The borders of the Northern Neck are the Rappahannock River on the south, the Potomac River on the north., and the Chesapeake Bay to the East. It encompasses four Virginian counties. Lancaster is the most densely populated of these counties, with 11,567 inhabitants. This county has a total area of 231 square miles, of which 42% is water. Noteworthy are the Lancaster cities of White Stone, Irvington, and Kilmarnock. The Northern Neck landscape is stunningly beautiful, with 1100 miles of shoreline containing beaches, deep creeks, wetlands, old steamship wharfs, and small colonial towns.
The region is steeped in history. It was part of a land grant in 1661, and the natural resources were so abundant that many rich plantation owners settled there. Many leaders of the Revolution and the future Republic spring from the Northern Neck aristocracy, as George Washington, James Madison, and James Monroe, as well as the famous Civil War general Robert E. Lee. During the Colonial period, the Northern Neck was referred to as the “Athens of the New World” because of the concentration of learned gentlemen in that area.