HFI Provides 5th Grade Classes with Hand-Colored Botetourt County Maps and Copies of Around Town Books

In 2018 HFI provided elementary school 5th grade classes in Botetourt County with hand-colored Botetourt County maps and copies of HFI‘s Around Town for use in the classroom.  These resources will complement the Social Studies curriculum about Botetourt County history.

Breckinridge Second Graders Tour the Town!

On October 17, second graders from Breckinridge Elementary took a field trip and visited historical sites around Fincastle. Pictured here are some of the students along with Marcia Neighbors (HFI Board member and tour guide) at the James Matten Early Cabin. They were fascinated by the furnishings and period artifacts at the cabin, as well as learning about life long ago. They also toured the Wysong Blacksmith Shop with Susan Martin and the Botetourt Historical Museum with Patty King as guides. Special thanks to the HFI and BCHS volunteers who made history come alive for these youngsters.

50th Anniversary Fincastle Festival, September 22, 2018

Click on the photo below to view a photo gallery of the 50th Anniversary Fincastle Festival, held September 22, 2018.

Photos from December 2017 HFI Members & Friends Open House at Botetourt Golf & Swim Club

A grand time was had by all!

Historic Fincastle Inc., – Historical Document Collection: 1770’s to Present

Over the course of her lifetime Dottie Kessler researched and collected a large volume of information about Fincastle history and culture.   When her family carried out her request that her historic archives be given to Historic Fincastle, Inc. it was with the understanding that HFI preserve, archive, display and distribute her notes, writings and photographs of the town and county in a manner that honors her love for her town and county.  The members of the Archives Committee were determined to be good stewards of this treasure trove of Fincastle information. Now, through the web-based museum software, PastPerfect, researchers may explore these documents and photographs of local historical significance.  Please visit (no www. in the address).



In appreciation…

The image to the left is a plaque for James E. Hickenbotham’s donation of the native stone that was used in the Fincastle gateway sign.HickenbothamPlaque

Botetourt County Historical Society honors HFI with the Emily Gordon Honts Award


The Botetourt County Historical Society (BCHS) honored Historic Fincastle, Inc. with the 2016 Emily Gordon Honts Award at their recent Founder’s Day Dinner in Fincastle.  This year’s dinner celebrated the 50th anniversary of BCHS.  Angela Coon announced that this award would be given to multiple local organizations for their work with BCHS and for work in preservation, archives, tours, genealogy research and other activities on behalf of Fincastle and Botetourt County.   HFI was honored to receive the award and wishes to thank all our members and friends for their support over the years.  Also, congratulations to BCHS for 50 years of  serving the citizens of Botetourt County and all the visitors to the this area.

Installation of Historic Fincastle’s Gateway Sign and New “Virtual Tour” Interactive Online Map


On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Historic Fincastle and the Town of Fincastle unveiled two projects aimed at bringing visitors into this historic town. The Town, located 20 mile north of Roanoke on Route 220, was established in 1770. Incorporated in 1772, today the quiet and quaint village is a virtual museum of American architecture from the late 1770’s through the 21st century. With its historic courthouse, blacksmith shop, Big Spring Park, James Matten Early Cabin, five historic churches and numerous other structures and residences, the Town is alive with history.


Carol Brenner, President of Historic Fincastle, Inc. (HFI) spearheaded the projects aimed at bringing folks in to see what the Town has to offer. The first project was the construction of a new gateway sign. The sign is located on HFI property at the corner of Route 220 and Main Street. The goal of the sign, simply, is to draw people off of busy Route 220 into the historic downtown district and neighborhoods close by. HFI worked closely with the Town of Fincastle and its Tourism Committee, comprised of Alan Brenner, Patty King, Hal Bailey, Kip and Lynn Burton, Town Council member Meredith Shelton and Fincastle Town manager David Tickner, to locate and design the sign. The stone for the sign itself  came from The Fincastle Lodge No. 3708, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows and the Household of Ruth No. 976 (Women’s Auxiliary) — an African American organization  —  known as “The Hall” — located in the Town of Fincastle on  Hancock Street. Deeded on March 3, 1896, the Odd Fellows Hall was used for African American primary grade children and also a cafeteria at the Academy Hill School.  This property is now owned by James Edward Hickenbotham and he generously donated the native stone for the sign. The stone work for the sign was done by local mason Chris Nichols. A plaque will be erected detailing the significance of the stone.


During the construction of the sign, Brenner was able to secure funding from a number of sources. These included Historic Fincastle, Inc., the Town of Fincastle, grant money from the Helen S and Charles G Patterson Charitable Trust Foundation and Botetourt County Recreational Incentives Fund program funding and private donations from local citizens. Without the collaborative effort, the sign likely would not have been completed. The sign was completed on Monday, October 10 with the installation of the sign by Blue Ridge Sign.


The other project unveiled was the creation of a “virtual tour” of the numerous historic structures in town. While HFI has volunteers who occasionally conduct tours through town, many visitors utilize the brochure created by HFI for a self-guided tour. In keeping with the times, the Tourism Committee and members of HFI worked with Botetourt County GIS Specialist Robert Beatty to develop a GPS-based application to be used on a smartphone. The app locates the user and directs him or her to the various structures of significance in town, providing information about each. Visitors can access the virtual tour from the HFI web site at or


Both projects are steps towards a bright and successful future for this historic town.  In addition, HFI plans to launch the Fincastle Historic Document Archives Collection online in 2017.



Cathy Goad Wins Harold Little Etching

HFI would like to thank Harriet Little for her generous donation of a Harold Little signed etching for the 2015 HFI Holiday Home Tour & Marketplace Silent Auction.  The print donated was “Hilltop View of Fincastle”, 1977, which includes Academy Hill (Bolton’s Hill).  Harold generously created and drew the HFI logo and both he and Harriet are great supporters of HFI.   The lucky winning bidder was Cathy Goad of Fincastle, VA. 

 Harold Little Pring-001

Flashback to 1965! Labor Day Weekend Bluegrass Festival

Be sure and visit this web page for a wonderful collection of sights and sounds from the 1965 Labor Day Weekend Bluegrass Festival held at Cantrell’s Horse Farm, Fincastle, VA.  Click on the images below to take a walk down musical memory lane through rare audio and film recordings, as well as photographs of the event!




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