The present incorporated town of Buchanan in Botetourt County was created in 1882 when two separate communities merged into one; Pattonsburg on the north bank of the James River, and Buchanan (established in 1811) sat on the south bank. The Buchanan Historic District encompasses areas on both sides of the James River. The historic district includes the former 1788 town of Pattonsburg, which has preserved the original street grid as depicted in an 1818 map of the town. During the antebellum period, the well-capitalized James River & Kanawha Canal project linked Buchanan with the port of Richmond, and an influx of new development brought warehouses, hotels, and even docks to the riverside transportation hub. The canal was completed to Buchanan in 1851, and residences, stores. and churches were also constructed around that time. The canal site is a vital piece of this region’s antebellum transportation history, as the James River and Kanawha Canal was the longest canal built in the South. Most buildings and structures within the Buchanan Historic District date from the town’s late-19th and early-20th century periods of development, following the arrival of railroad networks and other industries.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark