WELCOME TO BUCHANAN, VA Gateway To The Shenandoah Valley Winner of Virginia’s Valley Conservation Council “Best Downtown Initiative Award” Nestled within the steep slopes of the Blue Ridge and Alleghany Mountains rests the Town of Buchanan, Virginia. Rich in history and natural beauty, Buchanan is the quintessential example of “small town America.” Whether you are planning an afternoon shopping spree or a weekend getaway, include Buchanan as part of your itinerary. Recognized for its blend of historic buildings, Buchanan’s downtown is home to general stores, specialty shops, furniture, antiques, art galleries, B&B’s, Inns, restaurants, banks, a pharmacy and historic theatre. For sporting enthusiast, downtown Buchanan also has direct access to the James River as well as access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail. In addition to shopping, downtown’s Calendar of Events allows you to enjoy walking tours, parades, monthly concerts, the Buchanan Civil War History Weekend, Antique Auto Cruise Ins, a Fourth of July Carnival with a Parade and Fireworks, as well as Fall’s Mountain Magic In Fall Bluegrass, Antiques & Crafts Festival and a month long Christmas Celebration. Settled at the intersection of the Colonial Era’s “Great Valley Road” and the James River, Buchanan has been an important stopping point for travelers since its founding in 1811. In Colonial days, wagons stopped in Buch-
anan to rest and gather provisions, even George Washington stopped in Buchanan to gather troops. Centered around the last leg of the James River and Kanawha Canal, Buchanan quickly became the center of commerce for the surrounding area. An important center of trade during the Civil War, Buchanan served as a Confederate supply depot for the shipment of agricultural produce and pig iron to Richmond via the James River and Kanawha Canal. During the post Civil War Reconstruction Period, Buchanan became a stopping point for travelers on the newly completed Shenandoah Valley Railroad (Norfolk Southern) and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (CSX). Tourist boarded carriages at the depots traveling to the Town’s many hotels and businesses. With the 1900’s advent of the horseless carriage or auto, downtown’s businesses adapted once more, serving a wider distribution of customers. Travelers stopped to shop, dine and take in a “picture show” at the Theatre. Since the arrival of the I-81, Buchanan has become a popular stopping point for tourists traveling along I-81 north, or, south. Discover firsthand how Buchanan continues to be an attractive destination for travelers. For additional information contact the Buchanan Downtown Revitalization Program at (540) 254 - 1212 or check out our Town’s web-site at www.townofbuchanan.com 3
Shop, Stroll and Dine in Buchanan!
Buchanan’s Historic District contains over 200 structures dating from the 1750’s through the 1950’s. The heart of this district is downtown where people have shopped, strolled and dined for two centuries.
Conveniently located from several of Virginia’s major highways or scenic by-ways, downtown Buchanan is minutes away from major vacation destination points. Whether you are speeding along Interstate 81 as it passes through southwest Virginia, or, enjoying a leisurely excursion along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Buchanan’s historic downtown is a natural stopping point. Buchanan’s Main Street coincides with U.S. Route 11, with the Town centrally located twenty five miles south of Lexington and twenty five miles north of Roanoke. Buchanan is minutes away from attractions such as Natural Bridge, the Peaks of Otter, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail and the D Day Memorial. Buchanan may be reached by traveling U.S. Route 11. For those on the Interstate, Buchanan has convenient access at Exit 167 when traveling from north of the Town, or, Exit 162 when traveling from south of Town. Just fourteen miles from the Peaks of Otter, Main Street Buchanan is minutes away from the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 90.9 (Parkway Drive). On your next trip, discover why tens of thousands of visitors flock to downtown Buchanan each year. To learn about our Calendar of Events and unique sites check our web site at www.townofbuchanan.com
Winner of Virginia’s, Valley Conservation Council “Best Downtown Initiative Award,” Downtown Buchanan is capitalizing on its historic roots. Revitalization efforts have already generated more than 6.5 million dollars in historic preservation activities while breathing life into this once sleepy town. Bring the whole family as you explore Buchanan, where treasures from the past and present await your discovery. Step back in time as you discover a treasure trove of “mom and pop” shops. More than forty businesses fill Buchanan’s historic downtown and each offers a wealth of goods as well as personal services for your everyday needs. Main Street’s quaint atmosphere encourages a leisurely pace. Enjoy brightly colored geraniums cascading from baskets and barrels while petunias and impatiens welcome shoppers. Copper storefronts, gleaming hardwood floors and soaring ceilings dressed in ornate pressed metal tiles delight shoppers while standing as a testimony to earlier days. Merchants fill their shops and galleries with anything you can imagine, antiques, art, furniture and collectibles, Buchanan’s merchants specialize in the hard to find. Downtown Buchanan offers quality shopping in a quaint historic setting. 4
Mountain Magic in Fall (540) 254-MOSS (6677)
Bluegrass, Antiques & Crafts Festival
Saturday, October 2nd Enjoy a full day of Bluegrass Music & Country Dancing, an Antique Auto & Tractor Show, the Farmer’s Market, History Displays, Bateaux on the James River and more than 100 booth spaces displaying Antiques, Crafts & Food. Held amongst the backdrop of fall’s blaze of colors and historic Main Street.
