Introduction to Lynchburg, Virginia and Surrounding Areas
Lynchburg is an independent city (meaning a city not belonging to a county) located in central Virginia, near the cities of Roanoke, Danville, and Charlottesville. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city is situated approximately 180 miles southwest of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Principal highways in the city include U.S. Route 29, 221, 460, and 501.
Incorporated as a town in 1805 and as a city in 1852, Lynchburg got its name from its founder, John Lynch, who was granted a charter in 1786 by the Virginia General Assembly for a town on 45 acres of his own land. The 19th century saw prosperity for Lynchburg, a center of manufacturing and commerce whose principal industry was tobacco. The onset of the 20th century brought a change in Lynchburg's economic base from tobacco to manufacturing. A large number of factories opened, many of which remained cornerstones of the economy for many years, allowing the city to grow and diversify. Colleges, libraries, and housing developments slowly populated the town over the years, to the point where today's Lynchburg is a vibrant community with a strong industrial base and is a regional center for retail and commerce.
Known as the "City of Seven Hills" (College Hill, Garland Hill, Daniel's Hill, Federal Hill, Diamond Hill, White Rock Hill, and Franklin Hill), Lynchburg was frequented often by Thomas Jefferson, who maintained a nearby residence (Poplar Forest). The city is home to several colleges and universities, including Liberty University, established in the 1980s as Liberty Baptist College by televangelist and Lynchburg resident Jerry Falwell.
Lynchburg Arts, Culture, and Entertainment
Lynchburg's rich history and unspoiled beauty make it a natural setting for a wealth of historical landmarks, cultural events, and recreational activities. Some of the more prominent are as follows:
- Academy of Fine Arts: Houses both an active studio theatre and an historic theatre undergoing renovation
- Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children's Museum: Four spacious floors of interactive exhibitions, workshops and educational programs
- Anne Spencer House and Garden: Honoring the internationally acclaimed poet who was the only black woman and the only Virginian included in the Norton Anthology of Modern American and British Poetry
- Daura Gallery Museum: More than 1,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints
- Legacy Museum of African-American History: Explores all aspects of local African American history and culture
- Liberty University Theater: Located on Liberty University's main campus
- Lynchburg Museum/Old Court House
- Maier Museum of Art
- Miller Claytor House
- Old City Cemetery
- Sandusky Historic Site & Civil War Museum
- South River Meeting House
- The James River Heritage Trail
Although Virginia does not have a major league sports team, the city of Lynchburg is rich in baseball history. Minor League professional baseball has existed here since 1894, when the Lynchburg Hill Climbers brought baseball to the city. The team, which played in the Virginia League until the league disappeared in 1943, underwent some name changes during that time, becoming the Shoemakers, then the Grays, then the Senators. The team moved to the Piedmont League in 1943 and remained there until 1955 as the Lynchburg Cardinals. After a few more league changes and name changes, the team settled down in 1995 as the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League, where they remain to this day. The Hillcats are a class High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Introduction to Roanoke, Virginia and Surrounding Areas
Roanoke is situated in the Roanoke Valley, west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city is known as the "Star City of the South" and features the prominent Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain. The Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway and a wine making region are nearby. The Roanoke River runs through the town. The city is a major center for health care and retail businesses for the region.
History or Roanoke
The town was founded in 1852 and was known as Big Lick. The name was selected due to the huge outcropping of salt in the area. Big Lick was chosen as a railroad junction which significantly increased the population and stimulated the economy. In 1884 the town was established as Roanoke. During the Colonial era the city was a prominent location for trails and roads. The Great Wagon Road was one of the busiest roads during the 18th Century and ran through Roanoke.
The Norfolk and Western Railway company produced steam locomotives in Roanoke and employed thousands of workers. The locomotives were manufactured in the city until 1953. Manufacturing companies moved to the city primarily due to the railroad. Regarding land, the city significantly expanded during the middle portion of the 20th Century due to annexation. Roanoke was once a prominent area for the garment industry.
The city is served by the Roanoke Regional Airport. The Valley Metro provides bus transportation.
- The Center in the Square contains the History Museum of Western Virginia, the Science Museum of Western Virginia as well as the Hopkins Planetarium.
- Virginia Museum of Transportation features locomotives which were constructed in the city.
- Grandin Village.
- Mill Mountain Star.
- Texas Tavern.
- Roanoke's Historical Fire Station #1.
- St. Andrews Parish, State and National Landmark.
- Roanoke Historic Farmers Market.
- Hotel Roanoke is a historic building.
- The Jefferson Center is a historic performance center.
- Mabry Mill.
Activities and Entertainment
The surrounding area offers excellent opportunities for boating, fishing, camping and hiking. Some of the popular locations for activities and entertainment include:
- Appalachian Trail
- Virginia's Explore Park
- Smith Mountain Lake
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Mill Mountain Zoo
- Roanoke Civic Center
- George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
- Commonwealth Games of Virginia
- Mill Mountain Theater
Introduction to Shenandoah Valley, Virginia and Surrounding Areas
"The Big Valley"
The Shenandoah Valley stretches 200 miles across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. It's been nicknamed "The Big Valley" and immortalized in song, dance, film and television.
The history and heritage of the region includes many sites devoted to the pioneers who traveled westward, settled and farmed - those like the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton and Cyrus McCormick's Farm in Raphine. He invented the first reaper!
During the Civil War this region was nicknamed "The Breadbasket of the Confederacy." In Lexington, visit Virginia Military Institute and Washington & Lee University - where Gen. Robert E. Lee served as president after the war and where the Lee Chapel & Museum is located. See battlefields - New Market Battlefield State Park and Fisher's Hill Battlefield.
Another historical site of the region is the Birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson.
The Shenandoah Valley features picture-perfect postcard farms and inns along country roads and the popular Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the natural wonders of this world is the Natural Bridge. Be sure to visit the region's many caverns, which include Luray, with the only stalacpipe organ, and Shenandoah, with an elevator to take you underground!
If you're interested in the great outdoors, you'll love the hiking trails, paddle sports and horseback riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains, too!
Two popular resorts are in the Shenandoah Valley: Bryce and Massanutten, which offer year-around activities. And don't forget the beautiful Shenandoah National Park with its portion of the Appalachian Trail and two resorts, too!
You'll be singing "Oh, Shenandoah!" when you arrive and experience this magnificent "Big Valley" for yourself.
Lynchburg Public Libraries
Lynchburg Public Library
2315 MEMORIAL AVENUE
Library Web Site
CARILION MEDICAL CENTER
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
1906 BELLEVIEW AVENUE
Emergency Service: Yes
Shenandoah Valley Public Libraries
Allen County Pl
200 E. BERRY STREET
Fort Wayne, Indiana
(260) 421-1200 - (317) 269-1700
Library Web Site
Shenandoah Valley Hospitals
Shenandoah Memorial Hospital
759 S Main St, Woodstock, VA 22664
Emergency Service: Yes