Highland County, Virginia

Highland County is a county located in the U.S. state — officially, “Commonwealth” — of Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the population was 2,536. Its county seat is Monterey[1]. Known as “Virginia’s Little Switzerland”, [2] Highland County is the least populous county in Virginia. Highland lays claim to being one of the least populated counties and one of the highest average elevations east of the Mississippi River.

via Highland County, Virginia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Highland County, about 180 miles southwest of the Capital Beltway, is the emptiest in Virginia, and one of the emptiest in any state east of the Mississippi. Its 2,400 residents are reachable only by switchback roads over mountain knobs, living in towns like Monterey and McDowell and small settlements like Possum Trot. If Washington were as lightly peopled as Highland is, its population would be smaller than the House of Representatives.

What Highland has is maple trees. And mountain winters that work them like a turkey baster.

On subfreezing nights, the trees draw water up through their roots. On warmer days, the sweetened sap runs down — and out, through taps drilled in the trunk.

via The Pancake-Ready Paradise – washingtonpost.com.


In 1847, 416 square miles of spectacular mountain terrain were formed into Highland County out of portions of Bath and Pendleton counties.

The county received its name from its prevailing high altitude; it has one of the highest mean elevations of any county east of the Mississippi River.

The county has a rich historical tradition. During the Civil War, the Battle of McDowell, a significant battle in Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign, was waged in Highland County. The Town of Monterey was established in 1848. Originally named Highland, the town was renamed in honor of the Mexican town where General Zachary Taylor defeated the Mexican Army during the Spanish-American War.

Highland County was built around the richness of its natural resources. Wool remains one of Highland’s major agricultural commodities. In 1990, the county ranked third in the state in the number of sheep.

The county is typically one of the largest wool-producing counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To learn more about the local government, taxes and finances, education and living conditions of Highland County, read excerpts from the Economic Overview Bath and Highland County.

It is available here in PDF

via Highland County Chamber of Commerce, Monterey VA.

Populated Places

via Highland County, Virginia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Unincorporated communities

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