Augusta County

Augusta County

Augusta County

Sherando Lake


Historically speaking, when it came time for establishing, organizing, and naming Augusta and then Rockingham and Rockbridge out of Augusta, the connections to both frontier and revolutionary fervor were evident. In 1738, two large counties were formed out of Orange County to cover all the lands claimed by England west of the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The two counties were Frederick in the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley and Augusta in the southern or Upper Valley. Frederick, named for Frederick the Prince of Wales, was large, encompassing modern-day Virginia counties south to what is now Shenandoah County and several in present-day West Virginia. Augusta was far larger, technically going to the Pacific Ocean. Still, that was adjusted to the Mississippi River and included all or parts of eight modern states, as well as the present-day city of Pittsburgh. Augusta was named for Princess Augusta, the wife of Frederick and, more importantly, the mother of King George III, known forever as the king who lost America.

Much of the land south and west of present-day Augusta became Botetourt County after 1769 when Botetourt was created. However, until 1778, both Rockingham and Rockbridge were part of Augusta. By 1778, when those two counties were created, the Shenandoah Valley was swept up in a revolutionary fervor from a war with England that was already in its third year (having started in April of 1775). That enthusiasm for the war for independence was reflected in the name Rockingham for the county to the north. Rockingham was named for the Marquis of Rockingham, a British statesman sympathetic to the colonists’ cause. Rockbridge to the south was named for its famous geographic landmark Natural Bridge, but chose to call its county seat Lexington after the first shot in the American Revolution in Lexington, Massachusetts (April 19, 1775).

Local Events

While there are currently no events listed specifically for Augusta County, search the VA250 Statewide Calendar of Events for a comprehensive listing of programs across the state.


Julia Hensley

Skip to content