“Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley”
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Town of Buchanan VA
The Town of Buchanan has been an important stopping point for travelers since the 1700’s. Buchanan was a major crossing of transportation networks. The crossings consisted of the great northeast-southwest overland route west of the Blue Ridge Mountains between Pennsylvania and the old Upland south; and the James River, the principal river system of central Virginia that provides and east-west route for transport of goods from Mountain and Valley Region, through the Piedmont, to the Tidewater and Chesapeake Bay.
Transportation and trade routes had a primary influence on Buchanan’s history. Buchanan was settled because of the Town’s location at a major intersection of transportation routes. Commercial and manufacturing enterprises located there businesses there due to the Buchanan’s strategic location for transport of raw materials, goods and products.
The Town of Buchanan 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 out to other markets from the region.
History of Buchanan VA
Frontier colonial leader and land speculator James Patton obtained lands at the Great Valley Road crossing of the James River in the mid-1740’s. His heirs the Buchanans, Boyds and Andersons acquired title to those lands and settled there over the next three decades. James Boyd who married John Buchanan’s daughter Margaret, laid out the Town of Buchanan on the south bank of the James River in 1811.
Water transport on the James River was improved from Buchanan to Tidewater by 1807 and the two towns became centers for processing agricultural products from southwestern Virginia for transport to Richmond and the Chesapeake.
During the Civil War Buchanan served as an important Confederate supply depot for shipment of agricultural produce and iron to Richmond via the James River and Kanawha Canal. After the Civil War commerce and manufacturing declined in Buchanan.
The Railroad came to the towns of Buchanan and Pattonsburg in the early 1880’s, the time when Buchanan incorporated Pattonsburg into its Town limits.