In fact, Roanoke became a city so quickly that it earned the nickname "Magic City".
Kimball's interest in geology was instrumental in the development of the Pocahontas coalfields in western Virginia and West Virginia.
At Roanoke Gap, another branch of the Great Wagon Road, the Wilderness Road, continued southwest to Tennessee.
In the 1850s, Big Lick became a stop on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad (V&T) which linked Lynchburg with Bristol on the Virginia-Tennessee border.
Transported by the N&W and neighboring Virginian Railway (VGN), local coal fueled half the world's navies.
Today it stokes steel mills and power plants all over the globe.
The Carolina Road branched off in Cloverdale, Virginia to Boones Mill, Virginia, and on to the Yadkin River Valley.
At the foreclosure auction, the AM&O was purchased by E. Clark & Co., a private banking firm in Philadelphia which controlled the Shenandoah Valley Railroad then under construction up the valley from Hagerstown, Maryland.The AM&O was renamed Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W). Kimball, a civil engineer and partner in the Clark firm, headed the new line and the new Shenandoah Valley Railroad.For the junction for the Shenandoah Valley and the Norfolk and Western roads, Kimball and his board of directors selected the small Virginia village called Big Lick, on the Roanoke River.Published since 1877, Biographical Memoirs provide the life histories and selected bibliographies of deceased National Academy of Sciences members.Colleagues familiar with the subject's work write these memoirs and as such, the series provides a biographical history of science in America.