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Eastern Shore of Virginia

Eastern Shore of Virginia

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The Eastern Shore of Virginia consists of two counties (Accomack
Accomack County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 33,164 people, 15,299 households, and 10,388 families residing in the county. The population density was 84 people per square mile . There were 19,550 housing units at an average density of 43 per square mile...

 and Northampton
Northampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,389 people, 5,321 households, and 3,543 families residing in the county. The population density was 63 people per square mile . There were 6,547 housing units at an average density of 32 per square mile...

) on the Atlantic coast of the Commonwealth
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The region is part of the Delmarva Peninsula
Delmarva Peninsula
The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia...

 and is separated from the rest of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

. Its population was 45,553 as of 2010. Terrain is very flat throughout, and dominated by cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

, vegetable and truck farming, and large scale chicken farms. There are many barrier islands. At the northern end of the Atlantic side are the beach community of Chincoteague
Chincoteague, Virginia
Chincoteague is a town on Chincoteague Island in Accomack County, Virginia, United States. The population was 4,317 at the 2000 census. The town is perhaps best known for the Chincoteague Ponies, although these are not actually on the island of Chincoteague but on nearby Assateague Island...

, famous for its wild ponies
Chincoteague Pony
The Chincoteague Pony, also known as the Assateague horse, is a breed of pony that developed and lives in a feral condition on Assateague Island in the United States states of Virginia and Maryland. The breed was made famous by the Misty of Chincoteague series written by Marguerite Henry starting...

; and Wallops Flight Facility
Wallops Flight Facility
Wallops Flight Facility , located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, is operated by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, primarily as a rocket launch site to support science and exploration missions for NASA and other U.S. government agencies...

, a NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 space launch base. Tangier Island, off the western shore in Chesapeake Bay, is also a day tourist destination.

The Eastern Shore, geographically removed from the rest of Virginia, has had a unique history of settlement and development that can be charted to agriculture, fishing, tourism and the Pennsylvania Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, founded in 1846. Commonly referred to as the "Pennsy", the PRR was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....

. William G. Thomas describes the Eastern Shore during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as "a highly complex and interdependent landscape". He continues: "It was a liminal place, a zone of interpenetration, where the settlement patterns, speech, demography, and political outcomes defined its place in the South but its engagement with technology and rapid transformation of the landscape betrayed other allegiances, motives, forces, and effects."

The 23 miles (37 km) long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a long fixed link crossing the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and connecting the Delmarva Peninsula's Eastern Shore of Virginia with Virginia Beach and the metropolitan area of Hampton Roads, Virginia...

, which is part of U.S. Route 13
U.S. Route 13 in Virginia
U.S. Route 13 is a north–south U.S. highway established in 1926 that runs for from Interstate 95 just north of Fayetteville, North Carolina to the northeastern suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Morrisville. In the U.S...

, spans the mouth of the Bay and connects the Eastern Shore to metropolitan Norfolk-Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay...

and the rest of the state.

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