|Virginia, Roanoke — K-116 — A Colonial Ford|
|The Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to the backcountry of the Carolinas crossed the Roanoke River here at Tosh's Ford, named for Thomas Tosh, in the eighteenth century. Nearby stood Daniel Evans's mill, another landmark on the road. A group of Moravians, among the many thousands of settlers who passed this way, crossed the ford at dawn on 2 Nov. 1783 en route from Bethlehem, Pa., to Bethabara, N.C. One wrote in his diary of the ford's "slippery stones" and reported that "a quarter of a mile . . . — Map (db m14799) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — K-117 — Buzzard Rock Native American Settlement|
|The archaeological sites on the extensive floodplain nearby represent at least ten thousand years of periodic use by Native Americans. The artifacts and evidence from one site suggests that separate villages were occupied there some six hundred to one thousand years ago. The site is believed to have been inhabited by ancestors of a Siouan-speaking community, such as the Totero Indians, who were allied with the Monacan Indians and other communities of central and western Virginia. — Map (db m14798) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Colonial National Bank Building|
is listed in the
of Historic Places
and registered as a
1927 — Map (db m14965) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — First Train to Big Lick|
|Nearby, on Nov. 1, 1852, the first Virginia & Tennessee Railroad train arrived in Big Lick (now Roanoke), three years after the company had been incorporated. The track from Lynchburg, Virginia to Bristol, Tennessee, was completed in 1856. In 1870, the railroad combined with the Southside and the Norfolk & Petersburg railroads to form the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad, which became the Norfolk & Western Railroad in 1881. During the 1880s, Roanoke became a rail center. Numerous railroad . . . — Map (db m16970) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Fishburne Park Flagpole|
to all the Veterans
of the Valley — Map (db m3986) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Frederick J. Kimball Memorial Fountain|
|Kimball (1844–1903) was Norfolk & Western’s second president and first chairman. Thanks to his leadership the railroad was headquartered in Roanoke and expanded westward into West Virginia and Ohio.
In 1907 this fountain, carved out of red granite, was erected by Kimball’s friends in a Shenandoah Avenue Park near the N&W passenger station. It provided water for “man and bird and beast.” Horses drank from the front basin, people from the rear, and dogs from the sides.
. . . — Map (db m82189) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — K-98b — Hotel Roanoke|
|The Hotel Roanoke was built in 1892 by the Norfolk and Western Railroad. Over the next century, despite fire and depression, it became the city's social center. The Tudor Revival building became a beloved landmark for thousands of visitors. Its original 34 rooms had grown to 384 rooms when, in 1989, the N&W donated it to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. After a major renovation and the addition of a conference center, it reopened in 1995. The Hotel Roanoke was listed on the . . . — Map (db m14960) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Hotel Roanoke — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
|Roanoke’s “Grand Old Lady” stands on the hill overlooking downtown Roanoke. Styled to appear like an old English inn, it was the grand hotel for Roanoke since it opened in 1882. The Hotel was located near the new Union Station and a treat for passengers just off the smoky, sooty trains.
The Hotel quickly became known for its fine dining and amenities. The Hotel Roanoke was THE place Roanokers would eat for occasions, banquets, and wedding receptions. It was simply “the . . . — Map (db m16969) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Lee Highway|
in honor of
Robert E. Lee
William Watts Chapter
Southern Cross Chapter
The United Daughters
of the Confederacy
1928 — Map (db m3761) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — McNeil Drive|
|McNeil Drive is named in honor of Samuel P. McNeil, the leading sponsor and founder of WBRA and educational television of Roanoke and Southwest Virginia. Mr. McNeil served as Chairman of WBRA for 25 years from its beginning in 1966 until he retired in 1992. He was a co-founder of the local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also served as Chairman of the Roanoke City School Board from 1970 to 1976. — Map (db m3755) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — K-99 — Mount Moriah Baptist Church|
|The members of Mount Moriah Baptist Church belong to one of the region's earliest African American congregations, originating in a Sunday school for slaves established in the mid-1800s by Dr. Charles L. Cocke, founder of Hollins College. The group gained permission in 1858 to build its first church. The present church, the congregation's third, was built about 1908. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1994. The nearby cemetery was expanded from a former slave burial ground. — Map (db m17891) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Norfolk and Western Passenger Station — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
|Across the tracks and east is N&W’s last passenger station, now home to the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau and O. Winston Link Museum.
The little town of Big Lick changed its name to Roanoke in 1881. In the summer of 1882, the N&W completed a Union Station located between the tracks of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad (to the north) and the N&W (to the south) located approximately in front of the Hotel Roanoke. The pressed brick station, two buildings under one roof, was . . . — Map (db m15467) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Norfolk and Western Railway — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
|Today’s Norfolk Southern has a colorful predecessor in both or Roanoke’s railroads. To keep this as simple as possible, we are discussing only the N&W history to its merger with the Southern Railway in 1982. Space prevents mentioning every merger or absorbed railroad here, but, the major lines that formed the main line of the N&W are covered here.
