travelgrove Travel Guides

Roanoke History, Virginia

Roanoke’s history at a glance

Recognized as the capital of the “Blue Ridge” and crossroads for business, the Roanoke’s history started in the late 1740’s. Tasker Tosh and Mark Evans came all the way from Pennsylvania, bought land where the animals and the Indians crossed with the valley’s centre.

For many decades, the salt marshes also called the salt licks, had been one of the main places for the gathering of deer, elk and buffalo and the Indians, who were hunting them. In 1834 Salt marshes had to lend their name to the foremost village of the Roanoke Valley, Gainsborough. However, the municipality shortly came to be called Big Lick.

In 1838, Botetourt County became Roanoke County, with a population of about 5,000. Within the area there was an unfamiliar but certainly a very small number of slaves. The town of Salem developed into the county seat with a population of approximately 200 plus Big Lick’s populace of roughly 50 people. The smaller community of Vinton was to the east of Big Lick, linked by an extremely narrow road of bricks.

The rail road came in 1852, nonetheless it missed Big Lick. As a result the small town shifted near the tracks and the original municipality became Old Lick. A novel centre was bonded in 1874 as the town of Big Lick.

After seven years, with the emergence of the Shenandoah Valley Rail Road, the town was name again as Roanoke for the county and the river. It was derived from an Indian word called as Rawernock, a name for shell beads that are utilized as trade goods and worn out by Indians.

In1882, Roanoke turned out as one of the main railroad crossroads that eventually became the N&W railway. Consequently the town marked a rapid growth and became the City of Roanoke. The historic market that began in the early years remains vivacious as the oldest country market and is the main anchor of the downtown trade.

It is now a very famous centre for distribution, transportation, manufacturing, health care, trade, recreation, conventions and attractions. Roanoke is also thrice awarded as the All American City designation. It houses various festivals including the Roanoke Festival, the Railway festival, Vinton’s dogwood festival, Henry Street festival and the Virginia championship and Strawberry festival.

Ask our travel experts a question about Roanoke

Things about Roanoke you may be interested in

Be the first who requests a site listing for this page.

Read our members' reviews about Roanoke

No reviews have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.

Read our members' travel tips about Roanoke

No travel tips have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.


Members Who Have Been to Roanoke

See who has been to Roanoke and ask them a question (membership required)
the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...
  •$252American Airlines flightAmerican Airlines
    Atlanta, GA (ATL)  Roanoke, VA (ROA)
    11/09/2016 12:25 pm
    Roanoke, VA (ROA)  Atlanta, GA (ATL)
    11/14/2016 05:57 pm
  •$331American Airlines flightAmerican Airlines
    New York, NY (JFK)  Roanoke, VA (ROA)
    10/26/2016 10:30 am
    Roanoke, VA (ROA)  New York, NY (JFK)
    11/04/2016 01:55 pm
  •$354American Airlines flightAmerican Airlines
    Lexington, KY (LEX)  Roanoke, VA (ROA)
    01/04/2017 04:09 pm
    Roanoke, VA (ROA)  Lexington, KY (LEX)
    01/18/2017 02:27 pm

Roanoke City Ratings

  • Ratingunrated
    City Rankunrated
  • History & Culture: not rated
  • Night Life & Entertainment: not rated
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: not rated
  • Food: not rated
  • Sightseeing: not rated
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: not rated
  • Must visit this place: not rated
   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it