The Town of Buchanan is dedicating the Buchanan Bicentennial Gazebo this Saturday, September 15th at 4:00 pm on the Buchanan Town Park on Lowe Street. There will be a brief dedication followed with light refreshments.
The Town spent two years fundraising for the Bicentennial Gazebo. Technically the town had a 200 hundredth birthday in 2011. Buchanan is the largest of the three towns located in Botetourt County.
Here is some History from the Buchanan website:
“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. Plats of Buchanan in 1811 and Pattonsburg in 1818 established a grid of streets and enumerated lots that conform in large part with the current tax maps (in the 21st century.)”
The town’s early history was strongly tied to the Great Valley Road and also to James River for transportation and commerce. The Kanawha Canal built in the mid 1800′s proposed to connect the Ohio and James River Valleys but never finished due to mountains and the Civil War. The town bills itself as the “Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley.”
Buchanan is on Virginia’s Civil War Trails as a site of Hunter’s Raid in the Valley of Virginia in 1863. Each April the town stages a re-enactment week end that has proven to be a successful. Other tourism is generated by the James River as a recreational spot, the Buchanan Theatre, the Annual Fireman’ July carnival and 4th of July parade, Mountain Magic in October and Twilight in Buchanan in December. The Town holds Community parades at the Fourth of July and Christmas and for JRHS events like State Championships and Homecoming.
It was a booming town in the early 20th century according to older residents. The revitalization of downtown Buchanan in the later 20th century has been a major part of the image it portrays so effectively of “small town America.”
The Mayor of Buchanan is Larry Hall. The town has numerous churches, small businesses and about 1,300 residents.