N&W began with the 9-mile City Point Railroad built 1837-1838 from Petersburg to City Point, Virginia on the James River. IN 1854, City Point . . . — Map (db m15347) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — K-76 — Old Lutheran Church|
|Tradition has it that the church near by was built where Moravian and Lutheran missionaries preached soon after the Revolution. Here, in 1796, Lutherans held services and, a little later, organized their first congregation in this section. In 1828, the Lutheran synod of North Carolina met here and consecrated the church. — Map (db m3763) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Operation Fast Freight — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
| High Speed Freight Locomotive: Class A
While the title of one of Norfolk and Western’s company films (top) is appropriate for the mighty Class A 2-6-6-4, they also served in other capacities for the railroad. Designed as the first of the modern, powerful “Big Three” (Class A, J and Y6) beginning in 1936, the Class A was planned as a powerful freight hauler, with enough speed to handle heavy passenger trains as well. Prior to the arrival of the Class J passenger locomotives, . . . — Map (db m15343) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Power Behind the Nation — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
| Workhorse of the Norfolk and Western: Class Y6
While the sleek class J streamlined passenger locomotives and high stepping Class A locomotives garnered publicity for the N&W; the true workhorse of the Norfolk and Western was the Class Y 2-8-8-2s. Designed and built for one purpose, moving tonnage at reasonable speeds at a reasonable cost.
Beginning in 1930, Roanoke Shops turned out the first home-built Class Y5. The design itself, was solid, with improvements leading to the Class . . . — Map (db m15346) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — K-95 — Roanoke|
The first village here, at Pate's Mill and Tavern on Evans' Mill Creek, was called Big Lick for nearby salt marshes. In 1839 it was laid off as the town of Gainesborough. After the coming of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad (later N.&W.) in 1852, another village sprang up about the old Stover House that was also named Big Lick. Gainesborough became known as Old Lick.
In June, 1864, General Hunter passed here retreating from Lynchburg. . . . — Map (db m14968) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Roanoke - A Railroad Town — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
|In recent years, Roanoke has shed its image as a “railroad town” as others have surpassed the railroad as the major employer. However, without the N&W, Roanoke might not have existed. For those who wish to deny the impact of the railroad on Roanoke, one only needs to look about from where you stand.
A turn to your right and you see part of the large Roanoke Shops complex, almost directly ahead, the N&W passenger station, now home to The Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors . . . — Map (db m15342) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — K-96 — Roanoke City Market|
|The Roanoke farmers' market is one of the oldest such markets in continuous use in Virginia. In 1882, licenses were issued to twenty-five hucksters. The City of Roanoke's first charter formally authorized a municipally owned market in 1884, and the first permanent market building was completed in 1886. This formed the core of a continuing curb market in and around the Market Square. The present market building was erected in 1922 to replace the original market structure. — Map (db m14962) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Roanoke Shops — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
|The three locomotive types referred to on the nearby panels are part of the larger picture; of course. The Classes J, A and Y locomotives were special. What made these locomotives so special compared to products of the commercial builders of steam, such as Lima Locomotive Works, Baldwin, American Locomotive Company and other smaller builders? Aside from their superior operating characteristics, they were designed and built by local residents, in Roanoke. Then, as today, . . . — Map (db m15348) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — The Finest Steam Passenger Locomotive — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
| Passenger Locomotive: Class J
The world-renowned Class J 4-8-4 passenger locomotives was completely designed and built in Roanoke. By the mid 1930s, Norfolk and Western was facing heavier passenger traffic due to increased military operations, heavier trains needed to cross the system at increasingly faster schedules. The Motive Power department designed a powerful locomotive specifically for their needs. For many roads, streamlining was the order of the day. The N&W opted for a refined . . . — Map (db m15345) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — The Market Square Walkway — The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk|
|Above you is the Market Square Walkway, built to connect the Hotel Roanoke with downtown Roanoke, crossing the railroad in safety and comfort. There are two observation platforms to watch rail traffic here. In addition, a number of informative signs share some of the area’s rail history with the viewer.
Years ago, pedestrians walking between the Hotel area to downtown Roanoke crossed at Jefferson Street, dodging weather and both rail and automotive traffic or through a pedestrian tunnel . . . — Map (db m15468) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — The Roanoke Star|
|World's largest man-made star. Erected in 1949 as a symbol of the progressive spirit of Roanoke, Star City of the South.
Height of steel structure - 100 ft.
Height of star - 88 1/2 ft.
Weight of star - 10,000 lbs.
Weight of steel structure - 60,000 lbs.
Weight of concrete base - 500,000 lbs.
Depth of base - 6 1/2 ft.
Length of neon tubing - 2,000 ft.
Current consumed - 17,500 watts
Height above sea level - 1,847 ft.
Height above city - 1,045 ft.
Visibility from the air . . . — Map (db m30336) HM|
|Virginia, Roanoke — Virginia Western Community College Memorial|
|This memorial is dedicated to the administrators, faculty and staff whose long-term commitment to VWCC is deeply appreciated. — Map (db m4013) HM|