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The Gainsboro History Project

About the Gainsboro History Project

The Roanoke Higher Education Center (RHEC) recently completed construction of the new Central Walkway Plaza. The Walkway expands the campus footprint by connecting the main building with the Claude Moore Education Complex, and provides green space, a brick walkway, a seat wall, and an outdoor learning laboratory for culinary arts students.

The RHEC campus is located within the historic Gainsboro neighborhood of Roanoke which was once a thriving business and entertainment district for African Americans. A significant feature of the Central Walkway honors this legacy. RHEC staff worked with members of the local community to identify historical themes and events from 1835 to 1970 to engrave in the walkway. Complementing the granite markers is the development of a mobile web application (app) titled, The Gainsboro History Project, an online history site accessible from a mobile device or computer, dedicated to sharing the rich heritage of the people and places of Gainsboro. Utilizing text, graphics, and video, the app provides stories reflecting the contributions of the people who lived and worked in Gainsboro.

Contributors for the content development for this web application were:

Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation
Evelyn A. Slone
Angela Stiefbold, PhD
Elizabeth Klein, Hollins University Intern
Kori Silence, Hollins University Intern

Roanoke Public Libraries
Megan Mizak, Gainsboro Branch Library
Edwina Parks, Virginia Room
Dyron Knick, Virginia Room

Roanoke Higher Education Center
Carla L. James-Jackson, PhD
Jessica Yopp

Friends of Old Lick Cemetery
Joe Cobb

This Gainsboro History Project was inspired by and is dedicated to The Sisters:

Evelyn Davis Bethel
Helen ‘Pete’ Davis
Alice B. Roberts
Margaret B. Roberts