August 22nd, 2017

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Visitor’s Center

History of Buena Vista



Historical Events



Two railroads, forming a junction, are run through Buena Vista.


Buena Vista’s first industry open, the Tannery.


The first public school is built. It is a one room log building.

December 1888

B. C. Moomaw writes the historic Buena Vista Prospectus. The Buena Vista Company was formed and all shares were sold within 30 days.

Feb. 22, 1889

It is reported that Buena Vista has a large amount of iron ore.


The major “boom” occurs in Buena Vista. Building begins at an amazing rate.

March 7, 1889

The Town name is changed from Green Forest to Buena Vista.

May 22, 1889

The drawing of lots begins.

Jan. 24, 1890

Buena Vista gets Charter as a ‘town.’


Buena Vista Lodge No. 186 (A.F. & A.M.) founded.

Jan. 26, 1890

Epworth Hall Church, the first church in Buena Vista, is dedicated. It was located on the site of the existing Stone Church of the Brethren.

March 9, 1890

The first Presbyterian Church was dedicated (2nd church in Buena Vista). The church was replaced on April 26, 1913 with the existing church on 23rd and Chestnut.

May 9, 1890

The City begins building a new brick school that will host 240 children. It is opened on October 12, 1890. The Principal is Mr. (J.) Parry McCluer.

May 1890

The Buena Vista Company moved into its new office. This building is now known as the old courthouse.

July 17, 1890

The local Buena Vista baseball team is victorious over Lexington’s team 28-15.

Dec. 12, 1890

The Buena Vista Iron Company opened. It ran until December 1924.

June 6, 1891

The Buena Vista Opera House opens.

Oct. 1891

The new Hotel Buena Vista is completed. It would later become Main Hall for Southern Seminary College.

Feb. 15, 1892

The State issues Buena Vista a Charter as a ‘City.’


Mayor White is elected Buena Vista’s first Mayor.

March 4, 1892

The “boom” time comes to an end.

Sept. 1894

The Female Seminary opened under the name of “Young Ladies College.” Classes were held in the Hotel Buena Vista, which the school would buy in 1901. After the purchase the name was changed to Southern Seminary and Junior College.


Buena Vista Fire Company founded.


Buena Vista Women’s Club founded.


American Legion Post 126 founded.


American Legion Auxiliary founded.


Buena Vista’s Rotary Club Founded.

Jan. 24, 1924

Parry McCluer School building completed.

Sept. 8, 1924

Death of Parry McCluer.


Buena Vista’s Boy Scouts first organized.


Buena Vista’s American Red Cross chapter founded.


Junior Women’s Club founded.


Buena Vista’s Lion’s Club founded.


Buena Vista Rescue Squad founded.

Aug. 10, 1935

Construction begins on Camp Oronoco, a work camp designed to provide jobs during the Great Depression.


Camp Oronoco dismantled.

Jan. 10, 1941

Buena Vista’s first draftee is sent off to war.


The local baseball team is broken up after the attack on Pearl Harbor and many players went to war.

Dec. 5, 1950

Citizens vote to change the charter. City will be run by a City Manager and a five-man council. The existing Council was composed of twelve men.


Beta Sigma Phi Sorority founded.

Jan. 1955

American Legion War Memorial Building opens. This building is still used for many community events.

Fall 1963

Modine Manufacturing locates its heater manufacturing facilities in Buena Vista.


Buena Vista Jaycees founded.


Disastrous flood after hurricane.


Buena Vista purchases Glen Maury Park.


Blue Bird East opens bus manufacturing facility.


Buena Vista Jaycettes founded.


The Fighting Blues win Buena Vista’s first state football championship. They finished the season undefeated.


Disastrous flood.

Jan. 1987

Everbrite, Inc. begins making signs in Buena Vista.


The DANA Corporation locates in Buena Vista.