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Hidden History of Roanoke: Star City Stories

Nelson Harris

How did a Roanoke neighbor's secret upend North Carolina politics and why did a weeding scandal in Big Lick make front-page headlines in New York? These questions and many more are answered in this exciting volume of hidden stories and forgotten tales from the Star City. Discover why a Roanoker was found frozen in the North Atlantic and what Mother's Day crime and trial shocked the city in 1949. Meet the Black Cardinals, a semipro African American baseball team that played in the 1930s and '40s, and find out how a fistfight at Shenandoah Life helped save the company. Author Nelson Harris delves into the annals of history to uncover these marvelous and mostly unknown stories of the Star City of the South.


Holly Brinja

Are you excited about planning your next trip? Do you want to try something new? Would you like some guidance from a local? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this Greater Than a Tourist book is for you. Greater Than a Tourist- Roanoke, Virginia USA by Holly Brinja offers the inside scoop on Roanoke. Most travel books tell you how to travel like a tourist. Although there is nothing wrong with that, as part of the Greater Than a Tourist series, this book will give you travel tips from someone who has lived at your next travel destination. In these pages, you will discover advice that will help you throughout your stay. This book will not tell you exact addresses or store hours but instead will give you excitement and knowledge from a local that you may not find in other smaller print travel books. Travel like a local. Slow down, stay in one place, and get to know the people and the culture. By the time you finish this book, you will be eager and prepared to travel to your next destination.

The Lost Colony of Roanoke: Its Fate and Survival (1915)

Stephen B. Weeks

The Roanoke Colony, also known as the Lost Colony, established on Roanoke Island, in what is today's Dare County, North Carolina, United States, was a late 16th-century attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement. The enterprise wasoriginally financed and organized by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who drowned in 1583 during an aborted attempt to colonize St. John's, Newfoundland. Sir Humphrey Gilbert's half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, later gained his brother's charter from the Queen and subsequently executed the details of the charter through his delegates Ralph Lane and Richard Grenville, Raleigh's distant cousin.The final group of colonists disappeared during the Anglo-Spanish War, three years after the last shipment of supplies from England. Their disappearance gave rise to the nickname "The Lost Colony". To this day there has been no conclusive evidence as to what happened to the colonists.This book points to evidence suggesting that this colony merged with local tribes and became one people.This pre-1923 publication has been reformatted for the Kindle and may contain an occasional defect from the original publication or from the reformatting process.

A Walking Tour of Roanoke, Virginia

Doug Gelbert

There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. This walking tour of Roanoke, Virginia is ready to explore when you are. Each walking tour describes historical, architectural landmarks, cultural sites and ecclesiastic touchstones and provides step-by-step directions. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.German and Scotch-Irish settlers pushed down into the Roanoke Valley from Pennsylvania in the early 1740s and by 1746 this area carried the name "Big Lick." It came by its name honestly as the marshy conditions of the salt lick and the lack of a dependable supply of fresh water inhibited attempts to establish towns. Only the town of Salem would establish a lasting foothold.In 1838 enough homesteaders had arrived to warrant the creation of Roanoke County. A few years earlier William Rowland had purchased land in what would one day be downtown Roanoke and laid out building lots. The town was chartered as Gainesborough, taking its name from Rowland's partner, Kemp Gaines. The development did not, however cause a growth explosion - tax rolls listed four buildings in Gainesborough and six next door in Big Lick.The railroad arrived in 1852 and the town began to stir, although progress was temporarily impeded by the Civil War. Big Lick was chartered as a town in 1874 as the population reached 600. In 1881, however, the Shenandoah Valley Railroad that ran north-south from Hagerstown, Maryland merged with the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad whose lines ran east-west. After an inducement of $10,000 and other concessions, Big Lick was chosen as the intersection and headquarters for the newly named Norfolk & Western Railway Company. Big Licksters immediately offered to rename their town after railroad president Frederick J. Kimball but he demurred in favor of "Roanoke," an Indian term roughly translating to "shell money."The town was launched on a decades-long boom that established it as the dominant city in southwest Virginia. The railroad and its great maintenance shops would drive Roanoke for much of the next 75 years. Steam engines continued to roll off its tracks until 1953. Other industries, including enormous cellulose factories followed, pushing the population of the city proper to 100,000 with three times as many people in the surrounding area.As befits its legacy as a railroad town, we'll start our walking tour hard by the historic tracks and begin by looking across to a relic that dates back to the very earliest days of train travel in Roanoke...

