“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Related Historical Markers

Gainesborough • Big Lick • Roanoke
Marker detail: Historic Gainsboro image, Touch for more information
By Sanborn Maps
Marker detail: Historic Gainsboro
1Virginia, Roanoke — Evolution of a Neighborhood Name
Today's Gainsboro neighborhood and the surrounding area has been referenced by many names over the years. The first settled area was known as Big Lick in the 1800s, named after the large salt marsh near the Great Road. In 1835, the settlement was . . . Map (db m142994) HM
2Virginia, Roanoke — From Frontier to Urban Community... A Gainsboro Prelude
Gainesborough to Big Lick to Roanoke The early settlement of Roanoke started along the Big Lick, a large salt marsh that attracted animals and hunters to the Roanoke Valley. The earliest roads through the valley followed Native American . . . Map (db m142993) HM
3Virginia, Roanoke — The Influence of Churches in Gainsboro
In addition to religious activities, the churches in Northeast and Northwest were instrumental in providing community leadership, childhood education, and information on public and social issues. By 1900, there were nine black churches in the area, . . . Map (db m142995) HM
4Virginia, Roanoke — A Once-Vibrant African American Community
Older than the new City of Roanoke developing to its south, Gainesborough ("Old Lick") was growing as a racially-diverse neighborhood that was the center of the African-American community by the 1890s. Businesses serving the community were . . . Map (db m142996) HM
5Virginia, Roanoke — Social and Cultural Life
Social organizations and activities unified the community and boosted black leaders' influence. The Roanoke Chapter of the NAACP was founded in 1916. Other organizations included the Freemasons, the Association of Colored Railway Trainmen . . . Map (db m142997) HM
6Virginia, Roanoke — Milestones in Education
The first known school in the area for African-Americans was the 1872 Old Lick Colored School, located in a modest log building on Diamond Hill, where the Civic Center now stands. Other schools for blacks included the Gainsboro School (at Gainsboro . . . Map (db m142998) HM
7Virginia, Roanoke — Health Care and Medicine
Segregation in the early 20th century kept black doctors and nurses from working in the white hospitals of Roanoke, and black citizens were denied treatment in these facilities. By 1914, a committee of doctors led by Isaac Burrell and . . . Map (db m142999) HM
8Virginia, Roanoke — Civil Rights Trailblazers
Some of the most significant contributions made by Northeast and Northwest residents were in the advancement of civil rights. A. J. Oliver was a 19th century pioneer in law and the first black attorney in Roanoke. Born during the Civil War, he . . . Map (db m143000) HM
9Virginia, 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, . . . Map (db m16970) HM
Oct. 24, 2021