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Hidden History of Roanoke: Star City Stories Paperback – August 6, 2013


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Hidden History of Roanoke: Star City Stories + Roanoke Valley (Then & Now) + Downtown Roanoke   (VA)  (Images of America)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160949993X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609499938
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nelson Harris is a minister and teacher in Roanoke, Virginia. He has been published in numerous journals and has authored several local history books. He was the Mayor of Roanoke from 2004 to 2008 and has served on many local boards, including Roanoke City Council.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael F. Kennedy on January 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
From my office window I see a parking lot next to a bakery. But in 1911, it was the office where Baldwin-Felts detectives learned of the Hillsville courthouse massacre. The parking lots I see on Salem Avenue were once a bustling row of saloons.

Who knew there was a women's college in South Roanoke, right on a street where I once considered buying a house? A twine mill a couple of miles from my Raleigh Court home, where Lewis Hine photographed barefoot children at work? A grisly murder at a church I have attended? A notorious killer spending his childhood next to the church where my son's Cub Scout Pack met?

This book is to Roanoke's past what night-vision goggles are to darkness. What once appeared to be nothingness is a landscape brought into full view.

For me, this is an interesting and astonishing book. Harris tells his tales well. Some certainly are more interesting than others, the ones that take place in Roanoke being more interesting than those with a merely tangential connection.

I saw a misused figure of speech and what I suspect is an anachronism in a couple of stories, but they should not unduly harm your reading enjoyment. If you're interested in Roanoke, read this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recommended to me by a cousin from Roanoke. Brought back lots of memories
Anyone from Roanoke area would be interested
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was so pleased to discover this modest compendium of stories on my home town's past. Although, in my opinion, the prose could stand a little more polish, the true value of this book lies in its contents. To learn that the old mansions I walked by as a boy in "Old Southwest" had belonged to early city fathers--some successful businessmen, some scoundrels, really opened my eyes, and ignited an appetite for more information. The sad details of the murder in the church I attended as a teen was something I had waited decades to learn. I have come to appreciate my home town's history and the magic of its past so much more after reading this book! Whether you are a native Roanoker, and like me, will feel yourself drawn to your place in the warp and woof of this ongoing historical fabric, or merely a reader curious to learn what put this unique Southern city on the map and nurtured its growth, you will be both surprised, and well-entertained! I hope the author will write a second volume--I know there must be many more stories--more human drama and pathos to be mined from the past of the Star City of the South! Buy it, read it, and enjoy! Mr. Author, we are waiting for more!
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By Burt on January 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The stories were interesting enough, but the writing might not have made the high school newspaper cut.. The writing did not lift you and carry you through the story. It was an obstacle to be overcome to get to the story. It was like reading a student's paper based on superficial, incomplete newspaper reporting.
I'm glad to know the stories, but the reading was not a pleasure.
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