Although somewhat affected by the depression that has held the country in its grasp during the year just ended, Blacksburg has not suffered nearly as much as many towns in Virginia. Industrial conditions in and about the town have been normal, business has maintained its usual level, the two banks have remained firm, there has been some building, mostly of homes of the modern type, considerable improvement has been made to the streets, some of the latter widened to accommodate the ever increasing traffic, and new sidewalks have been placed. There were no epidemics of sickness in the community and the death rate has been below the average of the last ten years.
Blacksburg is a "college town" and its population is always changing. Hundreds of visitors come here every year and the number of tourists passing through the town has greatly increased since the completion of the state highway from the Lee highway at Christiansburg to West Virginia line at Glen Lynn. Just a few of the things that may be noted as signs of progress in Blacksburg during the year are: Improvements have been made on Otey street in the west side residential section, where the road has been straightened and widened, the incline cut down and a concrete walk built the length of Otey from Washington Street to College Avenue. A retaining wall has been constructed around the properties of C. P. Miles and Miss Lucy Barnett on the opposite corners of Otey and Wall streets. The sidewalks reaching from Main Street to the public school property has been widened and repaired. A bridge has been constructed on Church street and helps to level the road and reduces the hazard of the rocky road leading from the hill at the southern end of the town. The state has been working on route 213 which runs east out of Blacksburg to Catawba and joins the Lee highway at Lauderdale, six miles west of Buchanan. The completion of this portion of the state highway will shorten the distance between this section and the National highway leading into the Shenandoah valley and central Virginia. Houses in the town have been numbered and markers indicating the names of streets will be placed in the near future.
The residential sections of the town have been growing steadily during the year. The Methodists have constructed a modern parsonage on the southside, which is occupied by Rev. And Mrs. F. M. Richardson and family. The house adjoining the church which the Richardson vacated has been remodeled and used as a Sunday school house for other church activities.
Other new homes built in this section are those of Mr. And Mrs. R. D. Michael, Prof. And Mrs. M. N. Hedrick and Prof. And Mrs. J. W. Whittemore on Preston avenue; that built by Miss Sallie Guerrant of Christiansburg on Miller Street, which is occupied by T. W. Hatcher, J. B. Jones, P. S. Dear and H. B. Redd; and the home of C. A. Crumpacker on Eheart Street. Mr. And Mrs. J. W. O'Byrnej and Mr. And Mrs. Winifred Price have moved into new homes on Washington Street. On this street is the apartment house built by Professor and Mrs. W. T. Hines and occupied with them by Prof. And Mrs. F. P. Mahan and Mr. And Mrs. Paul Swaffar. Mr. And Mrs. M. H. Brandford are occupying their new home on Roanoke Street. Dr. And Mrs. N. B. Linkous are building a new house on Progress Street; Prof. And Mrs. J. F. Ryman on North Main Street; Miss Lucy Barnett has bought and remodeled the former home of J. W. Bland on Wall Street.
Some events of general interest which have taken place in Blacksburg during the past year were the Southwest Virginia Funeral Director's association in April; three sessions of the Southwest Virginia School of Royal Arch Masons; the McCormick day celebration which took place during the meeting of the state farmers institute; the student-faculty conference of the Y.M.C.A. held here in November. There were two changes in church pastorates. Rev. D. W. Zipperer assumed the pastorate of Luther Memorial Church and Rev. Norman Johnson resigned the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church to accept a call to Rocky Mount, N. C.
The year 1932 holds promise of future development and expansion of Blacksburg. A bill for a new $100,000 post office has been introduced by Congressman Woodrum and in all probability will be passed by the 1932 congress. The installation of the dial system by the Chesapeake and Potomac telephone company is practically assured for the late spring. Plans for a new water system for the town have been investigated. The extension of the city limits to include the residential sections which have grown so greatly in the last ten years, has been further considered.
The list of those who during 1931, passed out of the life of the town and nearby communities at the call of death included: J. P. Crumpacker, Mrs. Mary Stanger Bodell, Mrs. Sherman Kinzer, Rev. G. W. Agrabrite, Mrs. Fred S. Glassett, Dr. P. B. Elliott, John Smith, Albert Fleet; M. S. Price, Mrs. Ada Thomas, Wade H. Miller, Jim Saunders, colored, E. H. Howard, Charles T. Anderson, Jennie Collins, colored, Mrs. J. W. Snidow, R. P. Linous, Mrs. John Bryant, Mrs. Mollis Schaeffer, Fredericka Haberer, Mrs. John Smith, Thomas Camper, Mrs. Hugh Price, Miss Mary McDonald, Mrs. Margaret Shackleford, Lucy Meade, colored, Mrs. Jake Keister, Mrs. Frances Cromer, L. O. Dobyns, Col. J. S. A. Johnson, J. L. Eakin, Mrs. M. A. Broce, Pearl Christian, colored.
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