16 Squares of Blacksburg

In 1772, Samuel Black purchased 600 acres in the Draper’s Meadow area; however, he did not inhabit the land. When he passed away in 1792, he split the land evenly between his two sons, John and William, each of them receiving 300 acres.

​John’s land would evolve into Virginia Tech’s campus while William’s land would become the Town of Blacksburg, of which much of the original town exists today.

​William described the land as “…a piece of ground in a healthy climate,” and “a fertile neighborhood with excellent springs thereon…” He laid out a small grid of streets and lots -16 in all- on 38 acres of his land. William petitioned the state of Virginia to establish a town and in 1798 the Town of Blacksburg was founded, named after William himself. 


​On our tour, we explore the historic streets within the original 16 squares of Blacksburg and learn the rich history and stories behind many of the buildings and landmarks throughout town that may go unnoticed! 

Guided tours every other Thursday at noon or by appointment. View our Calendar of Events for dates or call 540-443-1600 or email [email protected]

Historic 16 Squares of Blacksburg