Originally Published April 2016 By Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Officially established in 1772, the Town of Fincastle’s roots run deep into American history and play an unlikely role in the nation’s western expansion.
Possibly the most recognized and celebrated of the many historic buildings today is the Botetourt County Court House. The court house was originally designed by Thomas Jefferson and contains original documents signed by Jefferson and various other well-known Virginia and U.S. politicians.
Throughout the centuries, the American landscape and lifestyle has experienced drastic changes, but for generations of Fincastle residents, their unique culture has remained remarkably unchanged. With populations that remain steady at approximately 350, traditional small town life remains at the forefront of the experience to those calling Fincastle home and they welcome you to join them with these must see Fincastle stops.
Six Stops Not To Miss In Fincastle
1. Heritage Family Market
Looking for fresh baked breads, local honey, and free-range chicken eggs? The Heritage Family Market is your opportunity to enjoy fresh foods prepared daily, as well as a plethora of Amish and Mennonite prepared canned goods and baking ingredients. Of course, traditional Virginia items also line the shelves. You’ll enjoy every minute exploring the shelves inside Fincastle’s Heritage Family Market.
2. Springwood Bike Loop
If it’s outdoor adventure you crave, Fincastle is the ideal starting point for the beautiful and challenging 33.2 mile Springwood Loop bicycling route. The loop begins in Fincastle, passes over the James River and directs you through a number of historic small towns and beautiful countryside before returning you to Main Street Fincastle.
3. The New Year’s Eve Ringing Of The Bells
With little change over the centuries to the landscape and its population, Fincastle has developed a number of traditions that remain strongly embedded in the citizenry’s lifestyle. One of the more unique and well-known traditions carried out by more than 150 years of Fincastle families is the New Year’s Eve ringing of the bells. The Library of Congress describes the experience as ‘a synchronized and solemn requiem to end the old year and a joyous tolling to celebrate the beginning of the New Year.’
4. Historic Fincastle Walking Tour
A popular activity for any Fincastle visitor is walking the historic streets and touring dozens of historically significant structures throughout the small town. If you are interested in stepping back in time and discovering early American history and architecture, Historic Fincastle, Inc. conducts guided tours of Fincastle and offers self-guided tour materials as well.
5. Fincastle Art Studios
Generations of artists have called Fincastle home throughout the centuries and today there are a number of artist’s galleries to enjoy. From whimsical furniture restorations that combine 18th-century techniques and artistic humor inside Jacob Cress’ Fincastle Gallery, to the realistic abstract paintings of Ed Bordett, to the colorfully creative woodturning of Willie Simmons, Fincastle artists cover the gamut of styles and mediums.
6. Attic Productions Theater
Attic Productions is a community theater committed to the presentation of family entertainment that reinforces and upholds community values. In addition to family focused productions such as Mary Poppins being performed on the main stage, Attic Productions is devoted to developing the next generation of actors through its Youth Summer Camp, consisting of workshops covering basic acting techniques, theater etiquette, auditioning tips and more.