"Old Dominion"

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Native Virginians: Languages / High Population Density Map / Regions of the United States

Ocean, Bay, Fall Line, & Rivers / Symbols / Virginia First / Web Links / Test your Knowledge


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"Mother of Presidents"

"Mother of States"

"Birth Place of the Nation"

"Mother of Statesman"

Virginia's name:

Virginia was named for the "virgin queen" of England, Queen Elizabeth I. She reigned England from 1533-1603.

"Old Dominion":

Virginia remained loyal to the English crown during the English Civil War and during Cromwell years (mid 1600's). When King Charles II regained the throne (1660), he gave Virginia the nickname the "Old Dominion."

"Mother of Presidents":

Eight presidents have been born in Virginia. Four of the first five presidents were Virginians. George Washington (1st), Thomas Jefferson (3rd), James Madison (4th), James Monroe (5th), William Henry Harrison (9th), John Tyler(10th), Zachary Taylor (12th), and Woodrow Wilson (28th).

"Mother of States":

From the Virginia territory, all or part of eight states were created: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.


Only four states are officially called a commonwealth: Virginia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. These states designated themselves as a commonwealth in their first constitutions. Any state in the U.S. is, loosely speaking, a commonwealth. A commonwealth is where there is self-government as in a democracy or a republic.

Where in the World is Virginia?

Virginia is in the Western Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere.

The United States is a part of the North American Continent.

Where in the United States is Virginia?

Virginia is centrally located on the east coast.

She is bordered by Maryland to the north, West Virginia and Kentucky to the west, Tennessee and North Carolina to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The Chesapeake Bay separates main land Virginia from the Eastern Shore. Partly cut out of a northern corner of Virginia is Washington, D.C.

Where in Virginia is Rockingham County?

Rockingham County is one of the peaks of western Virginia.

Can you find it?

Courtesy of The General Libraries at The University of Texas at Austin.

What Virginia counties border Rockingham County?

The Five Regions of Virginia

Geography of Virginia

Maps of Virginia

Coastal Plans (Tidewater)
  • Indian language: Algonquian
  • Low flat land
  • Population Density: high
  • People: English settlers primarily - Africans where agriculture required intense labor
  • Industries: Shipyards, tourism., federal military installations, tobacco, peanuts, & fishing
  • Products: Seafood
  • Cities: Hampton, Norfolk, & Portsmouth
  • Historical places: Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Fredericksburg, Mount Vernon, Norfolk Naval Base, Great Dismal Swamp, & Berkeley Plantation
  • Fall Line is the western line of the Tidewater
  • Lowest Point: sea level
  • Rivers: Potomac, Rappahannock, York, & James
  • Chesapeake Bay
  • Eastern Shore: peninsula (water on three sides), main industry fishing, & low population density

  • Indian Language: Siouan
  • Rolling hills, plateau, higher than Tidewater
  • People: English settlers primarily - Africans where agriculture required intense labor
  • Industries: Technology, federal and state government, farming and textiles
  • Products: tobacco products, information technology, corn, lumber and farming
  • Fall Line is the eastern line of the Piedmont
  • Blue Ridge Mountains to the west
  • Cities: Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Danville, & Leesburg
  • Capital: Richmond on the fall line, James River, & high-rise buildings
  • Historical Places: Appomattox, Monticello
  • Rivers: Rappahannock, James, Roanoke, Banister, & Dan

Blue Ridge

  • Mountains : Old, rounded mountains that is part of the Appalachian mountain system
  • Industries: Recreation (Bedroom communities)
  • Products: Apples
  • East side: Piedmont
  • West side: Ridge and Valley (Shenandoah Valley)
  • Histories & Recreation places: Blue Ridge Parkway, Peak of Otter, Smith Mountain Lake, & Wintergreen
  • Highest point: Mount Rogers - 5,129 feet above sea level
  • Not known for big cities
  • Rivers: Source of many rivers, mouth of Roanoke, & Rappahannock