15th Anniversary: 1995–2010 Come Talk “Moss” With Us!
Join us for this distinctly Buchanan celebration.
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Ltd. Edition Prints Framed Moss Prints Custom Framing Moss Gift Items
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Cat’s Meow Customs Yankee Candles Byers’ Carolers Camile Beckman
We’re Here to Serve You! Annual Show Without Moss: Nov. 5, 6, 7, 2010 (Free B&W with $50 and up Moss purchase at show.) Join thousands as they flock to Buchanan’s Main Street on Saturday, October 2nd for Mountain Magic In Fall Bluegrass, Antiques & Crafts Festival!
Visit Apple Barn II Gifts And Collectibles In Troutville... 5
Welcome to Buchanan, Virginia for Services contact: Water, Sewer and Garbage Collection - Buchanan Town Hall 254 - 1212: 19756 Main Street Town Building Permit & Zoning - Buchanan Town Hall 254 - 1212: 19756 Main Street Buchanan Downtown Revitalization Program 254 - 1212; Town Hall 19756 Main Street Dominion Virginia Electric Service 1 - 888 - 667 - 3000
Town Churches Buchanan Baptist Church - 254 - 2253, Main St. Buchanan Presbyterian - 254 - 1390, Main St. Church of God In Christ - 254 - 1801, Main St. Faith Community Fellowship - 815 - 4916, Lowe St. First Baptist Church - 254 - 1083, Main St. Trinity Episcopal Church - 254 - 1574, Main St. Trinity United Methodist Church - 254 - 2475, Main St Valley View Baptist Church - 254 - 2760, Main St.
Verizon Phone Service - 954 - 6888 Mail Services - U.S. Post Office - 254 - 2178: 19698 Main Street Cable Television – Jet Broadband 1 – 877 – 743 - 8538 Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad - 9 - 1- 1 non - emergency number 254 - 1331 Botetourt Resource Center-254 - 1468; 33Lowe St.
Public Schools Buchanan Elementary - Grades Kindergarten through fifth: 254 - 2084; 255 Schoolhouse Road William Clark Middle School - Grades six through eight: 473 - 8333; 367 Poor Farm Road James River High School - Grades nine through twelve: 254 - 1121; 9906 Springwood Road
Buchanan Library - 254 -1117;19795 Main Street
Town of Buchanan Fees - Due by December 5th
U.S. Post Office - 254 - 2178; 19698 Main Street
Personal Property Taxes
$0.32 per $100.00
Real Estate Taxes
$0.19 per $100.00
Tools and Machinery
$0.10 per $100.00
Physicians Carillion Health - 254 - 1239: 18080 Main Street
Business and Professional Operators
Chiropractor Dr. Dorsett - 254 - 2249: 19568 Main Street
License - $25.00 first year Based on gross receipts thereafter Due February 15th.
