Amherst Virginia
“Seven Oaks”

Town of Amherst VA

The town of Amherst is located in Amherst County at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in. Central Virginia. Amherst is next to Sweet Briar College which provides an increase in population during the school year, giving the town, a small city feeling. Amherst offers fishing on the James River, an arts and culture, many museums, shopping for antiques, golfing, the Blue Ridge Parkway, campgrounds, hotels and vacation cabins, the Appalachian Trail, and The George Washington National Forest.

One of the main landmarks of Amherst is the roundabout located at the intersection of Main Street and U.S. Route 60. “The Circle,” as it is affectionately referred to by Amherst residents, is the oldest traffic circle in the VDOT system.

Another landmark of Amherst is the Amherst County courthouse. An original courthouse was built in 1809 but was torn down in 1872, and the current courthouse was built shortly thereafter. All Amherst County records have been stored in the courthouse since 1761 when Amherst‑Nelson counties were divided from Albemarle County.

History of Amherst VA

Amherst was formed in 1761 and was originally known as “The Oaks” and “Seven Oaks”. The town of Amherst began as a mere stagecoach station. The small village at the time decided to rename itself in honor of French and Indian War hero Sir Jeffery Amherst in 1807. Major-General Amherst had been the hero of the Battle of Ticonderoga and later served as the governor of the Colony of Virginia from 1763 to 1768.

The major crop raised in Amherst County was tobacco followed by apple orchards, timber, and mining.

Back to Virginia Mountains Cities & Towns Travel Guide