Staunton is located in the Appalachian Mountains of west-central Virginia, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Richmond. It is the seat of Augusta County, home of Mary Baldwin College, and the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson.
Staunton was the westernmost courthouse in British North America prior to the American Revolution. Originally called Beverley's Mill Place, it was re-named in honor of Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of colonial governor William Gooch, when the town was organized in 1761. Staunton was later incorporated as a town in 1801 and as a city in 1871.
Besides light industry, government, and education, Staunton is also a center of tourism. The downtown area has been attractively restored. The city is also home to the Blackfriars Playhouse, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, and the Museum of American Frontier Culture.