Roanoke, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Evolution of a Neighborhood Name
Over the years, the spelling of Gainesborough was shortened to Gainsborough and Gainsboro. The historic name persisted in Gainsboro Road, and institutions such as the Gainsboro School and the Gainsboro Library took their names from their location along the road. Residents referred to the area as Northwest or Northeast, based on the quadrants designated by City leaders in 1888 that divided Roanoke along Jefferson Street and the railroad. The resurgence of the Gainsboro name appeared in the 1970s as part of a redevelopment plan to revitalize the area. Stone gateways constructed
Today, the name Gainsboro applies generally to the neighborhood from Orange Avenue to the railroad tracks, and from I-581 west to 5th Street.
A Gainsboro Timeline
• through early 1700s: Native hunters track game near area salt licks
• 1740s: first permanent settlers
• 1798: "Big Lick" postal station established
• 1835: Town of Gainesborough chartered
• 1852: Virginia and Tennessee railroad built through Roanoke Valley
• 1867: First Baptist Church (Colored) established
• 1874: Town of Big Lick chartered
• 1881: Shenandoah Valley Railroad arrives
• 1882: Big Lick becomes Roanoke
• 1882: Hotel Roanoke built
• 1902: existing St. Andrew's Church dedicated
• 1915: Burrell Memorial Hospital opens in house on Henry Street; first to serve blacks
• 1916: Roanoke NAACP founded
• 1917: Harrison School opens
• 1920s: heyday of Henry Street
• 1921: Gainsboro Library opens in Odd Fellows Hall
• 1921: Burrell Hospital moves to McDowell Avenue
• 1923: Strand Theater built
• 1928: Lucy Addison High School built
• 1941: current Gainsboro Library opens
• 1948: Claytor Memorial
• 1950s: Roanoke begins urban renewal efforts in Northeast
• 1958: Viscose Plant closes; mass layoffs at N&W Railway
• 1966: I-581 completed through Gainsboro
• 1968: Roanoke Civic Center construction
• 1971: Gainsboro Redevelopment Plan calls for redevelopment in Northwest area
• 1995: Gainsboro Road/Wells Avenue realignment
• 1996: Gainsboro Library on National Register
• 2004: Henry Street Historic District
• 2005: Gainsboro Historic District
Location. 37° 16.536′ N, 79° 56.379′ W. Marker is in Roanoke, Virginia. Marker is on Wells Avenue Northeast east of North Jefferson Street, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located in a small sidewalk plaza on the north side of Wells Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Roanoke VA 24016, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. From Frontier to Urban Community... A Gainsboro Prelude (here, next to this marker); Social and Cultural Life (here, next to this marker); Milestones in Education (here, next to this marker); A Once-Vibrant African American Community (here, next to this marker); Health Care and Medicine (here, next to this marker); Civil Rights Trailblazers (here, next to this marker); The Influence of Churches in Gainsboro (here, next to this marker); Hotel Roanoke (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Roanoke.
Regarding Evolution of a Neighborhood Name. Gainsboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places #05001276.
Henry Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places #04001276.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Gainesborough • Big Lick • Roanoke
Also see . . . Gainsboro, Roanoke, Virginia (Wikipedia). Located in the neighborhood and listed on the National Register of Historic Places are the Burrell Memorial Hospital, Gainsboro Historic District, Gainsboro Branch of the Roanoke City Public Library, and Henry Street Historic District. (Submitted on November 29, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • African Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
More. Search the internet for Evolution of a Neighborhood Name.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 27, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 64 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 28, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 29, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.