The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 14

STREETS OF ROANOKE

Main Street, Roanoke
The key roadway to a once-prominent western suburb of Roanoke
shows signs of returning to its former glory.
LOCATION
Wasena neighborhood of southwest Roanoke City.

FEATURES

GEORGE DAVIS PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ROANOKE CITY LIBRARY VIRGINIA ROOM

The historic Wasena Bridge, the highest in Roanoke, and a oncethriving neighborhood commercial district mark Wasena's welltraveled Main Street.
Annexed into the city in 1919, the Wasena neighborhood possesses much of the same architectural style and urban personality of the adjoining Raleigh Court section. The name "Wasena"
comes from a Native American word for "beautiful view" and
was used first in 1909 by the Wasena Land Company that had
purchased the large farm of George Howbert. The land company
erected a steel bridge across the Roanoke River to connect its
planned subdivision with the affluent Highland Park and West
End neighborhoods.
A 1912 advertisement by the land company boasted "a beautiful suburb lying on Roanoke River and gently sloping ground
beyond, with a wonderful view and delightful mountain air." The
land company's bridge was at the terminus with the Highland Park
streetcar line and the company promised the most modern ameni-

ties for the time-sewers, sidewalks, lights, water and telephones!
All of this activity caught the eye of Ronnie R. Fairfax, who
was developing the Villa Heights and Waverly Place sections of
Roanoke such that by 1916 he had formed the Wasena Corporation whose residential lots adjoined those of the Wasena Land
Company. Fairfax's salesmen were brokering lots for $2 down and
$2 per week thereafter.
With all of this activity by two realty development companies,
a central avenue was created beginning at the bridge's northern
terminus and running south to Sherwood Avenue. It was aptly
named Main Street.
The corridor became the gateway into Wasena from the city and
the center of commercial activity for the neighborhood. By the
1920s, the then-100 and 200 blocks of Main Street (today's 1100
block) were bustling with two grocery stores-the Wasena Grocery
and Jamison's Grocery-the Wasena Pharmacy, and Wasena Barber
Shop. The groceries and barber shop exchanged hands numerous
times over the next decade. By the 1940s, the two groceries were
a Kroger and a Mick-or-Mack, chain stores. Main Street also had
a Gulf filling station, a bakery (Parsell's Pie Shop), a furniture repair business, dry cleaner, and Garland's Drug Store No. 3. Dur-

The old Wasena Bridge
The path over the Roanoke River was closer to the ground before the new bridge was built in 1939.

14 | MAY/JUNE 2017

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker May/June 2017

Worth a Click
From the Editor
Lunch With
Streets of Roanoke
The Gist
Events Calendar
Best of Roanoke 2017
Architects on our Architecture
Fun & Functional: Inside the Glickfield Home
Roanoke Valley Health & Wellness: The A-Z
Tacos ā€˜nā€™ BBQ: A Great Spot for Each
The Dish
Where are They Now?
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Intro
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover1
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover2
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 3
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 4
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 5
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 6
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 7
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Worth a Click
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 9
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - From the Editor
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 11
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Lunch With
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 13
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Streets of Roanoke
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 15
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 16
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 17
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - The Gist
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 19
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 20
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 21
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 22
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Events Calendar
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 24
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 25
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 26
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Best of Roanoke 2017
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 28
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 29
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 30
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 31
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 32
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 33
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 34
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 35
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 36
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 37
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The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 64
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 65
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 66
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 67
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 68
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 69
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 70
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 71
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 72
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 73
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 74
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 75
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Architects on our Architecture
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 77
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 78
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 79
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 80
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 81
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 82
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 83
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Fun & Functional: Inside the Glickfield Home
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 85
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 86
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 87
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 88
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 89
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 90
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 91
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Roanoke Valley Health & Wellness: The A-Z
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 93
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 94
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 95
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 96
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 97
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Tacos ā€˜nā€™ BBQ: A Great Spot for Each
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 99
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 100
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 101
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 102
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 103
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - 104
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - The Dish
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Where are They Now?
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover3
The Roanoker May/June 2017 - Cover4
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