It is located in the southwestern part of the state of Virginia and an administratively independent city in Roanoke County. The town is situated on the Roanoke River, which is at the Shenandoah Valley's southern end. The first settlers were in 1740, but the area was developed in 1882 when the Valley Railroad and the Norfolk and Western Railroad, offered an outlet for the coal deposits that are present in the state and West Virginia. When it was chartered in 1874, the area was known as the town of Big Lick but was eventually renamed to Roanoke, which was derived from the Indian term for shell money or a salt marsh nearby. It was then railroad shops, and offices were built upon the arrival of the Virginia Railroad, which has assured more growth for the city. With the expansion of the truck lines and Roanoke's location near the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway sustained the economy.
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