Officially chartered in 1882, Roanoke is nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains and is often referred to as the "Star City of the South." The history of this remarkable community is captured here through the images of the picture postcard. With the construction of each new bank, school, bridge, and church, the postcard became a convenient way to promote and celebrate the achievement; now, these images preserve a collective record of Roanoke's heritage. See how the area looked in the early 1900s, with its dirt streets, trolley tracks, horse-drawn wagons, and Model Ts. Postcards of succeeding decades frame the growth of Roanoke from a railroad town to the center of commerce and industry in Southwestern Virginia.
Author Nelson Harris has compiled nearly 200 postcards from his private collection, including buildings and parks long gone from Roanoke's landscape, such as Mountain Park with its trolley station and dancing pavilion; the Mill Mountain incline; the ornate Academy of Music; and Lakeside Amusement Park. Harris is a life-long resident of Roanoke and a member of the Roanoke City Council. He is an ordained minister and is married with three sons.