Pharmacy Ransone’s Drugs - 254 - 2904: 19771 Main Street
Permits & Utility Fees - From Buchanan Town Hall Building Permits Sign Permit Zoning Request Renter’s Water Deposit Water Hook Up Sewer Hook Up
$50.00 No Fee $400.00 $100.00 $2,200.00 $2,500.00
Town Elections Elections are held every two years on the first Tuesday of May. Elected officials are sworn in on July 1st. 6
Botetourt County Offices County Switchboard - 473 - 8220 Treasurer’s Office - 473 - 8254 Commissioner of Revenue - 473 - 8270 Sheriff’s Department - 473 - 8230 Clerk of Circuit Court - 473 - 8274 Museum - 473 - 8394 Recreation Dept. 473 – 8326 Building Department – 473 – 8248 Zoning Office – 473 - 8320
Buchanan Swinging Bridge
ne of Buchanan’s most recognized architectural structures is the Buchanan Swinging Bridge. The Bridge is 366 feet long, 57.5 feet tall and the only one of its type to cross the James River. Portions of the bridge date back to 1851 and have witnesses Hunter’s Civil War Raid, the rerouting of U.S. Route 11, and numerous floods. In 1999 the Swinging Bridge was recognized as a National Register Historic Landmark. The large stone piers rising from the James River were constructed in 1851 as part of the Buchanan Turnpike Company’s Toll Bridge. Toll for every person to pass through this wood covered bridge was five cents with an additional five cents for each horse, mule or oxen and five cents for each wagon. On June 13, 1864 the covered bridge was burned by Confederate General Mc-
Causland in an effort to prevent Federal troops from crossing the James River on their way to Lynchburg. The bridge was rebuilt following the war but washed away in a flood of 1877. At this time, the R&A Railroad Company rebuilt a toll free covered bridge. In 1897 this wood covered bridge was replaced with a steel bridge that remained in use until 1938. In July of 1937 construction of the current concrete James River Bridge was started with an agreement with the Town under Mayor C. W. Blount to maintain pedestrian access to Pattonsburg via the swinging bridge. On July 4, 1938, the new bridges were dedicated by former Governor E. Lee Trinkle as speaker. For more than 150 years, portions of the Buchanan Swinging Bridge have played a critical role in the Town of Buchanan’s history while providing a scenic pedestrian crossing.
The Buchanan Theatre
he Buchanan Theatre looks almost as it did sixty years ago. Once an icon of modernity, the familiar 1950’s neon sign is now a vintage artifact. Each Friday and Saturday evening patrons are greeted by the familiar hum of the red and green neon as the scent of buttered popcorn drifts through the air. Patrons purchase tickets as the glass ticket booth just as they have since 1914. Inside, the concession stand’s streamline curves, ornamental popcorn machine and beautiful pressed metal ceilings transport patrons to early days when theaters dreamed of other lands due to the theatre’s ornamental splendor and moving pictures. Before the days of multiplexes patrons purchased tickets to an experience, not just a movie. Today, the Buchanan Theatre is selling that old time experience. Customers are waited on by name, not a number and greeted as they enter the doors of 8
this historic theatre. The Buchanan Theatre was designated as a National Register Historic Landmark in 1999. Since reopening, the Buchanan Theatre has been honored by City Magazine with their “Best of the City” Awards and was recognized as “Best Place to See a Film 2004.” An outstanding award for its third year in operation, the volunteers strive to make the Buchanan Theatre a local and regional draw. Other awards include the Theatre being one of the venues for the Roanoke Valley Film Festival 2005 & 2006 and winner of the 2008 “Heart of the City Award” given by the Valley Conservation Council and in 2009 voted by readers of the Roanoke Times Botetourt View as Best Place to Hear Local Music, and, Best Place For A First Date. You and your family are invited to become part of this award win-
ning Buchanan effort. To join Standing Room Only or make a donation to this non profit agency check out the website at www.buchanantheatre.com or call (540) 254-1155.
