Learn All About Roanoke, Virginia

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This article is sponsored by the abuse attorneys of Roanoke. Discover the local history of the city and explore its many offerings.

Timeline of Roanoke

Roanoke is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As the principal municipality of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area, it is the cultural and commercial hub for most of Southwest Virginia and portions of Southern West Virginia. The timeline of the city from past to present is as follows:

  • 1835 - The town of Gainesborough was incorporated
  • 1838 - Roanoke County was created
  • 1852 - The Big Lick Depot was built near Gainesborough, and Virginia & Tennessee Railroad began operating
  • 1865 - The Big Lick settlement was sacked by Ferderal forces during the American Civil War
  • 1870 - The Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad began operating
  • 1874 - The Town of Big Lick was incorporated
  • 1882 - Big Lick and Old Lick was renamed "Roanoke," and the Roanoke Machine Works began business
  • 1884 - The City of Roanoke was incorporated
  • 1885 - The municipal market was established
  • 1890 - Roanoke Hospital was founded
  • 1903 - The Agricultural "Great Roanoke Fair" began
  • 1904 - The Chamber of Commerce was founded
  • 1906 - The Virginian Railway began operating
  • 1910 - The City Health Department was established
  • 1911 - Roanoke Theatre was in business
  • 1919 - The "Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court" was established
  • 1921 - The Public Library opened
  • 1926 - Memorial Bridge opened
  • 1930 - Big Lick Garden Club was formed
  • 1933 - Roanoke Municipal Airport began operating.
  • 1936 - Roanoke became the Dr. Pepper Capitol of the World as the first Dr. Pepper plant east of the Mississippi River was opened by John William "Bill" Davis
  • 1952 - Mill Mountain Zoo was established
  • 1957 - The Roanoke Historical Society was founded
  • 1966 - Virginia Western Community College was established
  • 1976 - Portions of Roanoke County became part of the city
  • 1985 - Valley View Mall was in business
  • 2004 - O. Winston Link Museum opened.
  • 2010 - The population of Roanoke city was 97,032

The city of Roanoke has a total area of 42.9 square miles, of which 42.5 square miles is made up of land, and 0.3 square miles is water. Located in the ridge and valley province of Virginia that's east of the Allegheny Mountains and just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Roanoke River flows through it. With an elevation exceeding 900 feet, the city has four distinct yet mild seasons. Flooding is the primary weather concern in the area. Some residents also have allergy issues due to the pollen from trees in the mountains.

Explore more of the state with a Short History of Suffolk, Virginia.


The city of Roanoke is served by the Roanoke City Public Schools system. The two main high schools designated to the area are Patrick Henry High School and William Fleming High School. Patrick Henry High takes incoming students from Woodrow Wilson Middle School, James Madison Middle School and John P. Fishwick Middle School. William Fleming High takes students from Lucy Addison Middle School, William Ruffner Middle School and Hames Breckinridge Middle School.

Besides public schools, there are private schools situated within Roanoke. Private non-parochial schools in the city are Community High School and New Vista Montessori. Those that are parochial are North Cross and Roanoke Catholic and Roanoke Adventist Preparatory.

Arts, History and Culture

Roanoke is home to many festivals and cultural events. Traditional ones that have been a staple of the city are the Chili Cook-Off, Local Colors Festival, Festival in the Park, Henry Street Festival, Strawberry Festival, Big Lick Blues Festival, and the large red, white and blue illuminated Mill Mountain Star. In 2003, EventZone was created after a merger of various event organizers in the area. The nonprofit organization is in charge of assisting with the creation of new activities and festivals in Downtown Roanoake.

The city also provides a number of museums and art centers for visitors and residents to explore. These establishments include the Center in the Square – the home of the History Museum of Western Virginia, the Science Museum of Western Virginia and the Hipkins Planetarium – the Taubman Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Transportation, the Harrison Museum of African-American Culture, Berglund Center, the Shaftman Performance Hall, the Dumas Center for Artistic and Cultural Development.

As Virginia's Theater City, Roanoake also offers the Roanoke Children's Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre, the Grandin Theatre, Virginia Western Theatre, the Showtimers Community Theatre, the Star City Playhouse, Opera Roanoke, and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

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The crime is prevalent worldwide. If you or someone you know has been assaulted by a religious authority figure, contact our Roanoke clergy abuse lawyers today to get the justice you are entitled to. We can get you scheduled for a free consultation now.

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