The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 18

Mill Mountain
LOCATION
Mill Mountain

FEATURES
Mill Mountain's Prospect Road, commonly called the Loop Road
or Old Toll Road, still has the same basic design when it originated
as a graded carriage road in 1891. Today, the road is part of the
Roanoke Valley's greenway system within Mill Mountain Park.

HISTORY

Nelson Harris

is a former mayor of
Roanoke and author
of a dozen books
on the region's
history. He is the
minister at Heights
Community Church
in Roanoke and
a past president
of the Historical
Society of Western
Virginia.
18

MAY/JUNE 2018

A strong desire by Roanoke's business leaders to take advantage
of the vistas and cooler summer temperatures on the summit of
Mill Mountain prompted its development for recreational use.
While the mountain had been hiked to enjoy the panoramic views,
the desire for an inn and observatory necessitated the building
of a road.
In 1891, Roanoke Gas and Water Company acquired the
western slope of Mill Mountain from the Roanoke Land &
Improvement Company in its primary effort to control the Crystal
Spring reservoir. The company, however, clearly knew the benefit
of owning the mountain as an economic and recreational asset.

Thus, the Gas and Water Company hired local builder F.D.
Booth to develop a $10,000 hotel and $2,000 observatory at
the summit along with a winding road with a 10% slope up the
northwestern face of the mountain. The hotel would become
Rockledge Inn and the carriage trail Prospect Road.
Rockledge Hotel (later Inn) formally opened on May 3, 1892,
with a grand dinner. The guest list included local dignitaries
and executives with the Norfolk & Western Railway, some of
whom traveled from Philadelphia for the occasion. Carriages were
positioned at the railway station to transport guests between the
train depot and the hotel.
Efforts to make Mill Mountain a recreational draw proved
difficult. Rockledge, while roomy and boasting of the grandest
views of the Roanoke Valley, was primitive by the standards of the
day especially when compared to the Hotel Roanoke. Further, the
carriage ride to the top of the mountain along Booth's winding
dirt road took between two and three hours. Many hiked the
mountain in less time than it took to ride a carriage. Rockledge
Inn closed only two years after it opened.
Downturns in the economy coupled with other failed ventures
to attract persons to Mill Mountain's summit, such as the shortTheRoanoker.com

COURTESY OF THE HISTORY MUSEUM OF WESTERN VIRGINIA

The Loop Road on Mill Mountain, so named for its loop, is nearly unchanged from
its 1891 beginnings.


http://www.TheRoanoker.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - May/June 2018

The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Intro
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Cover1
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Cover2
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 3
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 4
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 5
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 6
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 7
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 8
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 9
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 10
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 11
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 12
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 13
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 14
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 15
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 16
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 17
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 18
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 19
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 20
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 21
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 22
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 23
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 24
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 25
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 26
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 27
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 28
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 29
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 30
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 31
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 32
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 33
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 34
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 35
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 36
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 37
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 38
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 39
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 40
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 41
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 42
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 43
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 44
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 45
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 46
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 47
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 48
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 49
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 50
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 51
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 52
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 53
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 54
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 55
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 56
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 57
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 58
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 59
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 60
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 61
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 62
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 63
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 64
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 65
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 66
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 67
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 68
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 69
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 70
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 71
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 72
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 73
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 74
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 75
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 76
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 77
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 78
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 79
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 80
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 81
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 82
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 83
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 84
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 85
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 86
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 87
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 88
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 89
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 90
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 91
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 92
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 93
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 94
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 95
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 96
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 97
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 98
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 99
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 100
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 101
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 102
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 103
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 104
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 105
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 106
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 107
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 108
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 109
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 110
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 111
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 112
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 113
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 114
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 115
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 116
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 117
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 118
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 119
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 120
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 121
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 122
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 123
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 124
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 125
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 126
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 127
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 128
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 129
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 130
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Cover3
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20200304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20200102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20191112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/TheRoanoker_JulyAugust2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/TheRoanoker_MayJune2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20170102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20151112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20150102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20141112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20140910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20140708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_20140506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/roanoker_201402
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com