A Brief Buchanan Town History
rom its earliest development, the Town of Buchanan was the principal crossing of the James River via the “Great Valley Road” and other regional transportation networks. As
This reproduction bateau known as the “Governor Henry” is a reminder of the early 1800’s when goods and people traveled between Richmond and Buchanan.
an early transportation-oriented community, the Town included taverns and ordinaries, stables, blacksmith shops, wagon and carriage makers, general merchandise stores to service travelers, teamsters, and producers of goods being sent to external markets from the region. Transportation routes and changes in modes of transportation have had primary influences on Buchanan’s history. People settled in Buchanan because of the Town’s location at a major intersection of transportation routes. Commercial and manufacturing enterprises located there because of 10
the Town’s advantageous location for conform in large part with the current transport of raw materials, goods and tax maps. Water transport on the James products. Changes in means of transRiver was improved from Buchanan to portation shaped the Town’s periods of Tidewater by 1807 and the two towns growth in commerce and manufacturbecame centers for processing agriing. Since the 1740’s the area now cultural products from southwestern encompassed by the Town of Buchanan Virginia for transport to Richmond and has always been distinguished as the the Chesapeake. The Virginia General point of intersection between two prinAssembly in 1819 acted to establish cipal transportation corridors: the great warehouses for inspection of tobacco northeast-southwest overland route west and flour in both towns. of the Blue Ridge Mountains between River traffic increased in the 1830’s Pennsylvania and the old Upland south; with internal improvements that brought and the James River, the principal river a better road system to Buchanan from system of central Virginia that prowestern Virginia. By the mid-1830’s vides and east-west route for transport internal improvements resulted in of goods from Mountain and Valley completion of the Cumberland Gap Region, through the Piedmont, to the Turnpike from the Kentucky border to Tidewater and Chesapeake Bay. central Botetourt County. At that time In the 1740’s the earliest trace of the towns of Pattonsburg and Buchanan the Great Road from Philadelphia to had a combined population of about 350 western Virginia first crossed the James free inhabitants, a covered bridge across River at Looney’s Ferry, whose apthe James, a brick Free Church and sevproximate location is marked with an eral substantial commercial buildings historic highway marker along route 11 that fronted on the river. By the 1840’s west of downtown. Buchanan’s buildings included the John Frontier colonial leader and land Wilson warehouse, store and residence, speculator James Patton obtained lands the Botetourt Hotel and the Presbyterian at the Great Valley Road crossing of and Episcopal churches and the Anchorthe James River in the mid-1740’s. His age Home. heirs the Buchanans, Boyds and AnderBy 1851 the James River and sons acquired title to those lands and Kanawha Canal was completed from settled there over the next three decades. William Anderson laid out the town of Pattonsburg on the north side of the James River in 1788 while James Boyd laid out the Town of Buchanan on the south side of the James across from Pattonsburg in 1811. The Great Valley Road coincided with the main streets of both towns. Plats of Buchanan in 1811 and Pattonsburg in 1818 established a grid of streets and enumerated lots that An 1800’s view of Lowe Street.
Richmond to Buchanan. At this time the two towns experienced a boom in commercial and artisan activity during the decade before the Civil War. By then the two towns had 9 merchants and 25 self-employed artisans: shoemakers, wagon makers, blacksmiths, carpenters, tailors, rope makers, cabinetmakers, saddlers and tinners. In 1850 Buchanan and Pattonsburg had a combined population of 900 inhabitants, including 250 slaves, more inhabitants than Fincastle, Salem or any towns west of the Blue Ridge on drainage of the James and Roanoke Rivers. During the Civil War Buchanan served as an important Confederate supply depot for shipment of agricultural produce and pig iron to Richmond via the James River and Kanawha Canal. Federal General David Hunter marched through Pattonsburg and Buchanan on June 13, 1864 on his ill-fated raid of Lynchburg. After the Civil War commerce and manufacturing declined in Buchanan
and Pattonsburg. By 1880 the population dropped to 630 inhabitants. Numbers of town merchants and artisans fell sharply as canal traffic on the James River from Buchanan to Lynchburg was eclipsed by rail traffic from Salem to Lynchburg. Steel rail transportation came to the towns of Buchanan’s High Street, known today as Main Street used to pass through this early 1800’s covered bridge. Today, the Swinging Bridge rests on the Buchanan and Pattonsburg stone piers of this same bridge. in the early 1880’s, the laborers in the early 1890’s. The Contime when Buchanan incorporated Pattinental Can Company and the Virginia tonsburg into its Town limits. IndusCan Company established operations in trial growth and revival of commerce 1903 employing 38 employees in 1906 followed completion of the Norfolk and in 1910 owned buildings valued and Western and the Chesapeake and at $16,000 on a Norfolk and Western Ohio lines through town because the track. new railroads hauled heavy freight to By 1920 railroad employees far distant markets faster and at a lower outnumbered self-employed artisans. costs. The Buchanan Brass and HardBy World War I industrial manufacturware Company employed between 10 ing had replaced pre-Civil War patterns and 30 machinery operators and other of production by skilled craftsmen.
