“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Narrows in Giles County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)


Narrows Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
1. Narrows Marker
Inscription. Named for the narrows in New River. The place was occupied by Confederate troops under French and Jackson in May, 1864. Combining with McCausland, they forced the Union General Crook to evacuate Blacksburg. Crook passed here on his way to West Virginia. The Norfolk and Western Railroad came in 1884; The Virginian in 1910. The town was incorporated in 1904.
Erected 1941 by Virginia Conservation Commission. (Marker Number KG-22.)
Location. 37° 19.943′ N, 80° 48.648′ W. Marker is in Narrows, Virginia, in Giles County. Marker is on MacArthur Lane (Virginia Route 61) just south of Princeton Lane (Lurich Road) (County Route 649), on the left when traveling south. Click for map. From US 360, take the Route 61 exit into Narrows. The marker is just beyond the N&W overpass, on the left. Marker is in this post office area: Narrows VA 24124, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. New River (approx. 2.6 miles away); First Court of Giles County (approx. 3.1 miles away); West Virginia / Giles County Virginia (approx. 4 miles away); Pearisburg (approx.
Narrows Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
2. Narrows Marker
4.2 miles away); Giles County / West Virginia (approx. 4.5 miles away); Home of the Jones Diamond (approx. 4.5 miles away in West Virginia); Peterstown (approx. 4.5 miles away in West Virginia); Woods’ Fort (approx. 7.1 miles away in West Virginia).
Also see . . .
1. Town of Narrows. “In the Civil War, Narrows was of strategic importance. From Tannery Hill the Confederates were able to keep a lookout in three directions. On this hill the old breast-works, which were built to guard the approach from the North, can be seen. Southern soldiers were quartered here to guard against Union soldiers passing through to cut the railroad line between Dublin and Bristol and also to prevent the capture of salt works at Saltville. General McCausland’s Confederate soldiers numbering about 1000 or more were encamped in the fields near the high-school campus in the winter of 1863. The signs of these camps are visible to this day.” (Submitted on June 5, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.) 

2. Wikipedia Entry for the Norfolk & Western Railway. “The Norfolk and Western Railway (reporting mark NW), was a US class I railroad, formed by more than 200 railroad
Vintage Transportation and the Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 30, 2015
3. Vintage Transportation and the Marker
mergers between 1838 and 1982. It was headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, for most of its 150-year existence. Its motto was ‘Precision Transportation;’ it had a variety of nicknames, including ‘King Coal’ and ‘British Railway of America’ even though the N&W had mostly articulated steam on its roster. During the Civil War, the N&W was the biggest railroad in the south and moved most of the products with their steam locomotives to help the South the best way they could.

“NW was famous for manufacturing its own steam locomotives, which were produced at the Roanoke Shops, as well as its own hopper cars. Around 1960, NW became the last major American railroad to convert from steam to diesel motive power. In December 1959, NW merged with the Virginian Railway (reporting mark VGN), a longtime rival in the Pocahontas coal region.” (Submitted on June 5, 2015.) 

3. Wikipedia Entry for Virginian Railway. “The Virginian Railway (reporting mark VGN) was a Class I railroad located in Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. The VGN was created to transport high quality ‘smokeless’ bituminous coal from southern West Virginia to port at Hampton Roads.”
. . .
“The VGN had a very major grade at Clark's Gap, West Virginia, and tried large steam locomotives before turning to an alternative already in use by one of its neighboring competitors, Norfolk & Western Railway: a railway electrification system. With work authorized beginning in 1922, a 134-mile portion of the railroad in the mountains from Mullens, West Virginia over Clark's Gap and several other major grades to Roanoke, Virginia was equipped with overhead wires supported by a catenary system. The VGN built its own power plant at Narrows, Virginia. The electrification was completed in 1925 at a cost of $15 million, equal to $201,717,268 today. A link was established with Norfolk & Western to share electricity from its nearby electrification during contingencies. ALCO and Westinghouse supplied the electric locomotives, which were equipped with pantographs. The 36 initial units were normally linked in groups of three as one set, and had much greater load capacity than the steam power they replaced.” (Submitted on June 5, 2015.) 
Categories. Political SubdivisionsRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 184 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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