Roanoke Valley Chapter NSDAR
We are a diverse group of ladies who possess many different talents and interests who range in age from our 20s to 90s. Many of our members work outside the home and are busy caring for families. Our membership draws primarily from Vinton, Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Salem, Hardy, and Troutville.
Members from our chapter have served the NSDAR in many leadership roles including seven district directors, eight state officers, one state regent, and one national officer. We share a common bond that our ancestor(s) furthered the cause of freedom in the Revolutionary War. We possess a strong desire to learn more about colonial days and to preserve this knowledge for our children and grandchildren.
The Roanoke Valley is nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. By the 1740s German and Scotch-Irish settlers began to arrive in the valley from Pennsylvania through the Shenandoah Valley. Joining them were settlers of English ancestry from the Tidewater area of Virginia, who traveled up the James and Roanoke rivers to our valley. The first village in the area was surrounded by salt marshes, or licks as they were called by the settlers. These licks attracted buffalo, elk, and deer as well as the Native Americans who hunted them. Hence, the village in the Roanoke Valley came to be known as Big Lick. In 1881 Big Lick was renamed Roanoke, an Indian word "Rawrenock" which means wampum.
Our valley consists of four local governments; Roanoke City-"The Star City," Roanoke County (carved out of Botetourt County in 1838), Salem (founded by General Andrew Lewis in the mid-1700s and chartered as a city in 1968), and Vinton (first settled by David Gish in 1838).
Roanoke is home to several institutes of higher education: Roanoke College, Virginia Western Community College, and Hollins University. Roanoke City has been awarded the "All–America City" designation three times. In addition, our area is known for several festivals and major events: the Roanoke Valley Horse Show, Roanoke's Festival in the Park, Vinton’s Dogwood Festival, The Sidewalk Art Show, Virginia Championship Chili Cook-off, and Strawberry Festival.
We serve our community in many different ways: from sending two pet therapy teams to our local Veterans Medical Center to visit on a regular basis, to remembering those who have served our country on special occasions, and to recognizing outstanding students in the area. Our members help others trace their roots, raise money for the USO, and are literacy volunteers. A DAR Good Citizen Award is given annually to a graduating senior from each of the local high schools we sponsor. We participate in programs that involve interests in historical events, genealogy, antiques, education, and national defense. We encourage our members to take field trips to historical sites in our area and the surrounding region.
Our meetings are held the second Saturday of the month at 10:00 A.M. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.
Sharon H. Menzies
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Last updated: July 24, 2015
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