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Industrial employment in Buchanan increased between 1920 and 1940 with limestone and bone product operations employing over 400 workers, many commuted to town by automobile on
Expansion of the highway system contributed to Buchanan’s decline during the 1970’s through the early 1990’s as construction of shopping centers in the suburbs dramatically increased. Downtown and surrounding residential neighborhoods spiraled into physical and economic decline as people became more mobile, shopping and living farther from the center of Town. In 1995 Buchanan established its Downtown Revitalization Program, based on the principles of economic development within the context of historic preservation. As a result, today Steel Rail arrived in Pattonsburg first with the Chesapeake & Ohio line. Buchanan is benefiting newly improved hard surface roads. On from 6.5 million dollars of private secthe eve of World War II, Buchanan’s tor investment in more than three dozen population had grown to 870 inhabitants historic downtown properties, creating and Land Books for the Town recorded jobs and new businesses and generating 70 more lots with buildings than in tax revenues which support the Town. 1910. These activities are also spilling over Industrial employment continued into the surrounding residential neighto provide work for Buchanan resiborhoods attracting new families to our dents during and after World War II. community and restoring many of the Hafleigh and Co. converted to military Town’s historic homes. production during the war and sold out Wilson Warehouse - Community House to Groendyke Manufacturing Co., an ne of the Buchanan’s best operation that manufactures silicone known pre Civil War structures and rubber products. Quarry production is the Wilson Warehouse. Comincreased its presence in 1965 through today while the textile industry played a pleted in 1839 for John S. Wilson as a combined store, warehouse and private role from the 1950’s through 2000. residence. The building remained in the family for almost a century until it was donated to the Buchanan Town Improvement Society to be preserved as an historic landmark. The Wilson Company was the chief shipper and receiver of goods during “Canal Days” when Buchanan acted as the western terminus of the James River & Kanawha Canal. The structure is constructed in the Greek Revival Style featuring a symmetrical floor plan. Each level features a center hall passage flanked by one large Hafleigh and Company Bone Button Factory located room on the west side and two equal on Main Street is now awaiting a new use. sized rooms on the east side. The top
floor retains the original elevator system used to hoist cargo for storage. While the west side of the structure served as a store and warehouse, the east side served as the Wilson family’s private residence. All of the rooms retain their original woodwork, floors, fireplaces and mantels. Of special note are the original carpenter locks and brass hardware on the doors throughout the house. In the front hall you can see the mechanics for the original doorbell as well as the free hanging staircase winding its way for three stories, all of these details exemplify the craftsmanship of the period. John S. Wilson was born on November 9, 1800 and died on July 9, 1877, his wife Sallie R. was born in November of 1809 and died on July 22, 1869 (they are buried behind Trinity Episcopal Church on Main Street). In the store room above the 1839 piano forte, is a copy of Edward Beyer’s oil painting of the Town. The original painting was owned by the Wilson family and is owned by the Town Improvement Society today. After the flood of 1985, the painting was restored and moved from the Community House to be displayed in the Bank of Botetourt to protect it. The stepback cupboard
Main Street Buchanan today. Two hundred years of history come together to create one of the area’s most attractive places to live & shop.
direction of architect, Stanhope Johnson of Lynchburg, Mr. Huffman presented the building to the Town Improvement Society. On April 30, 1938 the Town Improvement Society and 300 guest gathered at the historic building for its dedication as the “Community House”. Since that time, the Community House has been an important historic landmark and social center of the community.
