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History of the Buchanan County Courthouse

The Buchanan County Courthouse has had a very interesting history.

All public business such as deeds, marriage licenses, or any business with the law or court has to be taken to the county seat. Before 1858, people in this area had to travel to the county seats at Lebanon, Castlewood, or other places to do business.

An act to form a new county out of parts of the counties of Tazewell and Russell passed February 14, 1858. This new county was named for the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan.

Soon After Buchanan County was formed in 1858, a county courthouse was built at the mouth of Slate Creek. The town was named Grundy in honor of the Senator, Felix Grundy.

The first courthouse was a wooden structure and seven years after construction, in 1865, the building and all the records were destroyed by fire.

The next courthouse, also constructed of wood, stood for thirty years until it was destroyed by fire in 1885. These fires caused many problems and law-suits for the people of the county because of the loss of the deeds, land titles, and marriage records.

After the fire of 1885, another wooden structure was built, but this one had a stone vault to protect the county records. A committee was appointed to draft plans for a new courthouse. In 1905, work began on a large gray sandstone building.

On December 25, 1915, this stone structure was gutted by fire. This was a very destructive fire, and it destroyed a large part of Grundy as well.

Reconstruction was completed on the courthouse in 1917 the courthouse needed a clock and on February 15, 1917, a clock was purchased from the E. Howard Clock Company for the price of one thousand five hundred seventy-three dollars.

The last construction to the courthouse was in 1980 when the building was enlarged to it's present size.

The Buchanan County Courthouse was named to the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1983. The Virginia Landmarks Register is the State's official list of places worthy of preservation as part of our heritage. Historical structures, such as the Buchanan County Courthouse, are an important part of the history of Virginia.