Rockingham County is the home of 77,391 people (2012 census data). The County includes 851 square miles of land and 2.1 square miles of water. The population density (2012) was 90 people per square mile. The distribution of residences is 41 percent urban and 59 percent rural.
The County Seat is located in the independent city of Harrisonburg, which is not part of the county. Rockingham County includes the incorporated towns of Bridgewater (largest), Broadway, Dayton, Elkton, Grottoes, Mount Crawford, and Timberville. There are also a number of unincorporated communities within the boundaries of Rockingham County.
The first settler in the area now known as Rockingham County arrived in 1727, staked out a claim on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, near the division between Rockingham and Page Counties. He then moved his family down from Lancaster County, PA. He purchased 820 acres, including a large lithia spring near Elkton, and lived there until his death.
Settlement began in earnest in the 1740s and 1750s. Many of these settlers, viewing the Blue Ridge Mountains as an insurmountable physical barrier, came through the valley from Maryland and Pennsylvania. Many followed “the Great Wagon Trail,” also known as the “Valley Pike,” which is now U.S. Route 11.
Rockingham County is the third-largest Virginia County calculated by land area. Large portions of the County are within the Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest. These areas are under development restrictions.
The County covers the entire width of the Shenandoah Valley from the eastern-most Alleghany Mountains to the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is also divided by Massanutten Mountain, which extends from just east of Harrisonburg to a few miles southwest of Front Royal. Massanutten Mountain divides the central Shenandoah valley, with the German River and the North Fork of the Shenandoah River on the western side and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River on the eastern side.
Rail transportation in Rockingham County is provided by Norfolk Southern Railway and by the Shenandoah Valley Railroad (short-line).
Highway transportation is primarily along two Interstate Highways and three Major Primary State Highways:
- Interstate Highways 81 (north-south) and 64 (east-west).
- Primary State Highways are US-11, US-33, and US 340.
We truly hope that you will never experience a crash on one of these highways or a train derailment on a train. But high-speed travel or heavy-traffic roadways can be dangerous, especially when drivers are distracted or speeding. If you are injured in a transportation incident due to the illegal acts or the negligence of another you may be eligible for a settlement to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injury. In the event that a loved one is killed in such a crash, it may be appropriate to file a wrongful death suit. The legal team of Altizer Law, P.C.. have more than 25 years of experience in representing the injured to obtain justice on their behalf, and to fight to win an appropriate settlement under Virginia law.
Three major institutions of higher learning are located within the boundaries of Rockingham County:
- Bridgewater College (Bridgewater)
- Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg)
- James Madison University (Harrisonburg)
Points of Interest
Residents are proud of the County’s history with agriculture. Rockingham County leads the state in poultry production. In fact, two turkey statues proclaim their pride and their stat us as the “Turkey Capital,” located at each end of Route 11.
The Rockingham County Fair is one of the top fairs in the U.S.
A large Mennonite community includes a significant old-order farming presence. These farms support a number of popular farmer’s markets.
A large section of the Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive are within the County boundaries. There is an entry point to Skyline Drive and the Park at Swift Run Gap. The park offers a number of outdoor activities, including walking and hiking trails, scenic overlooks, waterfalls, picnic areas, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
There are a number of caves located throughout the County. These include Grand Caverns, located in Grottoes, and Melrose Caverns.
The area within the George Washington National Forest offers camping, fishing, hunting, river rafting, mountain biking, and seasonal skiing. Massanutten Resort offers two golf courses and an indoor water park.
Two notable Civil War battles occurred at Cross Keys (southeast of Harrisonburg) and Port Republic (on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River north of Grottoes. There are several local museums. The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society in Dayton has a museum that is unique. It includes a 20-foot multimedia wall map that narrates the troop movements and battles of Jackson’s Valley Campaign.
Harrisonburg has been recognized repeatedly as a top venue for biking and mountain biking.
