Staunton (pronounced STANN'-tun) was named for Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of William Gooch, colonial governor of Virginia in the 1730s.
In 1732, Scots-Irish settler John Lewis and his family became the first Europeans to settle in the area.
The city was originally named “Augusta Courthouse” and was the westernmost courthouse in British North America, prior to the American Revolution.
The Virginia State Legislature met in Staunton for 17 days in 1781, after being forced by British troops to flee Richmond. Participants included Patrick Henry and Daniel Boone.
The arrival of the Virginia Central Railroad in 1854 made Staunton a transportation hub for all of western Virginia.
President Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton in 1856; his birthplace became the official Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum in 2000.
Staunton is home to Mary Baldwin University, a women’s college that features the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership and the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted.
Staunton was founded in 1747, incorporated in 1871, and became an independent city on July 10, 1902.
In 1908, Staunton was the first city in the world to adopt a city manager form of government, an outgrowth of the Progressive movement.
Staunton is often considered as a location for period films. Movies filmed on location in Staunton include Gods and Generals, Hearts in Atlantis, and Evan Almighty.
Today, the city’s population is approximately 24,000.