Town of Culpeper


Chartered in 1749, Culpeper County was named for Lord Thomas Culpeper, Colonial Governor of Virginia, 1680-1683. That year, at the age of 17, George Washington was commissioned to survey and plot the Town and the County of Culpeper. The Town of Culpeper was chartered in 1759 by an Act of the General Assembly as the Town of Fairfax and it was recorded that the Town occupied a "high and pleasant situation." It was named after Lord Culpeper's grandson, Lord Fairfax the sixth. The early 27-acre courthouse village was developed on land included in a 1754 purchase by Robert Coleman. Coleman purchased the land from the eldest son of Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood, who had received the land in a grant from the British Crown.

After years of mounting tension and the outbreak of the Civil War, Culpeper's strategic railroad location made it a significant supply station for Confederate and Union troops. The town witnessed more than one hundred battles and skirmishes during the divisive war. Most houses in town were used for military lodging and hospitals. The Civil War caused great devastation in the Culpeper vicinity with heavy loss of life, firearms, houses, buildings and historical artifacts.

After the War, and years of Reconstruction, the Town of Culpeper grew to become a thriving regional marketing center. Improvements in the railroad and the development of refrigerated cars spurred industrial and economic growth.  Amtrak operates a station in Culpeper, station code CLP. This station is served by the Cardinal, Northeast Regional and Crescent trains daily. Nearly 9,000 train passengers in 2010 used Culpeper station, which connects to New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Boston via the Crescent, Cardinal, and Northeast Regional lines. The town of Culpeper is also serviced by Virginia Regional Transit. Virginia Regional Transit operates three buses in town—one on a northern loop, one on a southern loop, and one for disabled individuals. Additionally, there is accessibility to the Culpeper Regional Airport, which serves the area with a 5,000 foot runway.

The Town of Culpeper is led by an elected nine-member council, which is composed of a Mayor and eight Council Members elected at large to four-year terms. The Mayor and Council appoint a Town Manager, Town Attorney, and Town Clerk.