Situated along the James River and just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lynchburg, Virginia, was founded in 1786. During the U.S. Civil War, Lynchburg was established as a Confederate Army supply base and grew into a bustling Southern manufacturing town. An abundant mechanized metropolis, Lynchburg's early industries included shoe manufacturing, iron and steel production, and, of course, tobacco. With Thomas Jefferson's private retreat, Poplar Forest, located nearby, Lynchburg is rich in history. Today, Lynchburg is the home of five colleges and universities and seems to strike a perfect balance between its historic Southern roots and its contemporary up-and-coming atmosphere.