Smallest County in the USA, Epilogue

On February 27, 2008 · 3 Comments

The whole issue of the “smallest county in the United States” has been covered thoroughly in previous entries, but there is still on more oddity of note: The smallest self-governing county and the smallest independent city share a common border!


Arlington County and the City of Falls Church in Virginia
Arlington’s far western border runs straight along the entirety of Falls Church’s eastern border. This line is part of the original District of Columbia boundary described in the previous post. What was known as the “west cornerstone” when it was surveyed now stands at the northernmost point that the two jurisdictions share. To make that situation even more interesting, Fairfax County also joins at that point, resulting in three geographic entities touching at the stone.

Arlington County and the City of Falls Church in Virginia

In this photograph, Falls Church is on the left side of the line and Arlington is on the right. Fairfax joins them at the stone enclosed within the cast iron fence in the distance. A quick final summary of posts in this series:


Source of map: U.S. Census Tiger Map

On February 27, 2008 · 3 Comments

3 Responses to “Smallest County in the USA, Epilogue”

  1. […] of two wonderful topics covered in previous posts: the County Highpointers Association and the epilogue to my Smallest County Series. While in Northern Virginia and with a little free time on my hands, I decided to see whether I […]

  2. E.C. says:

    Love your site!

    Not sure if you’ve covered this but one question: it looks like the original DC/VA border cuts right through the street grid of Old Town Alexandria; that can’t be true, right? I have never seen any indication that the old port city was divided…

    • It is true. Well, sort of… it does cut through the middle of Alexandria as it appears today. The Alexandria of old was considerably smaller and the intent was to place it within the boundaries of the original District of Columbia. After the 1847 retrocession — when the land returned from DC to Virginia to form Alexandria City and Alexandria County (now Arlington) — the city of Alexandria began to grow. Eventually they annexed land from Fairfax County which was not part of the original 10X10 mile square, which is why you see the original DC line cutting right through the city.

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