Arlington County History
Arlington County is located directly across the Potomac River to the southwest of Washington, D.C.
Fairfax County ceded the land of current day Arlington County to the Federal Government in 1789 as part of the District of Columbia. It was returned to Virginia July 9, 1846 and was called Alexandria County from 1847 through March 16, 1920.
In 1920 it was given the name of Arlington County, after the Custis-Lee estate.
At a land area of 26 square miles, it is geographically the smallest self-governing county in the United States.
The incorporated town of Potomac was located in Arlington County from 1908-1930. It was annexed by the City of Alexandria in 1930. Although "lost" as a political subdivision, the former town of Potomac is now a historic district of the City of Alexandria, and includes 1,840 acres and 690 buildings. The Town of Potomac was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Arlington County is surrounded by Fairfax County on the north, west and south.
It is adjacent along its southwest and southern borders to the City of Falls Church and the City of Alexandria;
and along the Potomac River north.
Arlington is the location of Arlington National Cemetery, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Pentagon, Fort Myer, the Pentagon Memorial, the USMC War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, and numerous other monuments.
Arlington currently has no existing incorporated towns.
Included in the county are several neighborhoods, or "urban villages" such as
Crystal City, Rosslyn, Ballston, Clarendon, Virginia Square, Westover, and Shirlington.
Confused? Here's a quick timeline:
1789-1801: Under the Jurisdiction of Fairfax County
1801-1846: Jurisdiction of District of Columbia
1846-1920: Alexandria County returned to Virginia
1920 - County name is changed to Arlington. Alexandria County ceases to exist
(but the city of Alexandria continued to exist and data is included on Fairfax county)
1748-1870 City of Alexandria History
1748 - Town of Alexandria is chartered in Fairfax county.
1801 - Jurisdiction passes to the Circuit Court of D.C.
1846 - City of Alexandria reverts back to Virginia.
1863 - Alexandria becomes the capitol of the restored Virginian government and is the capitol until 1865
1870 - Alexandria became a city independent of Alexandria Co.
Make sure and check our Fairfax county site for data that may include Alexandria/Arlington County data.