Two hundred years ago, the Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia created the County of Alleghany. The County was formulated from the surrounding counties of Bath, Botetourt, and Monroe.
Natural increases in population and settlements west of the Shenandoah River, forced the creation of many new jurisdictions between 1700 and 1770. Ease of access to the courts to render justice for all was a driving factor in determining the creation of new counties in Virginia. This included the formation of Botetourt County in 1770. Botetourt’s boundaries extended as far west with no limits. In 1772 the county of Fincastle was created and Virginia was extended westward to the Ohio River and what is now Kentucky.
Boundaries for the County of Alleghany were described in the 1822 charter as “ beginning at the top of the middle of Potts’ Mountain, where the road leading from Fincastle to the Sweet Springs crosses the same; thence with said road to the top of Peter’s mountain; thence a straight line to the Greenbrier County line, on the top of Alleghany mountain, so as to pass between the Sweet and Red springs; thence with the top of the Alleghany, or Greenbrier line, to a certain point, so that a straight line drawn thence, to include in the new county Captain Henry Massie’s Plantation, in the Falling Spring Valley, may also include Archibald Morriss’s plantation on Jackson’s river, in said new county; thence a straight line from said Massie’s across the Cowpasture river, immediately below William Griffin’s, on said river, to the Rockbridge county line; thence with said line to a point in the Rockbridge and Botetourt line, that a line drawn thence, will pass at or near the junction of Jackson’s and Cowpasture rivers, to the nearest part of the Rich Patch mountain; and this line to be so run as to leave the house and yard of Captain John Jordan, in the county of Botetourt; thence with the highest points of the said Rich Patch mountain, next Craig’s creek, so as to include the inhabitants of the Rich Patch in said new county, to a point at which it unites with Potts’ mountain; thence with the top of said mountain to the beginning, shall form one distinct and new county; and be called and known by the name of Alleghany county.”
The act further named the first “Commissioners” who would ascertain the proper location for holding court and erect a public building. The Commissioners were John Jordan, Joseph D Keyser, Henry Massie, Philip Rogers, and Robert Kinkaid. The Commissioners were to be paid three dollars a day for their duties.
The attached chart shows the chain of county formations that created the County of Alleghany. The 1825 Boye Map is the first map of the County showing it’s boundaries. The only known original map hangs in the County Administrator’s Office at the Governmental Complex in Low Moor.
The Alleghany County Bicentennial Committee is planning a celebration to be held September 17, 2022 on the Campus of Mountain Gateway Community College (formerly Dabney S. Lancaster Community College). Details of the celebration will be released soon.