Tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains at Rockfish Gap along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, Waynesboro is one of the oldest settlements in Augusta County. Platted in 1797, the following year the settlement was named Waynesborough (later reduced to Waynesboro) after renowned Revolutionary War general “Mad” Anthony Wayne. The arrival of the railroad in 1881 and the creation in 1890 of Basic City (AU47) to the east of Waynesboro sparked the development of industry and residential and commercial growth. Basic City quickly became the major industrial center in Augusta County. The railroad boom proved short-lived, and in 1923 Basic City merged with Waynesboro. In the early twentieth century, Waynesboro attracted several textile companies, including the Stehli Silks Mills, the Crompton-Shenandoah Company that produced corduroy, and DuPont, which opened a rayon manufacturing plant in 1929. This industrial growth led Waynesboro to seek city status in 1948. Waynesboro's location near the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive has made tourism an important aspect of its economy.
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