HistoryFirst Settlers in 1847
The history of Roanoke, Texas began in 1847 when a small group of twenty settlers and their families settled near Denton Creek, north of the present location of Roanoke. First called the Medlin Settlement in honor of Louis and Charles Medlin, whose families were in the colony, the early community was later designated Garden Valley.
Laid out in one-half acre tracts, the early settlement had stores and a blacksmith shop. Frequent floods of Denton Creek reached house rooftops and endangered the lives of both the settlers and their livestock. About 1879, the settlement was moved closer to the present site of Roanoke. In 1881 and 1882, most of the settlers began moving to the new town sight being laid out by the Texas & Pacific Railway. One of the railroad surveyors named the town Roanoke, in memory of his home town in Virginia.
Historic Oak Street
Roanoke was a cattle center in its early days. They had robust cattlemen, two saloons, a horse trough and a water tank which was located in the center of Oak Street. There were two hotels, the "Pacific" and "Eureka," in the early days of Roanoke.
First Postmaster in 1882
Gus Wiggs was the first postmaster, appointed in 1882; in 1889, Mr. William Cowan was appointed postmaster by President McKinley. In 1902 Postmaster Cowan inaugurated the first Rural Route for Roanoke.
In the early days of Roanoke, a person could get a shave for ten cents and a haircut for fifteen cents. In 1933 during the depression, Roanoke was incorporated as a city, with Mr. H. W. Jenkins elected as the first mayor.
Firefighting in Roanoke
In 1948, Roanoke purchased its first fire truck, a 1923 LaFrance. In 2000, the city completed a mini-museum honoring all the volunteer firemen, placing the old LaFrance within. Although Roanoke is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, it maintains a small-town atmosphere. Many of Roanoke's original families remain represented in the city.
Roanoke's excellent location provides optimal access to major metropolitan amenities including airports, interstate, highways, rail services, entertainment, and shopping. We are committed to preserving the best of Roanoke's history and tradition. Visit Historic Downtown Roanoke and enjoy the updates and progress of our downtown redevelopment program while you discover the timeless friendly charm that is Roanoke today.
Unique Dining CapitalUnique Dining Capital of Texas - Officially Delicious!
Visit the Unique Dining Capital of Texas. The City of Roanoke was officially appointed by the Texas House of Representatives as The Unique Dining Capital of Texas! Please be sure to visit our delicious and unique eateries soon. Roanoke welcomes you, your family, and friends to enjoy our laid back, charming, small town atmosphere on historic Oak Street and all around the community. Watch for more special dining spots opening soon and check out our Unique Dining Guide featuring over forty restaurants. Check back: 2013 Dining Guide coming soon!
From classically elegant to down home delicious, we have some of the best eating and unique dining around and more coming soon. Visit our creative and eclectic shops as well.
Call City Hall for more information at 817-491-2411, or call the Roanoke Visitor Center and Museum at 817-491-6090. Stop in and view the collection of local and regional artifacts at:
Roanoke Visitor Center and Museum
114 N. Oak St.
Roanoke, TX 76262
At the Visitor Center and Museum, you can learn more about Roanoke's unique and vibrant past and all that is happening in our community.
We feature a free concerts series, Evenings on Oak Street, at our Austin Street Plaza, Austin and Oak Street, from March through October. Come to our charming, downtown festival, Celebrate Roanoke, on the second Saturday of October in the historic downtown. Celebrate our designation as the Unique Dining Capital of Texas with musical events and local business specials during Unique Week each April.
Roanoke's Third Rocks on July 3rd, is a patriotic party with live music, games, activities, and fabulous fireworks. Enjoy fun, family events in Roanoke all year; check the events calendar!