Ashland is a town located 15 miles north of Richmond along Interstate-95 in Hanover County, Virginia, United States. Ashland is named after the Lexington, Kentucky estate of Hanover County native and statesman Henry Clay. The area known as The Slashes, that later became Ashland, was developed by the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad as a mineral springs resort in the 1840s. The population was 7,225 as of the 2010 census. It is the only incorporated town in Hanover County chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Ashland is home to Randolph-Macon College (1830).
Developed by the railroad as a mineral springs resort, the origin of the town dates back to the late 1840s. Officially incorporated on February 19, 1858, the town was named “Ashland” after native son Henry Clay’s estate in Kentucky.
With the relocation of Randolph Macon College to Ashland in 1868, the town evolved from a railroad resort to a small college town. The construction of U.S. Route 1, and later I-95, further shaped the town character and development.
The Town of Ashland, when originally incorporated in 1858, consisted of one square mile. Today, the town has grown through several annexations to a size of 7.12 square miles, one of the larger towns in land area in Virginia.
This growth has produced a diverse collection of neighborhoods and businesses with a blend of architectural styles from large Victorian homes to modern office buildings. Therefore, as the town continues to evolve and expand.
Ashland was named "Best Place to Raise your Kids" in Virginia by Bloomberg Business in 2009. Ashland was named one of America's 10 best small towns by the www.movoto.com in 2014.
Ashland is home to one of the oldest churches in Virginia: Slash Church, built in 1729 by Anglican parishioners. The church is still in operation.
Major Payne was filmed at the Ashland Train Station.
In October 2002, Ashland made national news as the site of one of the Beltway sniper attacks. 37-year-old Jeffrey Hopper was shot on October 19 at 8:00 pm in the parking lot of a Ponderosa Steakhouse as he was leaving the restaurant with his wife.