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Waynesboro, Virginia
Downtown Waynesboro showing Main Street looking East
Downtown Waynesboro showing Main Street looking East
Location of Waynesboro, Virginia
Location of Waynesboro, Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
 • Total 15.11 sq mi (39.14 km2)
 • Land 14.97 sq mi (38.77 km2)
 • Water 0.14 sq mi (0.36 km2)
1,286 ft (392 m)
 • Total 22,196
 • Density 1,469.0/sq mi (567.09/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 540
FIPS code 51-83680
GNIS feature ID 1500288
Website Official Website:

Waynesboro (formerly Flack) is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 22,196.

The city is surrounded by Augusta County and is named for General Anthony Wayne. Waynesboro is located in the Shenandoah Valley, near many important historical markers of the Civil War and Shenandoah National Park. A portion of Interstate 64 falls within the city limits of Waynesboro, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Tunnel park, and the Appalachian Trail are fewer than 5 miles (8.0 km) away. Norfolk Southern Railway trackage runs through the east side of the city. The South River, a tributary of the Shenandoah River, flows through the city.

A large former DuPont plant and the associated Benger Laboratory where spandex was invented (under the brand name Lycra), as well as a large textile mill called Wayn-Tex (now owned by Mohawk Industries), were significant employers for residents through much of the 20th century. The DuPont plant was later sold to Koch Industries as part of the subsidiary company Invista. In January of 2019, the plant was again sold to Chinese luxury apparel firm Shandong Ruyi Group and rebranded as The Lycra Company. A General Electric site on the northeast side, which made relays and later computer printers, was also a substantial employer. Waynesboro was home to the corporate headquarters of nTelos (a regional wireless and telecommunications company serving Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio) before that company's merger with Shentel. Tourism, industrial production, and retail remain vital to the Waynesboro economy. The Generals of the Valley Baseball League play there.

Waynesboro is a principal city of the Staunton-Waynesboro Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Augusta County and the independent cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.


Located in the British Colony of Virginia, even after the American Revolution and independence and statehood for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the areas west of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains were known as the frontier. Travel over the mountains in a wagon was nearly impossible except where nature afforded some gap between them. Until after the Civil War, Jarmans Gap, only some six miles northeast of Waynesboro, was the major crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains in that area, making Waynesboro a convenient location for a stop for many who wished to venture west.

The area was commonly referred to as Teasville (or Teesville) early on. There are a couple of theories for the name: first, that it was named after the tavern owned by Jacob Teas and his wife, and second, that it was named after the Tees brothers. It is believed that many stayed the night at the Teas’ tavern, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Chastellux. In a letter the Marquis de Chastellux describes the tavern as one of the worst in America and affirms that Jefferson had stayed there and told him of the place.

Shortly after U.S. Army General Anthony Wayne's important victory at Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 during the Northwest Indian War, the area began to be called Waynesborough. Since many settlers to the area were from Pennsylvania, it is not surprising that they would want their new land named after a hero from their home. Sometime after, it was called Waynesboro.

As early as 1798, the current downtown area was plotted and sold. On January 8, 1801, the town Waynesborough was officially recognized by the state of Virginia, and was incorporated by 1834.

Some of the remaining buildings from this period of its history include the Plumb House (now a museum open for tours seasonally) and the Coiner-Quesenbury House, built in 1806, believed to be the first brick house built in the town, which is still standing on Main Street.

Population growth to the town was slow at first. In 1810, the town had a population of 250. By 1860, that number grew to 457. The town maintained a steady stream of visitors, however, due to its position on Three Notch'd Road, which connected Staunton to the west with Charlottesville and Richmond to the east. It crossed the Blue Ridge through Jarman's Gap, but a railroad tunnel built through Rockfish Gap just before the Civil War began to establish Rockfish Gap as the major crossing through the mountains between Waynesboro and Charlottesville.

