Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Yorktown is a census-designated place located in York County, Virginia. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 203. It is the county seat of York County, one of the 8 original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634.
It is most famous as the site of the surrender of General Cornwallis to General George Washington in 1781, ending the American Revolutionary War. Yorktown also figured prominently in the American Civil War (1861-1865), serving as a major port to supply both northern and southern towns, depending upon who held Yorktown at the time.
Yorktown is located at 37°14'4" North, 76°30'35" West (37.234352, -76.509844)1.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 203 people, 117 households, and 45 families residing in the CDP. The population density is 122.5/km² (314.9/mi²). There are 129 housing units at an average density of 77.8/km² (200.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP is 92.12% White, 5.91% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.00% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 0.00% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 117 households out of which 8.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.5% are married couples living together, 6.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 60.7% are non-families. 53.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 16.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.74 and the average family size is 2.63.
In the CDP the population is spread out with 9.4% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 32.5% from 45 to 64, and 23.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 48 years. For every 100 females there are 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.9 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP is $30,804, and the median income for a family is $74,000. Males have a median income of $26,964 versus $16,923 for females. The per capita income for the CDP is $24,748. 0.0% of the population and 0.0% of families are below the poverty line.
At present, Yorktown has several distinct areas. "Old Yorktown", or the original town is set on the York River, near the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge that spans said river to reach Gloucester Point. "Old Yorktown" is comprised first of a small strip along the beach of the York River, Water Street, which contains several small restaurants, a park, a hotel, a pier, and as of 01.16.05 is at one end undergoing a serious building project that will create a building designed to hold small shops and restaurants. Next, Main Street sits above Water Street on a bluff, around which the architecture is almost exclusively original. The old court house, several small shops, the Nelson house, as well as the Yorktown Monument sit along this road. Around the center of the old town are several small residential districts. Outside of those houses is mostly empty battlefields. Also architecturally of note is Grace Episcopal Church , situated on Church St. near the old courthouse of Yorktown.
U.S. Highway 17 or George Washington Memorial Highway is the primary thoroughfare of Yorktown, and cuts past Old Yorktown by way of the Coleman Bridge. It has grown rapidly, and in 15 years has grown from a small road going through mostly wooded areas to a heavily traveled route on which numerous strip malls and commercial areas are situated. Most of the residential areas of Yorktown branch off of Route 17. Almost all of the recent growth of Yorktown has occurred on or near Route 17, rather than near old Yorktown, which at this point is becoming much more of a historical colonial village, much like Williamsburg, Virginia, under the guidance of the National Park Service.
Geography makes Yorktown a strategic place in control of the rivers of Virginia and access to the Chesapeake Bay.
Yorktown was the base of British General Charles Cornwallis during the 1781 Battle of Yorktown, the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. Nine buildings still survive from this period, as well as many of the earthworks dug by the besieging American and French forces. There is also a memorial to the French war dead of the Battle.
Currently two military installations are located at Yorktown:
- Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, which serves as the point at which United States Navy vessels load and unload ordnance. There have been reports of nuclear weapons stored there.
- Coast Guard Station Yorktown, which serves as a training school for the United States Coast Guard.
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