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Buchanan, Virginia
Trinity Episcopal Church in Buchanan, Virginia (1842)
Trinity Episcopal Church in Buchanan, Virginia (1842)
Location of Buchanan, Virginia
Location of Buchanan, Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County Botetourt
 • Total 2.21 sq mi (5.74 km2)
 • Land 2.17 sq mi (5.62 km2)
 • Water 0.05 sq mi (0.12 km2)
850 ft (259 m)
 • Total 1,196
 • Density 541.2/sq mi (208.36/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 540
FIPS code 51-10744
GNIS feature ID 1492652

Buchanan ( bə-KAN-ən) is a town in Botetourt County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,196 at the 2020 census. It is part of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was the western terminus of the James River and Kanawha Canal when construction on the canal ended.


Buchanan was incorporated in 1832. The town of Pattonsburg was founded on the opposite side of the James River, connected to Buchanan via a bridge. An 1855 gazetteer described Buchanan and Pattonsburg together containing "3 or 4 churches, 1 bank, 1 printing office, and several tobacco factories and mills."

The Buchanan Historic District, Greyledge, Lauderdale, Looney Mill Creek Site, and Wilson Warehouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Buchanan is located at 37°31′31″N 79°41′0″W / 37.52528°N 79.68333°W / 37.52528; -79.68333 (37.525177, -79.683405).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.8 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.6 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 2.09%, is water.

U.S. Route 11 runs through the center of town as Main Street. Interstate 81 runs along the northwest side of the town, with access from Exit 167 to the north and Exit 162 to the south, both with Route 11. State Route 43 crosses the James River with Route 11 in the center of town; Route 43 leads northwest up the James River to U.S. Route 220 at Eagle Rock and southeast to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Peaks of Otter.

The swinging bridge across the James River in Buchanan, Virginia. Constructed in 1938, the piers of the bridge were built in 1851.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 414
1890 802 93.7%
1900 716 −10.7%
1910 792 10.6%
1920 802 1.3%
1930 825 2.9%
1940 868 5.2%
1950 1,300 49.8%
1960 1,349 3.8%
1970 1,326 −1.7%
1980 1,205 −9.1%
1990 1,222 1.4%
2000 1,233 0.9%
2010 1,178 −4.5%
2020 1,196 1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

As of the census of 2020, there were 1,196 people living in the town. The population density was 540 people per square mile (210/km2). There were 596 housing units. The racial makeup of the town was 91.9% White, 3.1% Black, 0.3% American Indian, 0.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.8% Other, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Buchanan has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


The town is served by Botetourt County Public Schools. Public school students residing in Buchanan are zoned to attend Buchanan Elementary School, Central Academy Middle School, and James River High School.

Notable people

  • Mary Johnston, novelist and women's rights activist
  • Matthew Ramsey, songwriter and lead singer of country-rock music group Old Dominion
  • Hughie Thomasson, musician and member of Outlaws and Lynyrd Skynyrd born in Buchanan

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Buchanan (Virginia) para niños

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