Luray, Virginia
Downtown Luray
Downtown Luray
Location of Luray within Page County
Location of Luray within Page County
Luray, Virginia is located in Virginia
Luray, Virginia
Luray, Virginia
Luray, Virginia is located in the United States
Luray, Virginia
Luray, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°39′51″N 78°27′16″W / 38.66417°N 78.45444°W / 38.66417; -78.45444
CountryUnited States
StateVirginia
CountyPage
Named forLuray, France
Government
 • MayorJerry Dofflemyer (I)[1]
Area
 • Total4.86 sq mi (12.58 km2)
 • Land4.83 sq mi (12.50 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
Elevation
797–1,010 ft (243 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total4,895
 • Estimate 
(2019)[3]
4,848
 • Density1,004.14/sq mi (387.72/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
22835
Area code540
FIPS code51-47528[4]
GNIS feature ID1498510[5]
Websitewww.townofluray.com

Luray is the county seat of Page County, Virginia, United States,[6] in the Shenandoah Valley in the northern part of the Commonwealth. The population was 4,895 at the 2010 census.[4]

The town was founded by William Staige Marye in 1812, a descendant of a family native to Luray, France.[7] The mayor of the town is Jerry Dofflemyer.[1]

Geography

Luray is located at 38°39′51″N 78°27′16″W / 38.66417°N 78.45444°W / 38.66417; -78.45444 (38.664097, −78.454531).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.3 km2), of which, 4.7 square miles (12.3 km2) of it is land and 0.21% is water.

Demographics

Main Street, Luray, in 1910
Aerial view in 2021
Historical population
CensusPop.Note
1880632
18901,386119.3%
19001,147−17.2%
19101,2186.2%
19201,38113.4%
19301,4595.6%
19401,5113.6%
19502,73180.7%
19603,01410.4%
19703,61219.8%
19803,584−0.8%
19904,58728.0%
20004,8716.2%
20104,8950.5%
2019 (est.)4,848[3]−1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 4,871 people, 2,037 households, and 1,332 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,026.8 people per square mile (396.8/km2). There were 2,191 housing units at an average density of 461.9 per square mile (178.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 92.45% White, 5.52% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.45% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.35% of the population.

There were 2,037 households, out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 28 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 22.1% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 21.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $34,306, and the median income for a family was $39,972. Males had a median income of $30,039 versus $19,841 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,205. About 11.3% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.4% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.

Notable features

This section is in list format but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this section, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (August 2020)

One of the dominant hills in the Town of Luray is the location of the Grand Old Mimslyn Inn, a 1931 classic Southern mansion style hotel. The hotel is a popular site for wedding receptions. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Mimslyn during a short visit in the late 1930s and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner visited in January 2008. The site of the Mimslyn is on the former location of "Aventine Hall," the home of Peter Bouck Borst, a mid-19th century lawyer. Aventine was carefully removed to make way for the construction of the Mimslyn in the 1930s. "Aventine Hall" is now located on South Court Street (this is a private residence) in the Town of Luray, Virginia.

The Luray Singing Tower,[10] officially known as the Belle Brown Northcott Memorial, was erected in 1937 in memory of Colonel Theodore Clay Northcott's wife (Northcott was the owner of the Luray Caverns). At 117 feet (36 m) high the Luray Singing Tower contains a carillon of 47 bells from John Taylor & Co of Loughborough, Leicestershire, Great Britain. The largest bell weighs 7,640 pounds and is six feet in diameter. The smallest weighs a mere 12½ pounds. Recognized as one of the country's major carillons, regularly scheduled recitals are held, free of charge, through the spring, summer and fall. The carillon is situated in a park opposite Luray Caverns.

Education

The Massanutten School, a restored one-room schoolhouse in downtown Luray

Public schools

Page County Public Schools serve Luray, as well as the rest of Page County. Luray Elementary, Luray Middle, and Luray High School serve the entire town and nearby surrounding areas. Luray Middle and High also serve northern Page County, from feeder elementary school, Springfield, located near Rileyville.

Private schools

Mount Carmel Christian Academy is just south of town limits and is a private Christian school.

Higher education

Laurel Ridge Community College (formerly Lord Fairfax Community College) has a campus in Luray which provides students with nearly all necessary classes needed to graduate from the institution. Many students that attend the Luray Center of Laurel Ridge are from Page, southern Shenandoah, and southern Warren Counties.

Neighborhoods

Main Street in Luray
Belle Brown Northcott Memorial – also known as The Luray Singing Tower.

Well over three quarters of the town's population lives in one of the several planned neighborhoods of Luray. Each neighborhood serves as a landmark to the residents of Luray, often citing their neighborhoods as their residence.

