Thinly populated Sussex is a rural county with fields of peanuts, soybeans, cotton, wheat, corn, and oats, as well as some cattle and a few hog farms. Forestry, another major local industry, occupies much of the county's swampy land, which is now largely owned by timber companies. In addition to the tiny courthouse community of Sussex, the county has several small towns with the two largest, Waverly and Wakefield, centered on peanut-processing plants. Formed in 1753 from the southern section of Surry, the new county was named for England's Sussex County, which is situated south of England's Surrey County. The swampy waterways that crisscross Virginia's Sussex include the Blackwater River on the northeast county line, Three Creek on the southwest border, and Nottoway River that runs through the county.
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