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Roanoke Public Library

Roanoke, Virginia. The Roanoke Public Library System invited me to speak at its historic Gainesville Branch Library. What a wonderful and inviting audience. Roanoke was first called Big Lick Township, because of the huge salt deposit runoff from the Blue Ridge Mountains which attracted wildlife to lick the salt at the Roanoke River, and because of its mountain valley location served as the gateway for wagon trains going west.  During the mid-nineteenth century, the township was renamed Roanoke and it became the hub for the new railroad lines taking passengers further west and aided in the development of the “wild-wild west.”