Other notable locations include:
- Flint Rock Farm
- Riverland Dairy
- Golden Valley Dairy
- Green Hills Farm
- Shireland Acres
- Hillview Farm
- Home Place Dairy
- Honey Port Farms
- Union Springs Dairy
- Valley Inn Farm
- War Branch Dairy
- Willow Bend Dairy
- Showalters Orchard and Greenhouse
- Bald Face Mountain Overlook
- Mulberry Hills Farm
- Sandy Bottom Overlook
- Bekdor Hollow Overlook
- Big Run Overlook
- Rig Run Shelter
Local lakes and reservoirs include Mud Pond, Shenandoah Reservoir, Switzer Lake, Harrisonburg Reservoir, Silver Lake, Lower North River Site 82 Lake, and Skidmore Fork Lake. There are also nine streams, rivers and creeks in the County.
Parks include: Singers Glen Historic District, Skidmore Fork Scenic Area, Port Republic Battle Monument, Port Republic Historic District, Riven Rock Picnic Area, Cross Keys Battle Monument, and Skidmore Fork Scenic Area.
Arts and Entertainment
The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University hosts a full range of artists on its stages. There are also a number of band concerts, community theaters, and festivals celebrating the local wine and beer industries. Local vineyards include CrossKeys and Bluestone.
Numerous restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, ranging from local to International.
Rockingham County is also a popular shopping venue. Shoppers can find antiques, collectibles, and other unique gifts and trinkets.
Local farmer’s markets, farms or orchards include:
- Back Home on the Farm
- Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market
- Shenandoah Heritage Market
- The Shops at Dayton Farmer’s Market
- Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse
- Turkey Knob Apple Orchard
- White Oak Lavender Farm
Unfortunately, accidents happen in stores, resorts and other points of interest and outdoor activity. Sometimes these accidents result from the wrongdoing or negligence of another. When this happens, the injured person (or his/her family) has the right to file suit for just compensation for any hurts and harms sustained as a result of the injury. Altizer Law, P.C., has handled personal injury claims for the injured for more than 25 years.
Rockingham County is home to a number of manufacturing companies, and non-manufacturing interests.
Major Employers in Manufacturing include:
- Banta Corporation (Book publishing and printing)
- ComSonics, Inc (Telecommunications equipment)
- Georges, Inc (Poultry Processing)
- Graham Packaging (Plastic Bottles)
- Intrapac, Inc (Aluminum Extruded Products)
- Merck & Company, Inc. (Pharmaceuticals)
- MillerCoors (Malt Beverages)
- Perdue Farms, Inc (Poultry Processing)
- Pilgrim’s Pride Corp (Poultry Processing)
- R. Donnelley & Sons Co. (Book Printing)
- Tenneco Automotive Inc. (Motor Vehicle Parts)
- Valley Blox (Concrete Products)
- WhiteWave Foods (Milk and Soy Products)
Large non-manufacturing employers include:
- Marshalls (Retail distribution)
- Wal-Mart (Retail distribution)
- Rockingham Memorial Hospital (Health Care)
- Massanutten Resort (Recreation/Resort)
- James Madison University (Higher Education).
In the agricultural sector, the average farm size in the County is 122 acres. The average value of agricultural products sold per farm is $218,631, and 84.48 percent of farms in the County are operated by a family or an individual.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
Any workplace can be dangerous if workers or owners are negligent or guilty of wrongdoing. If you have been injured on the job and you are encountering resistance from an insurance company, it may be necessary to pursue a civil personal injury suit to win justice and fair compensation for your injury.
While most medical professionals and facilities are highly competent and caring, mistakes are made and people suffer hurts and harms as a result. If you have been injured due to a medical practitioner’s error or negligence, you can file suit for Medical Malpractice.
When you call Altizer Law, P.C., as your Rockingham County Personal Injury Attorney you will be met with compassion and your case will be pursued with determination and tenacity.