Valley and Ridge
  • Mountains and valleys, caverns, fertile soil
  • People: Germans and Scotch-Irish settled primarily
  • Industries: Farming (Livestock, apple and other fruit orchards, poultry: chicken and turkey farming)
  • Products: Poultry, apples
  • East side: Blue Ridge Mountains
  • West side: Allegheny (Appalachian) Mountains
  • Great Valley of Virginia
  • Shenandoah Valley: Indian name "clear-eyes daughter of the stars"
  • Cities: Winchester, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Lexington, Bristol, & Pulaski
  • Historical places: New Market Battlefield, Natural Bridge, Natural Chimneys, & Luray Caverns
  • Rivers: Shenandoah River , mouth of James

Allegheny (Appalachian) Plateau

  • Indian Language: Iroquoian
  • High plateau
  • Industries: Coal mining
  • Products: Coal
  • Not known for big cities

Northern Virginia

  • Northern Virginia is a densely populated area next to Washington, D.C.
  • Travel is congested with interstate and beltways coming together.
  • The northern area has the Metro (subway system) to aid in the commute.
  • High technology industries and U.S. government jobs are leading employers.
  • The Potomac River is to the east.
  • High rise building architecture is common to support the business and population.
  • The Pentagon (a five sided building) is one of the largest office buildings in the world and houses U.S. government agencies.


The Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, Fall Line, and Rivers

Atlantic Ocean

  • Provided transportation to and from Virginia and the rest of the world

Chesapeake Bay
  • Provided a safe harbor
  • A source of food and transportation

Fall Line
  • Natural border between the Coastal Plains and Piedmont regions
  • Waterfalls prevent travel further up the river
  • Cities on Fall Line: Richmond, Arlington, Fredericksburg, Petersburg

James River
  • Flows into the Chesapeake Bay
  • Richmond and Jamestown are located on the James River

York River
  • Flows into the Chesapeake Bay
  • Yorktown is located on the York River

Potomac River
  • Flows into the Chesapeake Bay
  • Alexandria is located on the Potomac River

Rappahannock River
  • Flows into the Chesapeake Bay
  • Fredericksburg is located on the Rappahannock

Shenandoah River
  • Flows north into the Potomac River
  • Harper's Ferry, Front Royal, Elkton, and Port Republic are a few of the cities along the Shenandoah River
  • Runs through the Shenandoah Valley


Courtesy of: College of William & Mary

Click on the map... Geobopological Survey: www.geobop.com
Read more about our regions at The College of William and Mary's The Geology of Virginia.

Native Virginians: Languages


High Population Density Map

In order of highest urban population areas:

Regions of the United States

US Regions

The United States is divided into seven regions. Virginia is in the Coastal Plain and the Appalachian Mountains regions.


Coastal Plains
Appalachian Mountains
Interior Lowlands
Great Plains
Rocky Mountains
Basin and Ridge
Coastal Range


Virginia Symbols

"Thus always to tyrants"

The Great Seal of the Commonwealth

The Virginia's Constitutional Convention on July 5, 1776 adopted the Great Seal of the Commonwealth. The design team of George Mason, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee and Robert Carter Nicholas created the seal. It is believed that George Wythe was the lead designer using ancient Roman mythology to guide him.
The front or obverse side shows the Roman Goddess Virtus, who stands for the spirit of Virginia. She is dressed as a Amazon with a sheathed sword in one hand, in the other a spear and her right foot on Tyranny. Tyranny has a broken chain in the left hand, a whip in the right hand and his crown has fallen off showing that he has lost completely to Virtus.
On the back side of the seal there are three Roman goddesses (left to right), Aerternitas (Eternity) has a globe and phoenix in her right hand, Libertas (Liberty) in her right hand is holding a wand and Roman brimless cap (pileus) and Ceres (Fruitfulness) has a horn of plenty (cornucopia) in her left hand and wheat in the right hand. Perservando at the top of the seal is Latin for "by Persevering" (determination). The seal is surrounded by a boarder design of Virginia creeper.
In 1930, a committee was formed to prepare an "accurate and faithful description of the great seal of the Commonwealth, as it was intended to be by Mason and Wythe and their associates." This came about because the first seal was never properly made, and changes had occurred. The Art Commission in 1949 established the official colors. The only official model of the great seal hang in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. By the Code of Virginia the keeper of the the great seal is the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The great seal is used on important official papers signed by the governor.