Notable people

Civil War

View westward of Luray and New Market Gap from Skyline Drive on the Blue Ridge

Luray is often cited as the location (as is Yager's Mill, on the north side of town, near Furnace Hill) of an engagement between Union and Confederate cavalry on September 24, 1864, though it actually took place approximately three miles north of the town, and even to the north of Yager's Mill.

Following his victory at the Battle of Fisher's Hill Union general Philip Sheridan sent approximately 6,000 troopers under Brigadier General Alfred Torbert into the Luray Valley. Torbert's men engaged approximately 1,200 Confederate cavalry under Brigadier General Williams Wickham. Despite victory in this affair and moving toward New Market Gap following the engagement, Torbert halted his command that night on the Page County side of the Massanutten, thereby missing an opportunity to cut off Confederate General Jubal Early's retreat from Fisher's Hill. Private Philip Baybutt of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry received the Medal of Honor for capturing a Confederate flag during the engagement. This action was part of Sheridan's portion of the Valley Campaigns of 1864.

Aunt Betty's Story: The Narrative of Bethany Veney, A Slave Woman[12] (the book's cover reads merely "Aunt Betty's Story") is the 1889 autobiography of Bethany Veney's life in Luray.

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification system, Luray has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa).

Climate data for Luray 5 E, Virginia (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1941–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(27)
80
(27)
90
(32)
94
(34)
97
(36)
100
(38)
105
(41)
101
(38)
102
(39)
97
(36)
85
(29)
79
(26)
105
(41)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 65.6
(18.7)
68.2
(20.1)
76.7
(24.8)
85.8
(29.9)
89.5
(31.9)
93.0
(33.9)
95.1
(35.1)
93.3
(34.1)
90.6
(32.6)
83.9
(28.8)
76.0
(24.4)
67.6
(19.8)
96.1
(35.6)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 43.3
(6.3)
47.4
(8.6)
54.9
(12.7)
66.5
(19.2)
74.0
(23.3)
81.4
(27.4)
85.4
(29.7)
83.4
(28.6)
77.9
(25.5)
67.4
(19.7)
56.7
(13.7)
47.2
(8.4)
65.5
(18.6)
Daily mean °F (°C) 33.1
(0.6)
36.5
(2.5)
43.2
(6.2)
53.8
(12.1)
62.0
(16.7)
69.7
(20.9)
73.7
(23.2)
72.1
(22.3)
66.1
(18.9)
55.4
(13.0)
45.3
(7.4)
37.4
(3.0)
54.0
(12.2)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 23.0
(−5.0)
25.6
(−3.6)
31.5
(−0.3)
41.0
(5.0)
50.1
(10.1)
57.9
(14.4)
62.0
(16.7)
60.9
(16.1)
54.3
(12.4)
43.4
(6.3)
34.0
(1.1)
27.6
(−2.4)
42.6
(5.9)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 3.6
(−15.8)
7.0
(−13.9)
13.2
(−10.4)
25.9
(−3.4)
34.1
(1.2)
44.7
(7.1)
51.5
(10.8)
50.7
(10.4)
40.7
(4.8)
28.0
(−2.2)
18.7
(−7.4)
11.4
(−11.4)
1.3
(−17.1)
Record low °F (°C) −10
(−23)
−14
(−26)
−2
(−19)
15
(−9)
23
(−5)
31
(−1)
34
(1)
37
(3)
28
(−2)
17
(−8)
6
(−14)
−7
(−22)
−14
(−26)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.85
(72)
2.45
(62)
3.58
(91)
3.51
(89)
4.21
(107)
4.76
(121)
4.12
(105)
3.77
(96)
5.42
(138)
3.17
(81)
3.21
(82)
3.10
(79)
44.15
(1,121)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 6.1
(15)
2.7
(6.9)
6.2
(16)
0.1
(0.25)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.25)
0.4
(1.0)
3.0
(7.6)
18.6
(47)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.5 7.8 11.2 12.0 12.4 11.1 11.1 10.5 9.7 8.7 8.9 9.6 122.5
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 1.7 1.6 1.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.9 5.7
Source: NOAA[13][14]

Transportation

US 211 in Luray

US 211 and US 340 intersect in Luray and are the main roadways into and out of the area. US 211 Bus and US 340 Bus provide local access to downtown Luray.

References

  1. ^ a b "Directory". Town of Luray. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Hagemann, James A. (1988) The heritage of Virginia: The story of place names in the Old Dominion. The Donning Co., 297 p.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ The Luray Singing Tower http://www.virginia.org/site/description.asp?AttrID=10325 Archived January 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  12. ^ Veney, Bethany (1889). The Narrative of Bethany Veney, A Slave Woman. Worcester, Mass. Retrieved August 17, 2020.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  13. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  14. ^ "Station: Lurary 5 E, VA". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved July 3, 2021.