Civil War Sites and Lewis & Clark

Buchanan's Civil War History Weekend
Main Street
Fincastle, VA 24090
Region Shenandoah Valley
Locality Botetourt
Office of Tourism: (540) 473-1167
Tourism email
Tourism website

Step back in time and roam the streets of Fincastle, in Botetourt County, just as Meriwether Lewis and William Clark did. Established in 1770 and incorporated in 1772, today Fincastle is a virtual museum of American architecture from the late 1770's
through the 21st century. The courthouse square contains the Jeffersonian courthouse, a Victorian-style jail and the old Western Hotel. Three antebellum and two late 19th century churches still serve their congregations and the streets are lined with a variety of architectural styles.

Take a walking tour of this historic town and see numerous buildings and sites including the Botetourt County Courthouse where records date back to 1770 and are available for historical and genealogical research. View the marriage documents reflecting William Clark's marriage to Julia Hancock of Fincastle, a cousin, on January 5, 1808 following the completion of the expedition of the Louisiana Purchase. Learn about the visits of Lewis and Clark to Fincastle and their impact on the town.

Visit the Botetourt County Historic Museum located in what was once the law office of General James Breckinridge who fought in the American Revolutionary War and served as a brigadier-general during the War of 1812.

Just minutes away, enjoy lunch and a spot of tea at the White Oak Tea Tavern. This pub-style tearoom is located in
the historic Cloyd House, circa 1783. While you dine and relax by the fire, take a few moments to read about the fascinating history of the cabin.

After lunch, head north to Buchanan, Botetourt County's largest incorporated town. Take a historic walking tour and explore one of the lesser known sites of the War Between the States in downtown Buchanan. Discover how this tiny riverfront community nestled within the steep slopes of the Blue Ridge and Alleghany Mountains was thrust into the battle of Hunter's Raid and
about the burning of the bridge across the James River to delay Hunter's troops.

Walk across the swinging bridge and then enjoy a relaxing, scenic float on the Upper James River Water Trail either by kayak, canoe or raft. See the canals and locks on sites personally surveyed by George Washington. Fourteen miles of the river through Botetourt County have been designated as a Virginia Scenic River and the remains of locks built by immigrant stonemasons using rock quarried from the nearby mountains can still be seen today.

Take time before departing to enjoy a slice of "small town America". Buchanan's Main Street is home to general stores, specialty shops, furniture, antiques, art galleries, B&B's, Inns, restaurants, banks, a pharmacy and historic theatre.

Botetourt County...Start Exploring!

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Last Updated: 4/8/2013 1:16 PM