Historical Society

  • The Botetourt County Historical Society maintains the Botetourt County History Museum, located behind the Courthouse in Fincastle.
  • The Museum is open from 10 am - 2 pm. Monday through Saturday and from 2 - 4 pm on Sunday.
  • Membership in the Historical Society is welcomed. For information, contact the Historical Society, P.O. Box 468, Fincastle, VA 24090, or call 540-473-8394.

Historic Sites

  • Architectural Survey of Botetourt County, Virginia (December 31, 2008) (PDF)Map of Botetourt from 1770
  • Historic Fincastle, Inc maintains an office in the restored Matten Early Cabin on Murray Street 540-473-3077. Membership is welcomed.
  • Fincastle was founded in 1772 and named after Lord Fincastle, son of Lord Dunmore, Virginia's last royal governor. Antebellum churches, tree-lined streets, a courthouse designed by Thomas Jefferson, restored homes and a quaint village atmosphere makes it a wonderful place to visit. A walking tour is available.
  • More than a dozen Botetourt sites (PDF) are on the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register.

Included are Breckinridge Mill near Fincastle, Callie Furnace near Glen Wilton, Nininger's Mill (Tinker Mill) in Daleville, Phoenix Bridge near Eagle Rock, Prospect Hill near Fincastle, Roaring Run Furnace at Roaring Run, Santillane in Fincastle, Wiloma near Fincastle, Wilson Warehouse in Buchanan and archaeological sites at Bessemer near Eagle Rock and at Looney Mill Creek near Buchanan. Locks, canal abutments, and tunnels from the James River and Kanawha Canal offer a look at the country's early mode of transportation. In Buchanan, the only swinging bridge that crosses the James River is on abutments that date back 150 years. Botetourt County also has stops along the Lewis & Clark Legacy Trail. Historic Greenfield is also home to historic structures and archaeological sites dating back to Colonel William Preston.  

  • Historical markers abound throughout the county, providing a glimpse of the past. One in Fincastle notes that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark departed from this frontier town when they were commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the Louisiana Purchase. Other markers point to frontier forts and sites of Indian raids.
  • The county is also home to Olympian and civil rights activist Norvel Lee. This son of Eagle Rock, VA is recognized through a Historical Marker that will be erected in September of 2022.


Genealogists from around the country find original, primary source documents in the Botetourt County Circuit Courthouse at Phone: 540-473-8274, open Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30. Librarians in the Fincastle branch library also assist patrons with genealogical research Phone: 540-473-8339.

African-American History of Botetourt County

In 2004, through The Botetourt County-Wide League and a grant from The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Edward Wayne Barnett and Judith C. Barnett began an ongoing project of researching and documenting the Botetourt County African-American history. The research so far includes churches, schools, communities, businesses, organizations, family names, and the military (some no longer exist). For information on Botetourt County African-American history or if you have information to contribute, please contact Judith C. Barnett at Phone: 540-473-2082.

The Botetourt County-Wide League meets on the first Saturday of each month (except July) at 2:30 pm in the Family Life Center of the Fincastle United Methodist Church. For County-Wide League information, contact Curtis Brown at Phone: 540-977-1029.