“The New River City”
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Town of Radford VA
The small city of Radford is located in Montgomerey county is surrounded on three sides by the Virginia Blue Ridge Foothills. Radford is centrally located in the heart of the New River Valley off Interstate 81 between exit 109 and 105. Radford has easy access to Virginia Tech, Claytor Lake, and the town of Floyd Virginia off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Radford offers a quaint home town feel with a variety of things to do and plenty of places to stay such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, cabin rentals, campgrounds and over forty restaruants to have a great meal. Radford also offers rich culture, historical sites, and outdoor recreation for visitors to enjoy. Radford has fourteen park where two parks offer access to the New River where tourists can kayak, canoe, river tube and go fishing. All the p[arks offer picnic tables, hiking and are part of the Virginia Wildlife Birdwatcing Trail.
If the arts interest you, Radford university has performing arts, dance and music productions available to the public. Radford University also offers a unique planetarium and Museum of Earth Science for the kids and the family.
History of Radford VA
Radford was originally a small village near the New River which was a draw to travelers moving westward for food and water. The westward trail that caused Radford’s expansion and growth was known as the, “Wilderness Road”, “Valley Pike”, or Today’s Route 11. The Road expanded and traveled from West to Southeast Virginia to Cumberland Gap into Kentucky.
Radford Virgina was named after Dr. John B Radford, and was formerly known as, “Lovely Mount”. In 1864 the Virginia and Tennessee railroads placed a large train depot at Lovely Mount due to its strategic placement between the east and west of Virginia. In 1857 Radford became a railroad town with an abundance of trade and business in the area, thereby increasing the population. In 1894 the name Lovely Mount was changed to Radford and with the help of the railroad many new companies saw it as a mecca for doing business. An ice company, a creamery, milling companies, piping company and many more opened in Radford.
One of the major contributing factors to the growth of Radford was the New River Railroad Mining and Manufacturing Company buidling a railroad to the Pochahontas Coal Fie4lds in West Virginia.
After the road was built to the Cripple Creek Iron mines the population and number of businesses increased dramatically from 300-3,000 in 10 years. Land development companies were formed and subdivisions were planned for East and West Radford. The growth spawned an iron foundry, brick works, lumber companies, knitting mill and a stone quarry.
In 1885 Central City was incorporated as a town and by 1887the name was changed to Radford. In 1892 the population grew to 5,000 people and the East and West parts of town merged and became a small city.