Staunton, Virginia is the one place in the United States that is most well-known for being the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States. But more than being the birth place of a president, however, the place is home to fine institutions of learning, including Mary Baldwin College, which was in the past a women’s college. The city is where you were also find the Stuart Hall, one of the more well-known preparatory school in the country. It’s also the home of Virginia’s special learning center for the deaf and blind.
Founded in 1747, it had been re-named in recognition of Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife to William Gooch, a Royal Lieutenant-Governor.
John Lewis and his family first settled in the area in 1732. In 1736, William Beverley, a wealthy merchant and planter from Essex, was granted more than 118,000 acres of land in what would later on become Augusta County. In 1746, surveyor Thomas Lewis organized the very first town plat for Beverley. It was initially known as Beverley’s Mill Place.
Staunton is found in a strategic location, literally at the center of the former British colony. It was considered the regional capital of what was referred to as the Northwest Territory of the British Empire just before the American Revolution.
In 1760, Staunton became one of the leading trade centers within the back country. It coordinated the transportation from grain and tobacco to and from England. Staunton thus performed a vital role within the mid-1700s and contributed to the growth of the financial systems from the American Colonies which, consequently, led to the American Revolution.
It became Virginia’s capital in June 1781, when legislators fled Richmond and Charlottesville to avoid being captured by the British forces.
Staunton has a bloody history that included locking up slaves. For example, in 1815, a slave named Henry ran away from the plantation of John G. Wright near Staunton. Wright later placed an advertisement in the Daily National Intelligencer that sought Henry’s return. This ad is notable in the genre because it conveyed notes that Henry had been to the Indies and that he was a good cook.
President Franklin Pierce visited Staunton in August 1855, where he gave an address where he said he was revolted at the thought of the Union’s dissolution.
In the 19th century, Staunton became a center for transportation, trade, and industrial development following the arrival of Virginia Central Railroad in the year 1854. The railroad system allowed for industrial facilities to flourish. Most of Staunton’s factories made blankets, boots, carriages, clothing, footwear, and wagons. In the summer of July 1902, Staunton grew to become a completely independent city.
Staunton is situated in the Shenandoah Valley between the Allegheny Mountain Ridge and the Appalachian Mountains. It is drained by the Lewis Creek, which flows in to the Shenandoah River, which flows in to the Potomac, and finally towards the Chesapeake Bay.
The weather in Staunton is indicated by hot, damp summer season and mild winters. It has a damp subtropical climate according to climate maps.
Despite its historic past, Staunton has been suffering Virginia’s “most unfortunate population declines”. Local immigration rates and birth rates have been unable to compensate for the death rate and the emigration rate. Its population has been on a steady decline since 2008. The city’s population declined by almost four percent from the years 2000 to 2007. This was based on research made by Charles Spar from Virginia University.
Staunton, however, remains strong, with its residents holding on to the city’s rich history.