History of Radford, Virginia

The history of Radford, Virginia, predates the American Revolution by more than a decade. In its more than 200-year history, Radford has seen strife, prosperity, and peace. Today, the city stands as a beacon of history in the surrounding community.

Prior to the arrival of the railroad, the settlement of Radford sat at the New River crossing on what is now US 11. In 1762, William Ingles established Ingles’ Ferry. Shortly after its founding, the ferry became the center for business in the area. Within a few years, a general store, tavern, and blacksmith opened their doors.

The 1854 arrival of the railroad brought growth to the Radford area. The depot was established at a central location and became the center for both commercial and residential growth. In 1854, the area had a population of just 30. Two years later, the population surpassed 100 people.

Between 1880 and 1890, the city’s population soared from 300 to 3,000. In 1885, Central City was officially renamed to Radford. In 1892, Radford’s population exceeded 5,000.

In the 1930s, Radford became a spot of choice for federal military production pursuits. As a result, the population boomed and employment alone exceeded 20,000. Following World War II, population growth slowed.

The railroad’s passenger service ended in 1971, effectively halting the city’s population growth. Today, Radford is a small university town with an active business community. If you’re in the Radford area and are in need of a car, come stop by Harvey’s GM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *