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Waynesboro, Virginia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Waynesboro, Virginia
Downtown Waynesboro showing Main Street looking East
Downtown Waynesboro showing Main Street looking East
Location of Waynesboro, Virginia
Location of Waynesboro, Virginia
Coordinates: 38°4′12″N 78°53′40″W / 38.07000°N 78.89444°W / 38.07000; -78.89444
CountryUnited States
 • Total15.11 sq mi (39.14 km2)
 • Land14.97 sq mi (38.77 km2)
 • Water0.14 sq mi (0.36 km2)
1,286 ft (392 m)
 • Total22,196
 • Density1,500/sq mi (570/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)540
FIPS code51-83680[2]
GNIS feature ID1500288[3]
WebsiteOfficial Website

Waynesboro (formerly Flack[4]) is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 22,196.[5]

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.


1891 map of Waynesboro looking westward with the "Iron Cross" rail junction and Basic City area factories at the bottom and downtown toward the center. An inset image at the top shows the then-luxurious and new Hotel Brunswick, now called Fairfax Hall.  The map caption says the population grew from 1,000 to 2,500 from 1890 to 1891.
1891 map of Waynesboro looking westward with the "Iron Cross" rail junction and Basic City area factories at the bottom and downtown toward the center. An inset image at the top shows the then-luxurious and new Hotel Brunswick, now called Fairfax Hall. The map caption says the population grew from 1,000 to 2,500 from 1890 to 1891.

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 by wagon over the mountains was considered to be 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 sought to travel west.

In the mid 18th century, the present day Waynesboro area was commonly referred to as Teasville (or Teesville). Shortly after U.S. Army General Anthony Wayne's significant victory at Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 during the Northwest Indian War, the area began to be called Waynesborough. Many settlers to the area at the time originated from Pennsylvania. General Wayne's well-known popularity with Pennsylvanians is suspected to have helped contribute to this naming.

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, and by 1860 that number had grown to 457. The town maintained a steady stream of visitors primarily due to its position on Three Notch'd Road, which connected Staunton to the west with Charlottesville and Richmond to the east. This road crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains through Jarman's Gap. Additionally, a railroad tunnel was constructed through Rockfish Gap a short time before the Civil War began. This was 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 twenty minutes, and was a final blow for the Confederate Army in the Shenandoah Valley. Sometime after, General Early relinquished the town and the valley to General Philip Sheridan. Many of the buildings from this period still show damages from the battle. During and after the war, casualties from the nearby Valley Campaign and other battles were buried in Ridgeview Cemetery where the Waynesboro Confederate Monument lists and commemorates their names and states.

After the war, the Waynesboro area became the junction of two important railroad lines: an east-to-west track (operated by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway) and a north-south trunk line (of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad, which soon became the Norfolk and Western Railway). The tracks intersected near Waynesboro, giving the site the nickname of the "Iron Cross." The transportation advantages coming from the Iron Cross fueled great hopes for economic development. In a flurry of land speculation, land lots to the east of Waynesboro, mostly on the east side of South River, were plotted and sold in 1890. Within that year, the area was incorporated as the Town of Basic City. An opera house, a wide boulevard called Commerce Avenue, and the upscale Hotel Brunswick were built there. A friendly rivalry soon developed between the two towns with each attempting to outdo the other in regards to their development. The overall population from May 1, 1890, to May 1 of 1891 rose 150% (from 1,000 people to 2,500). An important difference between the two was that, unlike Basic City, Waynesboro had implemented restrictive laws banning the sale of alcohol. Effects of the Panic of 1896 abruptly dried up the boomtown investment in Basic City; grand plans for more hotels and manufacturing complexes were scuttled. The established blocks of small-size land plots meant for worker housing remain, and today the former Basic City area is largely low-income housing.

Waynesboro steadily prospered and circa 1900-1920 many spacious houses were built on a scenic hill which was gridded into the "Tree Streets" neighborhood, with residential lanes named Oak Avenue, Chestnut Avenue, Poplar Avenue, and the like. In 1923, Waynesboro and Basic City consolidated into a single town to be called Waynesboro-Basic. Later, officials dropped the -Basic and the name became just Waynesboro, with the former Basic City disappearing as one of the "lost towns of Virginia." 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.

Near Waynesboro, a bit up U.S. Route 250 (the route of the old Three Notch'd Road), is the west portal and visitor parking for the historical Blue Ridge Tunnel, which opened to the public as a linear park in 2021. Also nearby is Swannanoa palace, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.[6]


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.[7]


Climate data for WAYNESBORO WTP, VA, 1991-2020 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 44.2
Daily mean °F (°C) 33.8
Average low °F (°C) 23.4
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.16
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.3 7.4 8.5 10.3 11.8 10.6 10.9 10.8 8.5 8.6 7.4 8.6 111.7
Source: NOAA[8]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010[13] 2020[14]

2020 census

Waynesboro city, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[13] Pop 2020[14] % 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[2] 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.


I-64 in Waynesboro
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.


Waynesboro's local newspaper is The News Virginian.

Two movies have filmed scenes in Waynesboro: Toy Soldiers (1991)[15] and Evan Almighty (2007).[16] The city has been mentioned several times on television series The Waltons.


Presidential Elections Results[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 51.4% 5,507 46.3% 4,961 2.3% 249
2016 52.2% 4,801 40.9% 3,764 7.0% 639
2012 54.5% 4,790 43.7% 3,840 1.8% 161
2008 54.4% 4,815 44.1% 3,906 1.6% 139
2004 64.0% 5,092 35.1% 2,792 1.0% 79
2000 57.5% 4,084 38.5% 2,737 4.0% 281
1996 52.7% 3,466 36.5% 2,398 10.8% 712
1992 52.6% 3,758 32.2% 2,302 15.2% 1,089
1988 68.7% 4,672 30.0% 2,038 1.3% 89
1984 73.5% 4,465 26.0% 1,579 0.6% 35
1980 61.8% 3,697 32.2% 1,926 5.9% 355
1976 59.6% 3,528 37.4% 2,209 3.0% 178
1972 77.8% 4,163 19.8% 1,061 2.4% 130
1968 61.4% 3,301 26.9% 1,446 11.7% 631
1964 46.5% 2,107 52.3% 2,369 1.2% 55
1960 69.6% 2,444 29.8% 1,047 0.6% 22
1956 71.0% 2,049 25.9% 748 3.1% 89
1952 69.6% 1,680 30.3% 730 0.1% 3
1948 46.4% 833 46.8% 839 6.8% 122

Like the rest of the Shenandoah Valley, Waynesboro is a traditionally Republican stronghold. Despite improved Democratic performance over time, Waynesboro has remained Republican even since the 2008 presidential election, which marked the beginning of a string of Democratic presidential victories in other Valley independent cities such as Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Winchester.

See also


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Waynesboro Downtown Historic District, Virginia Main Street Communities: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary". January 2, 1930. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  5. ^ "Waynesboro city, Waynesboro city, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "Summary of Monthly Normals 1991-2020". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Waynesboro city, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Waynesboro city, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "Filming locations for Toy Soldiers",
  16. ^ Owens, Michael L. (April 25, 2006). "Welcome to Huntsville". The News Virginian. Archived from the original on February 10, 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2009.
  17. ^ David Leip. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved December 8, 2020.

Further reading

  • Hawke, George, A History of Waynesboro to 1900, Waynesboro Historical Commission, 1997
  • Bowman, Curtis, Waynesboro Days of Yore: Volumes I and II, McClung Companies, Inc, Waynesboro, 1992

External links

This page was last edited on 6 February 2022, at 04:24
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