In 1721, a vast new county was formed in the young colony of Virginia. Extending far beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, this frontier outpost was named for Alexander Spotswood, Colonial Governor of Virginia. Much of SpotsylvaniaCounty’s early development is attributed to Spotswood’s ironworks that he founded in the early 1700’s. Spotswood’s “Iron Mines Company,” mining and smelting operation, was founded in 1725 at Germanna. This was the first fully equipped iron furnace in the colonies and SpotsylvaniaCounty’s first industry. A blast furnace, also founded by Spotswood, was operated in this area from 1730-1785. Remnants of the ironworks are still found in the County. At his death in 1740, Spotswood left behind, in the wilderness of SpotsylvaniaCounty, a nearly self-sufficient iron empire that set in motion the rise of America’s iron and steel industry. Spotswood’s Furnace was acquired in 1842 by the United States government who set up a forge and foundries. Here, the government made hundreds of cannons to supply the Mexican War. At that time, it was one of the most important cannon works in the country. Four major Civil War battles were fought on Spotsylvania soils, including one of the bloodiest of the war, the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864. Here the armies of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee saw one of the most intense clashes in American history, the Union attack on the Confederate-held “Bloody Angle.” This battle marked the beginning of the fall of the Confederacy. Also, it was in SpotsylvaniaCounty, at Chancellorsville, that Stonewall Jackson fell to the mistaken fire of his own men. The National Park Service maintains more than 4,400 acres of the Civil War battlefields in various locations throughout SpotsylvaniaCounty.Location:
Spotsylvania’s strategic location is not just a geographic advantage. The site selection process involves many different factors that affect a location’s potential for profitability. In the case of Spotsylvania County, one key factor ties all the rest together: our strategic location.
Easy Transportation Access – and proximity to major markets are crucial for businesses that are looking for a place to relocate or expand.
Spotsylvania County’s central East Coast location puts 65% of the total U.S. population within 750 miles.
And its prime location between Washington, D.C., and Richmond, VA provides ideal access to these markets. Interstate 95, the East Coast’s main transportation corridor, runs right through the county.
- More Advanced Infrastructure – Spotsylvania enjoys a leading-edge telecommunications infrastructure that benefits both high-tech companies and those in more traditional sectors, as well.
- Utilities – From electric power to water to natural gas, Spotsylvania has the high-quality utilities and natural resources that help businesses prosper. Reliable, low-priced electric power, costing 15% less than the national average.
- Soil – Planners, community officials, engineers, developers, builders, and home buyers all have access to Spotsylvania’s comprehensive soil survey data, which can be used to help plan land use, select sites for construction, identify special practices needed to ensure proper performance, and identify productive agricultural or forest lands.
- Woodlands – 70% of Spotsylvania County’s total land area (184,537 acres) is made of up of woodland, much of which consists of second-growth hardwoods, loblolly pine, and Virginia pine, varying in size from seedling and pole to mature saw timber.
- Air Quality – Spotsylvania enjoys good air quality, and most new or expanding industries have no problem meeting air quality standards established by the EPA and State Air Pollution Control Board. Pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act of 1977, Spotsylvania is classified as an “undesignated” area
- High-Tech Territory – Spotsylvania County is located adjacent to Northern Virginia (NOVA), home to more than 6,000 high-tech companies and second in concentration only to Silicon Valley. For more than 12 years, many of these companies have been migrating to Spotsylvania, because, like NOVA, the County offers proximity to Washington, D.C.; access to a well-educated, highly trained workforce; and a sophisticated, high-speed telecommunications infrastructure
- Smart & Abundant Workforce – Spotsylvania has a low unemployment rate and yet there is a more than abundant workforce available to businesses here. In addition to the 131,000 workers that live within the Spotsylvania region, nearly one million highly educated, highly mobile workers live within the County’s 40-minute commute zone, which extends into Northern Virginia.
- Diverse Industry – In Spotsylvania, you’ll find everything from high-tech to back-office, manufacturing to call centers, and retail to warehousing and distribution – a diverse economic base that makes for a strong economic base.
In fact, Spotsylvania has been ranked by Demographics Daily as the #1 small-business sector in the U.S.. The study analyzed conditions in each of the 1,003 counties and independent cities that have at least 1,000 small businesses. Spotsylvania was ranked first in the nation, with a vitality index of 602, six times the national benchmark of 100.
- Vigorous Growth – Spotsylvania is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation.
- Rising employment: a 70% increase regionally between 1990 and 2002 (vs. 21% statewide)
- Small business growth: an astronomical rise of 182% from 1993 to 1998 (vs. national average of 8.2%)
- A growing labor pool: already over a quarter million strong, with a 6% annual population increase among the highest in the nation
- Long-term population growth that has been increasing for more than three decades and has grown 57.5% in the past ten years alone.
- Quality of Life – Spotsylvania offers its residents a highly desirable quality of life with many business, recreational, educational and cultural opportunities and a rich history.