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Roanoke (/ˈroʊənoʊk/) is an independent city in the U.S. state of Virginia. At the 2010 census, the population was 97,032. It is located in the Roanoke Valley of the Roanoke Region of Virginia.
Roanoke is the largest municipality in Southwest Virginia, and is the principal municipality of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which had a 2010 population of 308,707. It is composed of the independent cities of Roanoke and Salem, and Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke counties. Bisected by the Roanoke River, Roanoke is the commercial and cultural hub of much of Southwest Virginia and portions of Southern West Virginia.
The town first called Big Lick was established in 1852 and chartered in 1874. It was named for a large outcropping of salt which drew the wildlife to the site near the Roanoke River. In 1882 it became the town of Roanoke, and in 1884 it was chartered as the independent city of Roanoke. The name Roanoke is said to have originated from an Algonquian word for shell "money". The name for the river was that used by the Algonquian speakers who lived 300 miles away where the river emptied into the sea near Roanoke Island. The native people who lived near where the city was founded did not speak Algonquian. They spoke Siouan languages, Tutelo and Catawban. There were also Cherokee speakers in that general area who fought with the Catawba people. The city grew frequently through annexation through the middle of the 20th century. The last annexation was in 1976. The state legislature has since prohibited cities from annexing land from adjacent counties. Roanoke's location in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the middle of the Roanoke Valley between Maryland and Tennessee, made it the transportation hub of western Virginia and contributed to its rapid growth.
During colonial times the site of Roanoke was an important hub of trails and roads. The Great Indian Warpath which later merged into the colonial Great Wagon Road, one of the most heavily traveled roads of 18th-century America, ran from Philadelphia through the Shenandoah Valley to the future site of the City of Roanoke, where the Roanoke River passed through the Blue Ridge. The Carolina Road branched off in Cloverdale, Virginia to Boones Mill, Virginia, and on to the Yadkin River Valley. The Roanoke Gap proved a useful route for immigrants to settle the Carolina Piedmont region. At Roanoke Gap, another branch of the Great Wagon Road, the Wilderness Road, continued southwest to Tennessee.
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Roanoke man wins $250,000 playing Virginia Lottery
A Roanoke man won a $250,555 jackpot from the. On June 10, Dwayne Saunders, cashed out a quarter of a million dollars with his winning numbers 4-10-17-29-30 in the’s Cash 5 with EZ Match game. The ...
Sticky-stormy week ahead as SW Va is again on eastern rim of "Ring of Fire"
We will not be spared heat this week, but we will be spared the worst of the heat. Similarly, we will not be spared storms this week, though we will ...
Pro-choice protesters demonstrate on the Fourth of July in Roanoke
Several dozen protesters spent their Fourth of July holiday voicing their beliefs in Roanoke to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Nearly 80 protesters lined the steps of the federal courthouse ...
At Roanoke rally, abortion rights supporters say they won't go quietly
With abortion guarantees overruled by the Supreme Court, abortion rights supporters are rallying.And signs the court might be willing to reconsider voting and LGBTQ rights are energizing them even ...
Traffic resumes after crash along Williamson Road in Roanoke County
Traffic has resumed along Williamson Road. EARLIER STORY: Williamson Road is blocked to normal traffic at the 6700 block because of a two-vehicle crash involving a motorcycle as of 2:30 p.m. Monday, ...
Veteran Roanoke County economic director Jill Loope announces retirement
Economic development director Jill Loope has announced that her 23rd year of working for Roanoke County will be her last.
Roanoke can turn to LGBTQ community center for queer literature
On Monday at 1:37 p.m., a vehicle and a motorcycle crashed on the 6700 block of Williamson Road, the Roanoke County Police Department said. ROANOKE, Va. – LGBTQ books tend to make it on book ban lists ...
Virginia, Norfolk Southern complete agreement allowing passenger service to New River Valley
RICHMOND, Va., and ATLANTA — The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority and Norfolk Southern have completed financing on the agreement which will expand passenger service to Roanoke, Va., and extend ...
Roanoke celebrates Independence Day with its Freedom First Festival
A festival to celebrate Independence Day took place for the first time at Elmwood Park in Roanoke. The Freedom First Festival at Elmwood Park started off at 11 a.m. with live music from local bands.
New Roanoke gym raising the bar
There’s a new gym in the Roanoke Valley that is different from your typical weight room. Operated by strongman competitor and world record holder Aaron Blackford and his wife Taylor, the duo have ...
Roanoke Starbucks workers unanimously vote to form union
Roanoke Starbucks workers plan on celebrating Saturday afternoon after the baristas at the Bridges store unanimously voted to form a union. Chuck Simpson, vice ...