Accomack County, Virginia is located on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. It is bordered by Northampton County to the north, Northumberland County to the west, and Tangier Sound to the east. The county seat is Accomac, and with a population of 33,164 as of 2019, it is one of Virginia’s least populous counties. See list of counties in Virginia.
First settled in 1608 by English colonists from Jamestown, Accomack County was officially formed in 1663 as one of the original eight shires of Virginia. The county was named after Accawmacke Indian tribe which lived in the area at that time. Throughout its history, Accomack has been home to a variety of industries such as lumbering, fishing and oystering. In addition to these primary industries, agriculture has always played an important role in Accomack’s economy. Corn and potatoes have been grown here since colonial times and today soybeans are one of the main crops grown here along with wheat and corn.
Accomack County is also known for its unique culture and history which can be seen throughout its many small towns and villages that dot its landscape. Some notable sites include Chincoteague Island which is home to a wildlife refuge; Onancock which was founded in 1680; and Tangier Island which has been inhabited since 1686 but today only has a population of around 450 people.
In addition to its historical significance, Accomack County also offers visitors stunning natural beauty with beaches along the Chesapeake Bay such as Assateague Island National Seashore; numerous rivers such as Occohannock Creek; marshes such as Saxis Wildlife Management Area; forests including Kiptopeke State Park; and wetlands like Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Accomack County also boasts an array of outdoor activities for visitors including hiking trails like those at Assateague State Park; biking trails like those at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge; fishing spots like Old Plantation Creek; bird watching opportunities such as Hog Island Wildlife Management Area; hunting areas like Occohannock Creek WMA; kayaking spots like Seaside Nature Trail near Onancock; water sports on Wallops Island Beach or Chincoteague Channel near Chincoteague Bay; camping grounds such as Kiptopeke State Park or Wallops Island Beach Campground near Chincoteague Bay; and golf courses such as Hog Island Greens near Onancock or Seaside Golf Course on Chincoteague island.
Accomack county’s unique culture is celebrated each year through numerous festivals such as Oyster Festival held each November in Onancock or Chincoteague Pony Penning Day held each July on Assateague Island National Seashore. Other events include Cattail Festival held each June in Saxis, Country Ham Festival held each October in Parksley, Taste Of The Shore held annually at Wallops Flight Facility, and Christmas In The Country held annually at Pungoteaque Village.
Overall, Accomack County offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a region rich with history and culture along with stunning natural beauty all while participating in a variety of outdoor activities. With so much to do, there’s something for everyone here.
History of Accomack County, Virginia
Accomack County, Virginia is located on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay and has a long and rich history. The area was first explored by English settlers in 1608 and quickly became one of the most popular destinations for new immigrants. In 1663, the Accomack County was officially created as part of Virginia Colony.
The county’s early economy was based on farming and fishing, but eventually it became known for its shipbuilding industry. During the American Revolution, Accomack County supplied much of the lumber and naval stores needed to build ships for the Continental Navy. After the war, trade in Accomack increased significantly as merchants began to take advantage of its location on the bay.
In 1872, Accomack County saw a major shift when several railroads began running through it. This improved transportation links with other parts of Virginia and allowed goods to move more easily between places like Baltimore, Richmond and Norfolk. The railroads also helped boost economic activity in Accomack by bringing in new businesses and industries such as canneries and oyster packing plants.
Throughout its history, Accomack has also been home to a number of notable individuals such as Supreme Court Justice Richard Nixon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Styron and former U.S Senator John Warner. In addition to these famous figures, many other notable individuals have lived in or visited Accomack including Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who both visited Chincoteague Island during their lifetimes.
Today, Accomack County is still home to many traditional industries such as fishing, farming, forestry and tourism but has also diversified with new businesses such as technology companies that have been attracted by its unique location near major cities like Washington D.C., Baltimore and Richmond. Despite changes over time, Accomack still remains an important part of Virginia’s history that continues to be celebrated today through events such as Chincoteague’s Pony Penning Day which draws thousands of visitors each year.