Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thursday Thirteen

Today, a little local history:

The county's first "fast food" joint, circa 1973.

The Cavalier Burger was one of Daleville's first "fast food" places. It started about 1972. The building is still there, but now it is a pet grooming facility. We always laughed about the "chicken shakes" you could purchase at the Cavalier Burger.

This is what Fincastle looked like before the trees all grew up, probably in the 1980s or earlier.

This is a barn floating down the James River during the Flood of 1985. The flood wiped out the communities of Eagle Rock and Cloverdale and the Town of Buchanan.

The second Botetourt County Courthouse, which burned in 1970.

The "old jail" structure and water tower beside the courthouse. The courthouse would be off to the right of the photo. 

The county's first real strip mall, built approximately 1986. It was anchored by Winn-Dixie, which remained until about 1998 or so, and a Peoples Drug Store, which turned into something else and ultimately ended up a CVS. This mall still stands but it houses a Dollar General Market and few other small things.

The community of Eagle Rock, circa 1895. The town had several hotels and was a bustling area with mills and a tourist trade. President Grover Cleveland fished in the James River nearby.

The James River and Kanawha Canal was the brainchild of George Washington, who started it, sort of, but did not live to see it through. The canal was supposed to go all the way up the James and eventually connect with the Ohio River to the west. It ends in Eagle Rock. By the time the last lock was built, railroads were becoming the thing, and eventually the tow-path along the river was bought up and turned into a rail line.

The Roanoke Hollins Stockyard, circa 1970, has been around for about 60+ years.

The Breckinridge Mill is a reminder that long ago, local mills ground flour and such products came from local farms, not far away.

The City of Roanoke, known as Big Lick long before the railroad came, would never have become a prosperous railroad town if some Botetourt County folks hadn't had the initiative to encourage the railroad to "go that-away" instead of taking other routes.

The state bought out and removed the Truckstop at Exit 150 on Interstate 81 about 10 years ago. The truckstop started around 1962.  This picture was taken in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

This is a document signed by Patrick Henry. It and many like it, signed by other founders of Virginia and the United States, can be found in the Botetourt County Courthouse, where they are preserved, protected, and kept under lock and key by the county clerk.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 667th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.


  1. Interesting! As I was reading the history of your area, I flashed on what was happening in this hometown of mine during the same period. The town got its first McDonald's in 1973 and a house floated down the river during a flood in the late 1980s or early 1990s.
    I think that's so cool you have such precious historical documents in your courthouse.
    Remember the oil crisis in the late 1970s. In California, we had odd/even days for buying gas, which meant I could buy gas on odd numbered days because of the last digit on my license plate. Did you have that, too?

  2. I love the old mills. We have many in Floyd. I still remember the first McDonald's in our area. We LOVED it


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