Lorton, Virginia

Lorton, Virginia

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Lorton, Virginia
settlement_type = CDP
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location of Lorton, Virginia

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Virginia
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Fairfax

government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 32.3
area_land_km2 = 32.1
area_water_km2 = 0.2
area_total_sq_mi = 12.5
area_land_sq_mi = 12.4
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 17786
population_density_km2 = 554.7
population_density_sq_mi = 1436.6

timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 44
elevation_ft = 144
latd = 38 |latm = 42 |lats = 18 |latNS = N
longd = 77 |longm = 14 |longs = 1 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 22079, 22199
area_code = 703
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 51-47064GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1495046GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Lorton is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The population was 17,786 at the 2000 census.


Lorton is named for a town in the Lake District Park, Cumbria in England, the hometown of Joseph Plaskett who settled in the area running a general store and opened the Lorton Valley, Virginia Post Office on November 11, 1875.

Before the identity of Lorton, the commercial center was Colchester and the spiritual and historical center of the community around which the leading citizens of the time revolved was Pohick Church.

From the early 20th century until November 2001, Lorton was the site of a District of Columbia correctional facility called the Lorton Reformatory which, among other things, detained approximately 168 women from the women's suffrage movement from the Washington D.C. area from June to December 1917.

A Nike missile site was built at Lorton in 1955, and remained until 1973.

Lorton is also is one of the two stations that serves Amtrak's Auto Train which carries passengers and their vehicles non-stop to central Florida. The Lorton and Occoquan Railroad once operated between the Lorton Reformatory and Occoquan, Virginia, with connection to the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad.

The actual community of Lorton is included by South Run and Mason Neck from west to east and by Newington and Occoquan.

Historic landmarks include Gunston Hall, George Mason's Home, Pohick Church with George Washington's box, Belvoir which was George Fairfax's home, and now Fort Belvoir Army Corps of Engineer base and Cranford Church. Woodlawn Plantation and Mt. Vernon, George Washington's Home on the Potomac River lie just to the North.


Lorton is part of the Fairfax Public School System. There are four elementary schools to serve Lorton residents, Gunston Elementary, Lorton Station, Silverbrook and Halley. Hayfield Secondary used to be the public high school for Lorton teens, but they now attend South County Secondary (open in 2005). But if the teen lives below I-95, they still attend Hayfield because of the boundary change Fairfax County made before the 2007-2008 school year.


Considerable development has taken place in Lorton during the last few years, including on the former prison grounds. Gunston Plaza Shopping Center is the largest shopping center in the vicinity. The plaza includes a medical clinic, space for several business offices, grocery, restaurants, gymnasium, a senior citizen's center, and a number of shops and the post office. Library services in the area have expanded from bookmobile service to a store front library and now to a 10,000 square foot building. The Lorton Heritage Society has developed the Lorton History Garden on the library's south side.

Lorton is also the home to the Noman M. Cole, Jr., Pollution Control Plant. It is a waste ater treatment plant. The Noman Cole facility is the largest advanced wastewater treatment plant in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Lorton is located at coor dms|38|42|18|N|77|14|1|W|city (38.704915, -77.233573)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 12.5 square miles (32.3 km²), of which, 12.4 square miles (32.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.72%) is water. Additionally, Lorton can be considered low-lying as compared to most of Fairfax County.

To the north is the Historic Port City of Alexandria, Virginia and several landmarks connected with the life of George Washington including Mount Vernon. Its southern border is the Occoquan River with Historic Old Town Occoquan. To the east a peninsula known as Mason Neck defines Pohick Bay on the north and Belmont Bay on the south where the tidal Occoquan merges with the tidal Potomac as it meanders over to the Chesapeake Bay. The surrounding tidal water makes this a convenient boating area. Significant land on the tip of Mason Neck is State and Federal Wildlife preserve. Here is a regular population of Bald Eagles. To the west, South Run Park and Ox Road roughly define the Community beyond which an extensive wooded horse farm area separates Lorton. Three Highways pass through the Lorton Community crossing the Occoquan river. US-1 and I-95 connect Alexandria and Washington, D.C. and Virginia Route 123 or Ox Road connect the Town of Occoquan. The Amtrak Auto-Train from Florida has Lorton as its only Northern Terminal.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 17,786 people, 5,663 households, and 3,884 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,436.6 people per square mile (554.7/km²). There were 5,892 housing units at an average density of 475.9/sq mi (183.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 48.95% White, 34.66% African American, 0.29% Native American, 7.63% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 3.92% from other races, and 4.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.74% of the population.

There were 5,663 households out of which 42.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.21. Of the 2,616 people residing outside households (i.e. in group quarters), the vast majority were inmates at Lorton Reformatory, which was located within the CDP's bounds and would close the year following the 2000 census.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 45.2% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 2.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 125.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 133.6 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $60,150, and the median income for a family was $63,821. Males had a median income of $43,586 versus $36,694 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $25,146. About 5.0% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable People

Sabrina Harman - U.S. Soldier


External links


* [http://fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/laurelhill/history.htm History of Lorton prison and Nike missile site]

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