In Images of America: Blacksburg, Radford University historian Richard A. Straw, who has lived in the area for over 20 years, uses photos from the Special Collections Division of Virginia Tech as well as private sources to give us a unique look into the town's past.
Blacksburgby Richard A. Straw
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In 1798 William Black set aside 38 acres of land in an area known as Draper's Meadow to establish the village that would take his name: Blacksburg, Virginia. In the more than 200 years since its founding, this once small frontier outpost has grown into what the Washington Post recently called "the most wired city in America." A diverse and well-educated community, Blacksburg holds a special place in the hearts of its residents as well as Virginia Tech students and alumni. From its humble beginnings in the late 18th century Blacksburg has evolved into a vibrant, diverse, and progressive community of nearly 40,000. Today Blacksburg sits on the cutting edge of great historical, environmental, cultural, and scientific frontiers, just as it did over 200 years ago.
Photos in the book reveal the architectural and physical evolution of a vibrant Main Street, which was and still is the very heart of the town. After 1872 town life began to interact with that of the new state university placed in Blacksburg; this study includes many engaging images of life at Virginia Tech over the years. Fascinating photos of people, places, homes, businesses, and important events in the town's history complete the collection. In this contribution to the Images of America series Straw has provided us with an informative look into an earlier period of life in this most interesting and appealing community.
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