Special Collections Department
University Libraries

Blacksburg Bicentennial Timeline

1745
Col James Patton receives original 100,000-acre Woods River grant.
1755
Drapers Meadow attacked by Indians; Mary Draper Ingles is taken hostage and escapes
1772
Smithfield Plantation built by William Preston.
1776
Montgomery County formed
1798
Blacksburg founded by William Black
1801
Solitude built (oldest building on the Virginia Tech campus)
1840
Price House at Lee and Wharton built

Blacksburg Female Academy incorporated. In 1858 it was sold to the Hunter's Lodge of F. and A. Masons, and the name was changed to the Caldwell Masonic Female Institute.

1847
First Presbyterian Church built (now South Main Cafe)
1849
Blacksburg Savings Institution established (first bank in Montgomery County)
1850
Rev. Charles Martin established a school
1851
Methodists open Olin and Preston Institute with William R. White as principal
1852
1932
New water system (owned by town) put into operation in September
1935
Downtown Post Office built

Town installs lights on Main Street and street signs

1937
Officer Dave Sumner, nicknamed "Highpockets," is first Blacksburg police officer
1941
Bookmobile serivces provided to Montgomery, Radford, and Pulaski counties
1942
Town buys first fire truck
Blacksburg's First Fire Truck
1943
Flood of Virginia Tech's lower quadrangle
1946
Town buys first police car
1947
First town buses begin runs
1948
Virginia Polytechnic Institute hires Dr. Hung-yu Loh, physics professor from China
1949
Police call light installed at the intersection of College Avenue and Main Street
1951
Blacksburg First aid and Life Saving Crew founded
1952
Virginia Tech Mall built

New Blacksburg High School built on Main and Eheart Streets

1953
New athletic field completed at Blacksburg High School site

Litton Industries' Poly-Scientific plant opens

1954
Blacksburg High School moves to new South Main Street building, now site of Blacksburg Middle School

Montgomery County Human Relations forms after Blacksburg minister Archie L. Richmond arrested at segregated Wythe County park

Jack Goodwin is appointed the first chief of police by the Blacksburg Town Council

1955
Blacksburg-Virginia Tech Water Authority amended to include Christiansburg
1957
Town buys a radar set for speed control
1958
Last run of the Huckleberry rail passenger service
1959
Blacksburg Recreational Council formed
1961
Blacksburg High School integrated by Phillip Harmon Price, oral history interview transcript available, and Anna Christine Price
1963
Margaret J. Beeks Elementary School completed

Gilbert F. Linkous School completed

1964
Renovated Smithfield Plantation house opens

Corning Glass Works opens south of Blacksburg
Corning Glass Works

Blacksburg plant closes in 1984 and reopens in 1988

1965
First Montgomery County Interstate 81 stretch opens
1966
Last Huckleberry freight train leaves Blacksburg

Gables Shopping Center opens

1969
Blacksburg Municipal Building on South Main Street constructed

U. S. 460 bypass opens

1970
Blacksburg Branch of the Montgomery County Library opened in April with 6,086 volumes in Municipal Building. Circulation for 1970-71 was 63,195 volumes.

Terrace View apartments, first large student complex, built

1971
Town has new charter

Montgomery Regional Hospital built

1972
Harding Avenue Elementary School
1973
Blacksburg voters approve liquor by the drink by vote of 2,304 to 900
1974
New Blacksburg High School on Patrick Henry Drive opens. The Main Street facilities were converted to Blacksburg Middle School

University Mall shopping center opens

1975
Jan Olinger is the first woman police officer
1976
Deadwood Days summer festival begins (later renamed Steppin' Out)
1980
Blacksburg Branch of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library moves into facility that used to house Blacksburg Lumber Company on Draper Road

Warm Hearth Village retirement center built

1981
Blacksburg Community Center built at cost of $1.2 million opens

Town opens first bikeway

1992
Spring downpour floods Stroubles Creek through downtown and Donaldson Brown Center
1993
Blacksburg Electronic Village begun
1994
Severe ice storm knocks out electricity, drains town water supply

Kipps Elementary School opens

1996
New Blacksburg branch library opens

First phase of the Huckleberry Trail opens

1997
Ground broken for experimental "Smart Road"
1998
Blacksburg's Bicentennial

URL: "http://spec.lib.vt.edu/bicent/timeline/bburtime.htm"
Return to Blacksburg Bicentennial home page
Return to Special Collections home page
Last updated: October 26, 1998