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Roanoke is an independent city in the southern US state of Virginia. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 97,032. It is located
in the Roanoke Valley of the Roanoke Region of Virginia.
Roanoke is the largest municipality in Southwest Virginia, and is the principal municipality of the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which had a 2010 population of 308,707.
The City of Roanoke, in Roanoke County, was first known as Big Lick because of salt deposits found in the vicinity. The town of Big Lick was established in 1852 and was incorporated in 1874. Its name was changed to Roanoke in 1882, and it became a city in 1884.
County QuickFacts: City of Roanoke
Roanoke is an independent city located in the Roanoke Metropolitan Area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Roanoke is also part of the Roanoke Region of Virginia. The city of Roanoke is adjacent to the city of Salem and the town of Vinton and is otherwise surrounded by, but politically separate from, Roanoke County
The town first called Big Lick was established in 1852 and chartered in 1874. It was named for a large
outcropping of salt which drew the wildlife to the site near the Roanoke River. In 1882 it became the town of
Roanoke, and in 1884 it was chartered as the independent city of Roanoke. The name Roanoke is said to have
originated from an Algonquian word for shell "money",. This was also the name of the river that bisected it
(probably where shells had come from) and the county. The city grew frequently through annexation through the middle
of the twentieth century. The last annexation was in 1976. The state legislature has since prohibited cities from
annexing land from adjacent counties. Roanoke's location in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the middle of the Roanoke
Valley between Maryland and Tennessee, made it the transportation hub of western Virginia and contributed to its
Big Lick Virginia (later Roanoke) established in 1852. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]
Roanoke, Virginia (Big Lick at the time) was incorporated as a town in 1874 and incorporated as a city in 1884. Established as Big Lick in 1852, it was renamed Roanoke in 1882. A portion of Roanoke County was annexed in 1976. [Virginia Genealogy, Sources & Resources, by Carol McGinnis, Genealogical Publishing Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1993.]
Roanoke is located in the valley and ridge province of Virginia immediately west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.9 square miles (111.1 km2), of which, 42.9 square miles (111.1 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (0.07%) is water
Bordering counties are as follows:
The local public school division is Roanoke City Public Schools.
Two four-year private institutions are situated in neighboring localities – Roanoke College in the city of Salem, and Hollins University in Roanoke County. Virginia Tech is located in neighboring Montgomery County. It has opened a higher education center in downtown Roanoke in cooperation with other colleges and universities, and the Virginia Tech Foundation owns the Hotel Roanoke. Virginia Tech is also opening a new medical school in South Roanoke in cooperation with Carilion Clinic, the regional non-profit health care organization based in Roanoke. Virginia Western Community College is located in the city of Roanoke, as is the Jefferson College of Health Sciences