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The History of Loudoun County The Past
Situated at the very tip of northern Virginia, Loudoun County is rich in both beautiful lands and Civil War history.

In 1757 the western stretch of Fairfax County was split off to form a new county which was bordered by the romantic slopes of the ancient Blue Ridge Mountains to the west, the rushing waters of the Potomac River to the north, sister fox-hunting country (Fauquier County) to the south, and the mother county of Fairfax to the east. Historical records show Loudoun County was originally created as an attempt (or appeasement) to encourage the Scottish peer - John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun and newly appointed Commander in Chief of British forces in American - into mustering his considerable army to aid the colonists fight against the French and Indians. The hopeless attempt failed, due mostly to the fact that (as writer David R. Williams put it) "...according to all historical accounts, Lord Loudoun's remarkable prowess in being one of the most inept, incompetent, arrogant, cowardly, and tyrannical agents of the British crown that American colonials ever suffered under is without peer. Despite being in America for only two short years, from 1756 when he was appointed military commander of all the British troops in North America, to 1758 when he was fired by his own government, he managed to leave quite a trail of debris behind him [all of which was used as kindling to ignite the flames of American Independence]. And because our county was formed in 1757, we got stuck with his name and motto - I byde my time." Despite her infamous namesake and lackluster motto, Loudoun County quickly rose to the forefront during the American Revolution, sending more men to the ranks of General Washington's army than any other county in Virginia. By the early 1800's her wooded landscapes were giving way to large open farms. The foxhunting elite settled in her southwestern stretch between Middleburg and Upperville to chase among her rolling fields, and even today that area is still known as The Hunt County. During the raging years of the Civil War, Loudoun's fields were bathed in the blood of both Union and Confederate soldiers. Both sides fought bitterly back and forth across her lands, the events later immortalized in numerous books by local authors. The 200 year old gravel roads in the western stretch still resonate several times a year with the gunfire and marching of numerous reenactors who deem themselves truly blessed to be walking the same untouched byways as their heroes from yesteryear.

The Present
Today the western portion of Loudoun is a tourist mecca with a rich, unspoiled countryside devoted to mostly agriculture, and Thoroughbred and sport horse farms. The eastern portion of the county has seen phenomenal growth in the high tech and computer industries, and the proximity to Washington, DC on a hour east is a draw for business, capital investment, and new residents - a mixture that has moved Loudoun into first place as one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. Such a diverse mix is both a boon and a bane to citizens and county government alike. Yet far from emulating the long out-dated motto, Loudoun continues to more forward positively into the future - recognizing her unique position as a trend setter and leader in industry, business, agriculture, tourism, and conservation.


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