By Lynne Bolton
Historic Fincastle Inc.
On September 24, in the Town of Fincastle, Colonial history and modernity will come together! Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., visitors will be treated to sights, sounds, and arts/crafts which in some ways span the centuries. Then, as the Festival comes to a close, people will gather at the historic Kyle House in town to celebrate Fincastle’s birthday with a catered dinner presented by Schaal’s Events and Catering; proceeds to support HFI’s school scholarship program. If interested, go to hisfin.org for details.
To celebrate Fincastle’s beginnings, there will be blacksmithing on display at the Wysong Blacksmith Shop on Main Street, as well as a view of Colonial life at the James Matten Early restored 18th century cabin open for visitors on Murray Street. While at the Early Cabin, visit with the Revolutionary War interpreters and learn about the life of soldiers and the women who cared for them in the 1700s, and don’t miss the opportunity to chat with some Monacan descendants from the original Native Americans who thrived in this region before the Europeans changed everything. For the true history buffs, an early morning visit to the Botetourt County Courthouse will allow you to “meet” Fincastle’s first Clerk of the Court and listen to his stories of the town’s early years. [Note: Because the town’s court documents were never destroyed by fire, all early documents, including the original land transfer from Israel Christian, can be viewed.]
Are you more of a 19th century fan rather than a Colonial scholar? If so, check out the speaking times at the courthouse for talks about the history of Lewis & Clark’s connections with Fincastle both before and after their famous Expedition; the story of General James Breckinridge, his life and time spent as a lawyer in Fincastle; and then plan on listening to an update on the future plans for the entire Courthouse Square renovations.
If you’re so inclined, while around the courthouse, look for one of the HFI workers and ask them to point out the buildings which remain of the old Western and Hayth hotels which thrived in the late 1800s-early 1900s as Fincastle was known as a resort town. Who knew??? Then mosey on down to the old Baptist Church and get the chance to see inside an historic building and to view the heritage quilts on display. (By the way, there is room for more quilts to display, bring ’em on!)
Once you’ve had your mind expanded with our town’s amazing history, celebrate the 21st century and “shop until you drop” by visiting the over 50 booth spaces of vendors spread throughout this year’s Festival. Make sure you visit both of our main music venues – beside the Courthouse and on Murray Street – where musicians including Eric Burton, Mason Creek, and Trinity Tree Travelers will be performing, plus many more. Then, try all the amazing food being offered by the superior food trucks around the town.
In addition, there will be a “Touch a Truck” exhibit, fun at the library, a petting zoo and pony rides, and there will be two car displays, one of Corvettes, and one of assorted classic cars.
There will be a special event at 12 noon as resolutions honoring Fincastle’s 250th anniversary will be read from the Botetourt Board of Supervisors and from Delegate Terry Austin and the Virginia House of Delegates.
So, celebrate Fincastle and its 250 years, and join us at the Kyle House. (Ticket information for the Kyle House dinner can be found at hisfin.org.)