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    Welcome to the Queen City!

    The dynamic City of Staunton is located at the crossroads of Interstates 81 and 64 in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. With a population of more than 24,000, Staunton boasts a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere signature of a small town, but also offers one-of-a-kind cultural amenities that you're more likely to find in a larger, metropolitan area. With a relatively low cost of living and close proximity to the Virginia cities of Waynesboro (15 mi), Harrisonburg (29 mi), Charlottesville (40 mi), Richmond (108 mi) and even Washington, D.C. (157 mi), Staunton is the ideal place to visit or call home.  


    First settled in 1732, Staunton was named for Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of colonial governor Sir William Gooch and was the capital of the Northwest Territory from 1738 to 1770. The Virginia General Assembly established Staunton as a town in 1761 and the town was formally incorporated in 1801.


    When the Virginia Central Railroad arrived in 1854, Staunton became a transportation hub, and during the Civil War, Staunton was the site of a supply base.
    Staunton is the birthplace of 28th president Woodrow Wilson: Wilson was born on December 28, 1856 at 20 N. Coalter Street, the current site of Wilson’s Presidential Library and Museum.
    Staunton is also credited with creating the city manager form of government, which was formally adopted in 1908. According to the International City Management Association (ICMA), Staunton’s city manager style led to the council-manager form of government that is still used by thousands of American cities.


    The Staunton Downtown Development Association—a nationally accredited Main Street program—works in tandem with the City to enhance downtown Staunton’s economic environment as a center of commerce while maintaining the character and integrity of the city’s Central Business District. This non-profit volunteer-based association receives some of its funding from the City. SDDA has been serving the Staunton since 1995.