northwest Territory. Because the British ceded the entire Northwest Territory to the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, Clark has often been hailed as the "Conqueror of the Old Northwest." Additional sites of historical significance with their locations may be found at The Historical Marker Database for Albemarle County.
Charlottesville and Central Virginia is truly remarkle area having much to live up to when you delve into the migration and exploration of early Virginia colonial settlers, the method of establishing a cohesive form of government and the use of the local Militia. Progress took place to protect the large plantations established near from the falls of the larger rivers to the mouths of those rivers to the channels and coast line. The coast land was first developed from these areas where navigation could take place for transportaion to the ports for distribution and shipping back to England. The need for stations with Militia Rangers assigned was later needed to keep the threat of Indian attacks at bay and a buffer for the new land barons of America. The Piedmont area became the West along the Southwest Mountains in the case of Albemarle County, became a land for the next generation from these large families which existed from the large landowners. Normally the oldest son inherited all land of his father and even those family heads that divided up their properties to their sons, it divided up the wealth into much smaller pieces and caused many generations to ultimately go West for their own fortunes. Encroachment of about 20 miles in the westerly direction can be attributed to such generation gap movement west. Many of the courageous or possibly the desperate ones leaped much further into the Western wilderness area beyond even the Blue Ridge Mountains which are west of the Southwest Mountains of Charlottesville. Charlottesville, Va. is only about 250 feet above sea level at least in Forest Lakes which is north of the City of Charlottesville. To even attempt going over the Mountains west of Charlottesville was a tremendous undertaking. Vast forest covered the ground in thick cover and was very difficult to traverse. The Rt. 250 or Three Notched Road was barely a path traveled by Indians and most of travel was as near to the James River as possible and into Lynchburg, VA area and the Valley of Virginia. The Indian War Path or Route 11 was indeed that and to build settlements along the route may have seemed a little difficult to believe given the circumstances with the relations with the Indians and the Six Nations of whom treaties were negotiated, yet not adhered by the settlers and land speculators. The Shenandoah Valley and the Valley of Virginia where many early settlements were made including that of the Fairfax Patent, the Beverly Patent, and the Borden Patent, along with other grants of land by Virginia with the purpose of extending their borders west and also to have a barrier between them the ruling class on the coast and the danger of Indian attacks and later that of the British.
Find Charlottesville, Virginia's streets with visitor points of interest, including Historical Points of Interest including the University of Virginia, founded by President Thomas Jefferson in 1819, to the Downtown Mall and the Pavilion where in the summer Music Events are proviided free to the public on Fridays After Five, to many Hotels and Restaurants, Bistros and Cafes that are located on an interactive map of the City of Charlottesville provided by DiscoveryTM Maps & Guides. This is a vey good visual three dimentional map that lays out the streets and the points of interest including lodging, restaurants, historical places and also the surrounding events that will make for an interesting visual effect of the area.
For information and maps for the University of Virginia, go to the University of Virginia Informaiton & Visitor Center conveniently located at 2304 Ivy Road (Rt. 250). Between Emmet Street (Rt. 29) and Ivy Road / University Avenue (Rt. 250) intersection and the Rt. 250/29 ByPass. If exiting the Rt. 250/29 ByPass into Charlottesville onto Ivy Road Business 250 exit, the UVA Information and Vistors Center (including the Campus Police Station) is just about a 100 yards on your right going east into the city on Rt. 250. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The general layout of the University and it's College's and Centers for the Downtown locations may be found on this Web Map, U. Va.
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