This beautiful area of Virginia began to experience very rapid development after the Civil War, putting its abundant resources to work in the name of progress. This book deals with the reasons for the area's growth after the Civil War, from about 1870 to 1890. Part One covers southwest Virginia and begins with a history of the first settlers in the region, their way of life, their troubles with the Indians, the formation of the first counties, and the development of agriculture and manufacturing. The breathtaking scenery and healthful climate of the valley, as well as rich mineral and agricultural resources, are said to be some of the main reasons for its rapid growth. The geological aspects of the land are also analyzed. The abolition of slavery and its effect on the country, the development of New River railroad into the rich coal fields of the valley, and the establishment of influential towns such as Lynchburg, Roanoke and Salem were additional catalysts for the modern progression of southwest Virginia. Part Two is concerned with the Shenandoah Valley and also gives the history of the first settlers; information about geology, climate and agriculture; the effect of abolition on the economy; the further development of railroads and coal mines; and the establishment of influential towns like Berryville, Front Royal and Waynesboro. In addition, the history of Luray Caverns and its effect on the Shenandoah Valley is given a detailed description. A new every-name index has been added.