original James River Company. Joseph Carrington Cabell served as president from 1832 until 1844 and was known as the “Father of the James River and
The James River and Kanawha Canal
uchanan Virginia is the western terminus of the James River & Haney’s Hotel Botetourt, constructed during in the dining room is original to the Kanawha Canal. Considered one Jacob the Canal boom. house and was refurbished by the Town of Virginia’s most remarkable engineerKanawha Canal.” Improvement Society in the mid 1900’s. ing feats ever attempted, the Canal’s By 1835 sufficient funds were The Wilson’s children include Charles beginnings stretch back to 1785 when raised and work resumed on the section Legrand (1850 - 1931) and Anna L. George Washington appeared before the of canal between Richmond and Lynch(1853 - 1932). Charles never married General Assembly to propose building burg. The second leg of construction and lived in the house until his death in a canal from Tidewater up the James as 1931. Anna married Captain Robert E. far as practical, opening travel from the from Lynchburg to Buchanan was started in 1841 and was completed in 1851. Allen, they had three children. Atlantic to the Ohio River. This 196 miles of the James River and The General Assembly Kanawha Canal cost $8,259,187.00. passed an act on January The first packet boat to travel from 14, 1785 approving the Lynchburg to Buchanan was named the project. The James River “John Early.” Carrying a large numCompany formed as a result ber of dignitaries, prominent citizens, and George Washington was members of the “Saunders Band” and made its honorary president and Edmund Randolf its act- cannoneers of the Lynchburg Artillery. The “John Early” left Lynchburg for ing president. The James River Com- Buchanan on November 11, 1851 at 6:30am. Newspapers reported of crowds pany’s Charter provided for gathered along the canal and at every a continuous waterway from lock to cheer the arrival of the packet Looney’s Ferry to the naviboat as it passed from Lynchburg to gable water at Richmond. Buchanan. About 8pm a long blast from The first part of the Canal’s construction from Richmond the packet boat horn echoed through the 1939 Dedication of the Community House when given to the Town darkness and bounced from the banks seven miles westward took Improvement Society by Oscar & Lucy Huffman ten years to complete. Ownership of the Wilson WareAnother twenty years passed and house passed from John S. Wilson to by 1816, difficult navigation from his son, Charles L. Wilson and daughRichmond to Buchanan was poster, Anna L. Allen, then passed to her sible. children Anna L. and Edwin W. Edwin In 1820, the State took over purchased the house outright and turned the James River Company and one room over to the Town Improveoperated it until 1835. In 1832 the ment Society in 1927. In 1936, Oscar legislature passed a bill incorporatCaperton Huffman, president of Coning the James River and Kanawha tinental Can Company purchased the Company to be a joint stock Wilson Warehouse. After extensive company with private subscripBuchanan’s oldest standing commercial building on Main Street is renovations of the House under the the Moelick Building which was completed in 1815. tions and State aid, replacing the The Wilson Warehouse as it appeared in the mid 1800’s
and cliffs above the James, announcing to the residents of Buchanan, the arrival of prosperity and the “John Early.” The crowds along the banks had waited
The “Anchorage” was home to Com. William Whittle during the Civil War.
