One Morning in Roanoke

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The Roanoke Valley is as rich in history as it is in natural beauty and has played a vital role in the growth of Virginia.  The Wilderness Road migration route, traveled by pioneers in covered wagons on their way to settle the frontier, passed right through the region.

Roanoke is the 10th largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the largest municipality in Southwest Virginia.  Formerly known as Big Lick, because of it’s numerous salt marshes (or licks), the city was renamed Roanoke in 1881.

Roanoke became a crossroads for the railroad, which eventually became the Norfolk and Western Railway. Its historic market, which also began in these early years, remains vibrant as one of the oldest in the country and still is an anchor of downtown commerce (

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It was a lovely morning in Roanoke … perfect for a quick stroll around the downtown market area.






The variety of windows caught my eye





Historic Signs and Newer Signs





Old Buildings



And New

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Inside the renovated market building


Outside on the market square


Downtown Roanoke has much more to see … restaurants and pubs, museums and historic hotels, renovated buildings and shops.  Festivals too!  You should come check it out!

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While traveling to visit the GOAs in Richmond (see Feb 15th post), I had the chance to stop in Roanoke to meet my friend Ralph for lunch.  It was a bright, sunny day and since I had some extra time, I was able to take some really fun shots of the downtown area.

I’ll be sharing more pictures later … this one is just to introduce you to this Southwest Virginia city, population just under 100,000 people.