In 1845 Blacksburg's population was 250 and the town's amenities included Presbyterian and Methodist churches. The extent of the community's growth by the second quarter of the nineteenth century is indicated in a drawing by Lewis Miller dated 1853. By the 1850s Blacksburg had moved into competition with Christiansburg; it was the location of Methodist male and female academies, a bank, many commercial and small-scale industrial establishments, and, like Christiansburg, was a center of agitation for rival turnpike and railroad schemes designed to serve the interests of each local community.

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