through the cold day for the “John Early’s” arrival and cheered in celebration as artillery roared a hearty welcome. A joyous occasion for the Town reports indicate that because the hotels had run out of sleeping quarters for all of the visitors, dances and parties were held through the night until dawn to occupy all of the people. When plans were announced for the construction of the James River & Kanawha Canal to Buchanan, it sparked a tremendous boom within the community. John Wilson expanded his business and completed construction of his Wilson Warehouse and Jacob Haney began construction of the Hotel Botetourt. Edward Beyer’s 1855 painting of Buchanan illustrates the many warehouses and businesses which sprang up along
Fine home such as the Valentine or Shank house once located on Main Street were constructed prior to the Civil War 18
Water and High Streets. It is difficult for us to imagine how the physical isolation due to poor modes of transportation affected every day life and opportunities for trade. Cargoes of wheat and tobacco, iron ore and timber that once required the efforts of scores of animals and dozens of wagons and driver to transport, now were pulled along by a few draft animals, a boy to ride one, a captain and a hand or two. What might have once taken weeks to travel now only took three to three and one half days. By the 1860’s revenues from the tolls on the Canal had substantially decreased due to competition from the newly constructed railroads combined with damage to the Canal system sustained during the Civil War and repeated flooding. During the War, the James River and Kanawha Canal had a brief comeback as bateaux’s were in demand due to the destruction of railroad lines by opposing armies. At this time, the Town of Buchanan served as an important Confederate supply depot for shipment of agricultural produce and pig iron to Richmond via the Canal. Buchanan’s farmers provided the Confederate quartermaster with beef, cotton, yarn and corn. Badly battered during the War and almost wrecked by a sever flood in 1877, packet boats and freight boats made their last trips by 1880. In 1877 Buchanan’s Major John W. Johnston, father of author Mary Johnston, became the last president of the James River & Kanawha Canal. On the verge of financial collapse, the James River and Kanawha Canal was expected to go bankrupt, however, Major Johnston is credited with the creativity which kept the company afloat until a deal was closed with the Richmond and Alleghany Railway Company to purchase the assets of the James River and Kanawha Canal Company. On March 5, 1880 the James River and Kanawha Canal Company ended its ninety - five year existence, passing into history making way for the construction
Major John Johnston & Mary Johnston Birthplace
of the Richmond and Alleghany Railway along the tow path of the James River and Kanawha Canal, the easiest grade from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Seaboard. Civil War Comes To Buchanan
uchanan invites you to explore some less familiar sites associated with America’s greatest drama, the Civil War. Several of these Buchanan landmarks are marked by Civil War Trail markers. Each marker narrates the rich story of those who experienced triumph and tragedy during the war and its impact on our rural community. During the Civil War, the Town of Buchanan served as an important Confederate supply depot for shipment of agricultural produce and pig iron to Richmond via the James River and Kanawha Canal. Buchanan Farmers provided the Confederate quartermaster with beef, cotton, yarn and corn. Buchanan also provided troops for the Confederate war effort, most notably for the Botetourt Artillery, a unit which distinguished itself in the defense of Vicksburg. John W. Johnston headed the Botetourt Artillery in January 1863. Buchanan banker William Douthat’s sons Henry and William served as Second Lieutenants in the Botetourt Artillery. William Douthat Died in the defense of Vicksburg in May 1863 and was succeeded by Frances Obenchain, son of merchant Thomas Obenchain. Enlisted men from Buch-
driven Confederate troops under flag of the Botetourt Artillery was said McCausland’s command out of to have been made from the wedding Buchanan. No other official milidress of Cassandra Anderson, owner of tary accounts of the engagement Mount Joy. in Buchanan have been found, For additional information pick up a however, period letters tell how Hunter’s Raid Civil War Trail brochure McCausland burned the covered at the Buchanan Town Hall, or, many of bridge over the James River bethe downtown business locations. fore leaving igniting a fire which destroyed close to thirty buildings. Personal letters This pre-Civil War House is featured in Edward Beyer’s 1855 painting of the Town and still stands today on First Street of the era also tell of the devastation to anan in the Botetourt Artillery included Buchanan caused by the Oliver Haney, son of Hotel Botetourt war including the burning keeper Jacob Haney; Ferdinand Woltz, son of tailor William Woltz; and J. Zim- of Col. John Anderson’s home known as Mount merman, son of saddler John ZimmerJoy, the three day Federal man. occupation of Oak Hill, the Federal General David Hunter marched through Buchanan on June 13, Anchorage, the Presbyterian Manse as well as other 1864 on his ill-fated raid in Lynchburg. The Penn/Paine house circa 1837 as it appeared in the 1800’s. This home The following day Confederate General private homes and offices of Buchanan’s oldest homes and still stands overlooking the banks throughout Town. The battle isof one J.D. Imboden reported that Hunter had the James River in the Pattonsburg neighborhood.
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