The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - 122

then & now

JENNY KINCAID BOONE is a Roanoke-based freelance writer and former business
journalist. She is a Roanoke College and Northwestern University graduate who is
passionate about exercise and chai latte.

Peoples Bank
THE BUILDING AT THE corner of South Pollard
Street and Lee Avenue is a landmark for Vinton
financial institutions.
At the time of this photo, taken in 1912, the brick
structure was home to Peoples Bank, which was
established in 1910.
Peoples may have started a trend for 201 S. Pollard St.
It was one of the first banks to move into the building,
and historic records and photographs from the Vinton
History Museum show that financial institutions are
the primary businesses housed there through the years.
Peoples eventually merged with First National Bank
of Vinton, becoming Peoples Bank of Vinton.
In 1932, Mountain Trust Bank took over. The bank's
name was changed to First and Merchants in 1974.
Ten years later, it became Sovran Bank when First

122

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020

and Merchants and Virginia National Bank merged,
according to a news article available at the Vinton
History Museum.
Sovran was the largest bank in Virginia at the time,
with more than $7 billion in assets, approximately 8,419
employees in the state and 12 in Vinton.
Remnants of banking's past are on display at the
Vinton History Museum. The museum holds an historic
bookkeeping machine that resembles a typewriter, a
money bank, and small savings record books bearing
the names of some of these former banking institutions.
And as history repeats, 201 S. Pollard St. remains
home to a bank. Now, it is HomeTrust Bank. The North
Carolina-based company bought the building in 2005,
according to Vinton property records.
-JENNY KINCAID BOONE

TheRoanoker.com

JULIANNE RAINONE JACOB / ARCHIVAL IMAGE COURTESY OF THE VIRGINIA ROOM, ROANOKE PUBLIC LIBRARIES

One building in Vinton has hosted the same business for generations.


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The Roanoker - September/October 2020

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The Roanoker - September/October 2020 - Cover3
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