Lorton, Virginia

Coordinates: 38°42′18″N 77°14′1″W / 38.70500°N 77.23361°W / 38.70500; -77.23361
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Lorton, Virginia
Shops along Lorton Station Blvd, 2016
Shops along Lorton Station Blvd, 2016
Location of Lorton in Fairfax County, Virginia
Location of Lorton in Fairfax County, Virginia
Lorton, Virginia is located in Northern Virginia
Lorton, Virginia
Lorton, Virginia
Lorton, Virginia is located in Virginia
Lorton, Virginia
Lorton, Virginia
Lorton, Virginia is located in the United States
Lorton, Virginia
Lorton, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°42′18″N 77°14′1″W / 38.70500°N 77.23361°W / 38.70500; -77.23361
CountryUnited States
CountyFairfax County, Virginia
 • Total5.4 sq mi (13.9 km2)
 • Land5.3 sq mi (13.7 km2)
 • Water0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)
144 ft (44 m)
 • Total20,072
 • Density3,508/sq mi (1,354.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
22079, 22199
Area code(s)703, 571
FIPS code51-47064[1]
GNIS feature ID1495046[2]

Lorton is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The population was 20,072 as of the 2020 census.[3]


Lorton is named for a village in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, in England. Joseph Plaskett of the Cumbrian village settled in southern Fairfax County, running a general store and opening the Lorton Valley Post Office on November 11, 1875.[4]

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, where George Washington and George Mason were at times members of the vestry.

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. For the 2010 census, the area around the former Lorton Reformatory was assigned to the Laurel Hill census-designated place, reducing the area and population of the Lorton CDP.

A Nike missile site was built at Lorton in 1955, and remained until 1973.[5]

Lorton is one of the two stations that serve Amtrak's Auto Train which carries passengers and their vehicles non-stop to Sanford, Florida, in the Orlando area. The Lorton and Occoquan Railroad once operated between the Lorton Reformatory and Occoquan, with connection to the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad.

Historic landmarks in the surrounding area include Gunston Hall, George Mason's home; 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 Mount Vernon, the latter being George Washington's home on the Potomac River, lie farther to the east.


Lorton is located in southern Fairfax County at 38°42′18″N 77°14′1″W / 38.70500°N 77.23361°W / 38.70500; -77.23361 (38.704915, −77.233573).[6] It is bordered to the west by Laurel Hill, to the north by Newington, to the east by Fort Belvoir, to the southeast by Mason Neck, and to the southwest by Woodbridge in Prince William County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the Lorton CDP has a total area of 5.4 square miles (13.9 km2), of which 5.3 square miles (13.7 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 1.39%, is water.[3] The elevation ranges from sea level at the Prince William County line (the Occoquan River) to slightly over 200 feet (61 m) along Furnace Road at the CDP's western edge.

U.S. Route 1 (Richmond Highway) and Interstate 95 pass through Lorton, leading northeast 15 miles (24 km) to Alexandria and 19 miles (31 km) to Washington, D.C., and south 34 miles (55 km) to Fredericksburg. The Amtrak Auto Train to and from Florida has Lorton as its northern terminal.


As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 18,610 people, 6,422 households, and 4,637 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,508.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,354.7/km2). There were 6,726 housing units at an average density of 1,268.1 per square mile (489.6/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 39.0% White, 29.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 18.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 7.3% some other race, and 5.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.7% of the population.[7]

There were 6,422 households, out of which 45.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were headed by married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. Of all households, 22.8% were made up of individuals, and 5.9% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88, and the average family size was 3.39.[7]

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 27.8% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.[7]

For the period 2010 through 2014, the estimated median annual income for a household was $90,820 and the median income for a family was $94,965. Male full-time workers had a median income of $54,534 versus $54,441 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $37,487. About 0.9% of families and 3.2% of the total population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.[8]

Historical population
sources 2010-2020[9]


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 now attend South County High School.

Fairfax County Public Library operates the Lorton Library in the CDP.[10][11]


The Five Guys corporate headquarters

Five Guys, a hamburger chain, has its headquarters in Lorton.[12]

In November 2020, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an interim agreement for a proposal to build one of the largest indoor ski facilities in the world in Lorton.[13][14] The Alpine–X project will be constructed on the closed portion of the Interstate 95 Lorton landfill.

Community services[edit]

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 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.[15]




Emergency services[edit]

Lorton Volunteer Fire Department Company 19 is one of 12 private, non-for-profit fire companies working in partnership with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, to provide emergency and non-emergency services.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Lorton CDP, Virginia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved October 12, 2016.[dead link]
  4. ^ Placket, Susan. "The History of Lorton, Virginia" (PDF). Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  5. ^ "Nike Site W-64".
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (DP-1): Lorton CDP, Virginia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  8. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (DP03): Lorton CDP, Virginia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  9. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  10. ^ "Library Branches." Fairfax County Public Library. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  11. ^ "Lorton CDP, Virginia Archived 2011-12-01 at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.
  12. ^ "Contact Us". Five Guys. Retrieved on October 1, 2012. "10440 Furnace Road Suite 205 Lorton, VA 22079"
  13. ^ Hand, Mark (November 23, 2020). "Fairfax Board Approves Next Phase Of Lorton Ski Slope Project". www.patch.com. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  14. ^ "Proposed indoor ski slope at I-95 landfill would be longest in North America". alpine-x.com. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  15. ^ "Treatment Plant Wins Award - Fairfax County, Virginia". www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
  16. ^ "Vamoose Bus Will Open a Lorton Stop". Lorton Patch. December 22, 2010. Retrieved December 22, 2010.

External links[edit]