Downtown Roanoke (VA) (Images of America)

Nelson Harris

Downtown Roanoke celebrates the vibrant history of a community that lies at the heart of the scenic Roanoke Valley. From the saloons and livery stables of the late 19th century to the flagship department stores that attracted hundreds of shoppers in the late 1950s, Roanoke has experienced dramatic change. Over 200 archival images have been compiled to produce a stunning collage of the downtown area over the past century. Included are the American Theater, the Rialto, the Jefferson, and the time-altered streetscapes of Jefferson, Campbell, Kirk, and Church. This collection highlights the storied past of Roanoke through hotels, hospitals, churches, merchants, and special events, including the American Legion parades, the Diamond Jubilee, and the march of the VMI and VPI cadets at Thanksgiving en route to Victory Stadium. Downtown Roanoke is a tribute to the heritage of Southwestern Virginia's leading urban center. Today it remains a metropolitan district alive with culture and commerce, having re-emerged from the challenges of shopping malls and suburbia. The photographs in this collection, many published for the first time, provide a nostalgic look at the progress of Roanoke's historic downtown corridor.

Roanoke in Vintage Postcards (VA) (Postcard History Series)

Nelson Harris

Officially chartered in 1882, Roanoke is nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains and is often referred to as the "Star City of the South." The history of this remarkable community is captured here through the images of the picture postcard. With the construction of each new bank, school, bridge, and church, the postcard became a convenient way to promote and celebrate the achievement; now, these images preserve a collective record of Roanoke's heritage. See how the area looked in the early 1900s, with its dirt streets, trolley tracks, horse-drawn wagons, and Model Ts. Postcards of succeeding decades frame the growth of Roanoke from a railroad town to the center of commerce and industry in Southwestern Virginia.

Roanoke Locomotive Shops and the Norfolk & Western Railroad (Images of Rail)

Wayne McKinney

Roanoke Shops has been an indispensable part of the Roanoke Valley and the “Magic City” for more than 125 years. Founded in 1881 as an independent company, Roanoke Machine Works built new locomotives and cars for the Shenandoah Valley and Norfolk & Western Railroads. Situated between the picturesque Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains, the facility caused an economic boom in the nearby village of Big Lick and the surrounding area. By 1891, Big Lick had become Roanoke and had emerged as one of the most important economic centers in the New South. Today, Roanoke Shops employs skilled craftsmen who provide the highest-quality overhauls and repairs to diesel locomotives. This book takes a look into its history, particularly at production during that exciting and enchanting era of the steam locomotive.

Five-Star Trails: Roanoke and the New River Valley: A Guide to the Southwest Virginia's Most Beautiful Hikes

Johnny Molloy

Five Star Trails: Roanoke and the New River Valley showcases 40 hikes in the mountains, valleys, and Piedmont of Western Virginia. The guide includes an array of treks reflecting the area's superlative scenery, from wild waterfalls in the New River Valley to highland wildernesses of the Jefferson National Forest, historic paths along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and waterside strolls beside Smith Mountain Lake. It is authored by the Southeast's most experienced outdoors writer, Johnny Molloy.Hikes in this book range from just under 2 miles to over 10 miles, creating opportunities for hikers of all ages, and will accommodate your desires for hikes of multiple lengths, depending on mood, time, and company. Trail configurations are diverse as well--including out-and-back hikes, loops, and balloon loops. Hike settings vary from developed county parks to the back of beyond.

Salem and Roanoke County in Vintage Postcards (VA) (Postcard History Series)

Nelson Harris

In 1800, James Simpson, a Botetourt County landowner, purchased 31 acres of land for $100 and dedicated half of the purchase to plotting a new town. The Town of Salem was officially established when Simpson recorded his ownership at Fincastle Courthouse in October 1802, and it later became the government seat when Roanoke County was carved from Botetourt County in 1838. Today, Salem is an independent city, boasting a rich tradition of educational, commercial, and residential success. Roanoke County, like Salem, has emerged from its agrarian past to become a suburban county that embraces the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as the strength and success of corporate centers and residential communities.

Roanoke Valley (Then and Now)

Nelson Harris

Nestled in the shadows of the Blue Ridge, the Roanoke Valley has developed as the capital region for western Virginia. After a century of growth fueled by transportation, education, and healthcare, the region has undergone significant visible change. While some of the valley�s landmarks remain, many have been replaced or dramatically altered.

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