Permission to view the Great Seal of Virginia on this site was granted by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.


Great Seal of Commonwealth-obverse

front or obverse side


Great Seal of Commonwealth-reverse

back or reverse side
Learn about the
Senate of Virginia Seal
Learn about how it is used and the history of the House of Delegates Mace

House of Delegates Mace - Courtesy of the Commonwealth of Virginia Webmaster

State Bird: Cardinal


State Facts

10th State - June 25, 1788

Area: 36th total sq. miles

Population: 12th


State Dog: American Fox Hound

State Flower and Tree:


Cornus florida

State Shell: Oyster

State Insect: Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

State Fossil: Chesapecten jeffersonius

Courtesy of The College of William and Mary

State Fish: Brook Trout

State Folk Dance: Square Dance

State Boat: Chesapeake Bay Deadrise

U.S. Congress:

2 Senators

11 Representatives

State: General Assembly

40 Senators

100 Representatives

State Drink: Milk


State Bat: Virginia Big Eared Bat

State Song Emeritus:

'Carry Me Back to Old Virgininy'

words and music by James A. Bland

State Song:

A contest is under way to select a new state song.

Did you know that Virginia has an official salute to the flag that was adopted by the General Assembly in 1954.

"I salute the flag of Virginia, with reverence

and patriotic devotion to the 'Mother of

States and Statesmen,' which it

represents - the 'Old Dominion,' where

liberty and independence were born."


Virginia First

1607 First Permanent English Colony - Jamestown

First English Doctor

1608 First English Women

1608 First Glass factory

1609 First Wedding

1609 First Import of Sheep

1619 First Legislative Assembly - Jamestown - July 30

1619 Thanksgiving- Berkeley Plantation First Thanksgiving

1619 First Africans- Indentured servants

1619 Iron Works erected - Falling Creek

1620 Lead Mines and Smelted - Falling Creek

1716 First in Theater in the US - Williamsburg

1767 First Naval Shipyard - Norfolk - Nov. 1

1784 Honor System of conducting exams - William and Mary

1785 First Toll Road - Alexandria to Snicker's Gap - Oct.

1789 First President of the U.S. - George Washington

1801 Longest Serving Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court - John Marshall

1831 Reaper- C.H. McCormick

1853 First Horse Show

1910 First Flight From a Ship - Hampton Road - Nov. 14

1910 First Landing on a Ship - Norfolk - Nov. 14

1917 First Radio Telephone Communication Between Ground and Airplane - Langley Field - July 2

1946 First Electronic Blanket - Manufactured - Oct. 9

1946 First Jet Plane Landed on a Ship - Cape Henry

1961 First Solid Propellant Rocket Launched - Wallops Island

1989 First elected African American Governor - L. Douglas Wilder


Web Links:


Kids Commonweath: All About Virginia

50 States - Virginia

US History

The Library of Virginia

Kids Commonwealth

Liberty Kids

VA Governors

DEQ ~ Kids

Virginia ~ Kids

VA Cities

Safe Kids ~ Walk This Way


Geography of Virginia

Water & Soil Conservation

Virginia - Wikipedia

VA Chamber - About Virginia

Virginia History

Test Your Knowledge

Virginia History - 4th grade

Biography of Virginians

Virginia SOLs

Virginia Studies

Virginia History to 1861

Virginia History

Virginia History to 1861 Part 2

Virginia History 1861 to Present

Virginia History -Tabb Elem.

From Arrival to Revolution

SOLHistory Games


Virginia SOLs - Hutchison ES

Virginia Online Jeopardy

Jeopardy Virginia -BTWES

The Great Seal of Virginia - Courtesy of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
House of Delegates Mace - Courtesy of the Commonwealth of Virginia Webmaster
US/VA map, State Flag - Courtesy of: Virginia Information Providers Network
Virginia Counties Map - Courtesy of The General Libraries at The University of Texas at Austin.
Section Map and fossil graphics - Courtesy of The College of William and Mary

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