On March 2, 1865, Waynesboro was the site of the last battle of the Civil War for the Confederate Lt. General Jubal A. Early. The Battle of Waynesboro lasted only 20 minutes, and was a final blow for the Confederate Army in the Shenandoah Valley. After losing this battle, Early relinquished the town and the valley to General Philip Sheridan. Some of the buildings from this period still show their scars from this battle. During and after the War, casualties from the nearby Valley Campaign and other battles were buried in Ridgeview Cemetery. The Waynesboro Confederate Monument in the center of the cemetery lists and commemorates their names and states.

After the war, the Waynesboro area became the junction of two railroad lines. The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (running east to west) and the Shenandoah Valley Railroad, which soon became the Norfolk and Western Railway (running north to south). The lines met near Waynesboro, giving the town the nickname of the "Iron Cross".

Map of Waynesboro as it appeared in 1891

In 1890, land to the east of Waynesboro was plotted and sold. Within that year, the Town of Basic City was incorporated. A rivalry soon developed between the two towns, each attempting to best the other as the more developed area. One important difference between the two was that Waynesboro had been a "dry" area since before the Civil War. This meant that no alcohol could be sold within the town’s borders. Such was not the case in Basic City, where bars were opened for the benefit of Basic’s citizens (as well as any others).

The two towns voted for and approved of consolidation into a single town to be called Waynesboro-Basic in 1923. Due to the duplicitous actions of some of Waynesboro’s town leaders, namely Guy Branaman, the petition given to the state referred to the new town as merely Waynesboro. This became official in 1924, to the great outrage of the people of Basic City.

Since 1924, Waynesboro has made numerous territorial acquisitions from areas of Augusta County through annexation and officially became an independent city in 1948. In 2005, Waynesboro established a new charter, repealing one in place since 1948.

Swannanoa was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.


Waynesboro is located at 38°4′11″N 78°53′40″W / 38.06972°N 78.89444°W / 38.06972; -78.89444 (38.069874, -78.894517). It is 1,305 feet above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39.4 km2), of which 15.0 square miles (38.8 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (1.0%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 457
1870 536 17.3%
1880 484 −9.7%
1890 646 33.5%
1900 856 32.5%
1910 1,389 62.3%
1920 1,594 14.8%
1930 6,226 290.6%
1940 7,373 18.4%
1950 12,357 67.6%
1960 15,694 27.0%
1970 16,707 6.5%
1980 15,329 −8.2%
1990 18,549 21.0%
2000 19,520 5.2%
2010 21,006 7.6%
2020 22,196 5.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Waynesboro city, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 16,704 16,074 79.52% 72.42%
Black or African American alone (NH) 2,176 2,610 10.36% 11.76%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 50 33 0.24% 0.15%
Asian alone (NH) 154 258 0.73% 1.16%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 5 20 0.02% 0.09%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 29 104 0.14% 0.47%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 551 1,152 2.62% 5.19%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,337 1,945 6.36% 8.76%
Total 21,006 22,196 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 21,006 people, 8,903 households, and 5,589 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,364 people per square mile (527.8/km2). There were 9,717 housing units at an average density of 631 per square mile (244.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.2% White, 10.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.9% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.4% of the population.

There were 8,903 households, of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,077, and the median income for a family was $55,668. Males had a median income of $36,013 versus $30,699 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,372. About 12.9% of families and 18.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.6% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over.


Waynesboro is the home of Fishburne Military School, an all-male military boarding school for grades 8-12. It sits on a hill overlooking the downtown area. Fairfax Hall, established in the 1890s as Brandon Hotel, became a boarding woman's college and then girls boarding high school until closing in mid 1970s. It is currently a retirement home.

The Waynesboro City Public Schools system serves the area. The high school for the area is Waynesboro High School.


2019-06-25 11 56 33 View east along Interstate 64 from the overpass for Lyndhurst Road in Waynesboro, Virginia
I-64 in Waynesboro

The main highway through Waynesboro is Interstate 64, which runs east to west across much of Virginia. It also has a junction with Interstate 81 just to the west of Waynesboro, the main north-south highway across western Virginia. Additional highways serving Waynesboro include U.S. Route 250, U.S. Route 340 and Virginia State Route 254.

The City is served by two freight rail lines, owned by Norfolk Southern and CSX. The intersection of the two lines is known as "The Iron Cross," a historically significant symbol of the City's economic growth.

See also

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