Commerce and industry have characterized the Buchanan Downtown Historic District since mill owner Charles Cowles settled here in the 1830s. McCoy's Creek supplied millraces and more than fifteen mills. The circa 18440 Day and Hamilton race supported William Bainton's 1857-58 flour mill, which became Pears Mill. In 1863 John D. Ross and Lorenzo Alexander built the Union Block with its third floor event hall. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.