Named for Lord Fincastle, son of Virginia’s last royal governor, Lord Dunmore, this Botetourt County seat village of Fincastle was founded in 1772 and was an important outpost for pioneers moving west through the Valley of Virginia. The town’s grid plan was laid out by William Preston, the county surveyor. Many of the earliest buildings have been lost through devastating fires, although several streets retain weatherboarded log dwellings. The gleaming spires of three antebellum churches: St. Mark’s Episcopal (1837); the Methodist church (1840); and the Presbyterian church, an 18th-century structure remodeled as a Greek Revival building in 1849, punctuate the leafy streets. Another important spire is that on the Botetourt County Courthouse, originally built in 1845-48 and reconstructed following a fire in 1971. One of the most picturesque historic towns in western Virginia, the Fincastle Historic District preserves a scenic setting of surrounding mountains amid rolling farmland, including the listed properties of Prospect Hill and Santillane.
Additional documentation to the 1969 National Register nomination was submitted in 2012 to elevate the visibility of the Fincastle Historic District for its association with the Lewis and Clark Expedition and with specific members of the Corps of Discovery. This additional documentation adds Exploration/Settlement to the previously identified areas of significance for Fincastle’s role as a significant outpost and supply center for late-18th century settlers heading west, and for its association with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
[NRHP Accepted: 11/23/2012]
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