Lorton, Virginia

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Lorton, Virginia
Census-designated place (CDP)
Houses in Lorton
Houses in Lorton
Location of Lorton in Fairfax County, Virginia
Location of Lorton in Fairfax County, Virginia
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Country United States
State Virginia
County Fairfax
 • Total 12.5 sq mi (32.3 km2)
 • Land 12.4 sq mi (32.1 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 144 ft (44 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 18,610
 • Density 1,500/sq mi (580/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 22079, 22199
Area code(s) 703, 571
FIPS code 51-47064[1]
GNIS feature ID 1495046[2]

Lorton is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, USA. The population was 18,610 as of the 2010 census.


Lorton is named for a village in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria in England, the hometown of Joseph Plaskett who settled in the area running a general store and opened the Lorton Valley, Virginia Post Office on November 11, 1875.[3]

Before the identity of Lorton, the commercial center was Colchester and the spiritual and historical center of the community around which the leading citizens of the time revolved was Pohick Church.

From the early 20th century until November 2001, Lorton was the site of a District of Columbia correctional facility called the Lorton Reformatory which, among other things, detained approximately 168 women from the women's suffrage movement from the Washington, D.C. area from June to December 1917.

A Nike missile site was built at Lorton in 1955, and remained until 1973.

Lorton also is one of the two stations that serves Amtrak's Auto Train which carries passengers and their vehicles non-stop to Sanford, FL, about 30 minutes away from Orlando, FL. The Lorton and Occoquan Railroad once operated between the Lorton Reformatory and Occoquan, Virginia, with connection to the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad.

Historic landmarks include Gunston Hall, George Mason's home; Pohick Church with George Washington's box; Belvoir, which was William Fairfax's home; the Market; and now the Fort Belvoir Army Corps of Engineers base and Cranford Church. Woodlawn Plantation and Mt. Vernon, the latter being George Washington's home on the Potomac River, lie just to the north.


Lorton is part of the Fairfax Public School System. There are six elementary schools to serve Lorton residents, Gunston Elementary, Lorton Station, Silverbrook, Laurel Hill, and Halley. Hayfield Secondary School used to be the only public high school for Lorton area students, but they may now alternatively attend South County Secondary School.

Fairfax County Public Library operates the Lorton Library in the CDP.[4][5]


Lorton is located at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. (38.704915, -77.233573).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 12.5 square miles (32.3 km²), of which, 12.4 square miles (32.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.72%) is water. Additionally, Lorton can be considered low-lying as compared to most of Fairfax County.

To the north is the Historic Port City of Alexandria, Virginia and several landmarks connected with the life of George Washington including Mount Vernon. Its southern border is the Occoquan River with Historic Old Town Occoquan. To the east a peninsula known as Mason Neck defines Pohick Bay on the north and Belmont Bay on the south where the tidal Occoquan merges with the tidal Potomac as it meanders over to the Chesapeake Bay. The surrounding tidal water makes this a convenient boating area. Significant land on the tip of Mason Neck is state and federal wildlife preserve. Here is a regular population of bald eagles. To the west, South Run Park and Ox Road roughly define the community beyond which an extensive wooded horse farm area separates Lorton. Three highways pass through the Lorton community crossing the Occoquan River. US-1 and I-95 connect Alexandria and Washington, D.C. and Virginia Route 123 or Ox Road connect the Town of Occoquan. The Amtrak Auto Train to and from Florida has Lorton as its northern terminal.


As of the census[1] of 2008 estimate, there were 27,709 people, 9,055 households, and 6,308 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,436.6 people per square mile (554.7/km²). There were 5,892 housing units at an average density of 475.9/sq mi (183.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 48.95% White, 34.66% African American, 0.29% Native American, 7.63% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 3.92% from other races, and 4.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.74% of the population.

There were 5,663 households out of which 42.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. Of all households 23.3% were made up of individuals and 1.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.21. Of the 2,616 people residing outside households (i.e. in group quarters), the vast majority were inmates at Lorton Reformatory, which was located within the CDP's bounds and would close the year following the 2000 census.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 45.2% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 2.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 125.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 133.6 males.


Five Guys, a hamburger chain, has its headquarters in Lorton.[7]

Personal income

The per capita income for the CDP was $32,799 according to the 2008 U.S. census. About 5.0% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.


Considerable development has taken place in Lorton during the last few years, including on the former prison grounds.

Gunston Plaza Shopping Center is no longer the largest shopping center in the vicinity. Gunston plaza includes a post office, Virginia DMV service center, medical clinic, dry cleaner, small office building, Dollar Tree, Food Lion grocery, Rite Aid, Golds Gym, High's, Former Polo Grill, that now is an 24hr. IHOP Breakfast Chain, Vinny's, Dominos Pizza, Papa Johns Pizza, SunTrust Bank, McDonalds, senior citizens' center, Mexican/Salvadoran restaurant, florist, computer store, and other small shops. Fall 2012 right across Lorton Road at U.S. 1 Walgreens pharmacy with an available pank pad, opened up.

Several new businesses have opened in Lorton over the past few years. At the corner of Lorton Road and Lorton Market Street are: Shoppers Food, Sentara Lorton Marketplace Emergency Care Center and Advanced Imaging Center, Tokyo One Japanese Steakhouse, Virginia ABC store, Quiznos, Glory Days, Bank of America, Baskin Robbins, barber, Mexican restaurant, and other shops. Near the Lorton VRE commuter rail station on Lorton Station Boulevard are: Wells Fargo, Subway, Fireside Grill, Pane e Vino, K&C Pharmacy, dry cleaner, Music&Arts, salon, Lasani Kabob, FedEx/Kinkos, and other shops.

Library services in the area have expanded from bookmobile service to a store front library and now to a 10,000-square-foot (929.03 m2) building. The Lorton Heritage Society has developed the Lorton History Garden on the library's south side.

Lorton is also the home to the Noman M. Cole, Jr., Pollution Control Plant. The Noman Cole facility is the largest advanced waste water treatment plant in the Commonwealth of Virginia.



Lorton VRE Station

The Lorton VRE station is located at 8990 Lorton Station Boulevard. It is currently serviced by the VRE Fredericksburg Line which runs between Fredericksburg Station in Fredericksburg, VA and Union Station in Washington DC.

This station is one mile north from the Amtrak Auto Train Lorton station.

Lorton Amtrak Station

The Lorton Amtrak Station is the northern terminal for Amtrak's Auto Train which runs between this station and the Sanford Station in Sanford, Florida.


Fairfax Connector
  • Routes 171 & 307
Vamoose Bus

Vamoose Bus, a privately owned company, provides daily transportation from the Lorton VRE Station parking lot to Penn Station/Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan in New York City.[8]

Notable people

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Placket, Susan. "The History of Lorton, Virginia" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-01-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Library Branches." Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  5. "Lorton CDP, Virginia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  6. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Contact Us". Five Guys. Retrieved on October 1, 2012. "10440 Furnace Road Suite 205 Lorton, VA 22079"
  8. "Vamoose Bus Will Open a Lorton Stop". Lorton Patch. 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2010-12-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links