Welcome to Clifton Forge – “A Highlands Treasure.”

The Town of Clifton Forge, Virginia is a Municipal Corporation and a Political Subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although the Town was chartered in 1906, its history dates back to the 1700s. The land that the Town now occupies was originally part of a 1770 land grant to a Robert Gallaspy by Lord Botetourt, the Governor of Virginia.

The ownership of the land changed several times, and the Williamson and Smith families became the owners in the 1820s. A settlement developed along both sides of the Jackson River from Slaughter Pen Hollow to Smith Creek.

The iron industry in Alleghany County and the completion of a road over North Mountain (now U.S. Route 60) in 1826 began the growth of the settlement. Mr. William Lyle Alexander of Lexington owned a forge in the Rainbow Gorge near Iron Gate, and he named the forge “Clifton” in honor of his father’s estate in Lexington; thus, we have the name “Clifton Forge.”


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