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Researching Blacksburg, Virginia, History: Books & Articles-By Topic/Subject

This guide contains information on resources for researching Blacksburg, Virginia, history in Newman Library, including Special Collections.

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A Note on the Guide

Please note: The original guide was created in 1991 and does NOT include books and publications received after the mid-1990s. Researchers interested in finding newer materials should search the library catalog. Future updates to the current guide, including the addition of newer materials, are planned.


  • Bodell, Dorothy H. "My Memories of the Palmer Place." MOUNTAINSIDE, v. 1, no.2 (1981), pp. 39-41. [F232 N5 M68 Special Collections and Remote Storage (requires notice for retrieval)]. Memories of the Palmer home, "Mountain View," which was built in the early 1850s by the Amiss family, who were early Blacksburg residents.
  • Cripps, James. TRANSFORMATION ON COLLEGE AVENUE. [LD5655 V855 1981 C756 Special Collections and Remote Storage (requires notice for retrieval)]. A study of College Avenue from an architectural point of view and contains mostly drawings of buildings, sites, and plans of that area.
  • Dunay, Donna. TOWN ARCHITECTURE. N.p., 1986. [LD5655A542 1986 Special Collect6ions, Newman 3rd floor, Newman Reference, and Art & Architecture Library]. As a result of a citizens' group called the Townscape Committee who were concerned that Blacksburg's rapid growth would continue "without regard for its physical particulars," this study of the town's identity and actions to be taken was published. The publication contains many maps, charts and pictures of Blacksburg locations and buildings using old and present- day photographs. Section 3, titled "A History of Blacksburg" (pp. 92-158) is a study of the history of the town starting from the 18th century, with emphasis on architecture and population. The years 1840, 1870 and 1921 are singled out by pictures, maps, and commentary as periods of unusual growth and prosperity.
  • Farrar, Ernrnie Ferguson. OLD VIRGINIA HOUSES: THE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE. [OLD VIRGINIA HOUSES, V.8] Charlotte, NC: DelmarPub., 1978. [F227 F3 Special Collections, Newman 3rd floor, and Art & Architecture]. Pictures and description of Smithfield (pp. 39-41). Picture and description of Spout Spring, one of the oldest houses in the town of Blacksburg (pp. 42-43). History and picture of Solitude, an early Preston home (pp. 4243). History of the Price house, another early Blacksburg home (p. 42). History and picture of the Montgomery house, a 1790 log home now restored and modernized (p. W). Picture and description of the Michael Kinzer house on the outskirts of Blacksburg, built ca.1780 (p. 45). Picture and description of the Kipps house, built in 1799, now restored and modernized (p. 46).
  • Forren, Richard. INTEGRATING A COMMERCIAL RETAIL AND OFFICE COMPLEX WITHIN DOWNTOWN BLACKSBURG. [LD5655 V855 1983 F677 Special Collections and Remote Storage (requires notice for retrieval)]. A proposal for an office building complex to be built on the present town parking lot. Contains pictures of downtown locations.
  • Hoge, J. "The Hoge-Otey House." MOUNTAINSIDE, v.1, no.3 (1981), pp. 2830. [F232 N5 M68 Special Collections and Remote Storage (requires notice for retrieval)]. A history of the Hoge-Otey house, Walnut Spring, built in the 1850s by Major James Randal Kent for his daughter. This house is in the Blacksburg area of Glade Road and is still occupied by direct descendants.
  • Markham, Philip. PROPOSED LANDSCAPE PLAN FOR SMITHFIELD PLANTATION. [LD5655 V855 1967 M36 Special Collections and Remote Storage (requires notice for retrieval)]. This thesis contains history of Smithfield, its owners, Blacksburg, and the county. It is a study of the gardens around Smithfield, and a proposed "landscape plan similar to the one which might have existed during the residency of its first master, Colonel William Preston." Contains illustrations of the proposed gardens and enclosures.
  • Pezzoni, Dan. FIVE CHIMNEYS: A DOCUMENTATION AND PROPOSAL. [F234 B5 P4 1986 Special Collections, Art & Architecture, and Remote Storage (requires notice for retrieval)]. A history of an old (1851 or 1852) Blacksburg house, and proposals for its use after its purchase in 1986 by the town of Blacksburg.
  • Pezzoni, Dan. TOWN FORM. [LD5655 V855 1987 P499 Special Collections and Remote Storage (requires notice for retrieval)]. Information describes the Croy and Thomas family building lots (pp. 18-19). Location and identification of early store buildings in Blacksburg (pp. 27- 29).
  • Worsham, Gibson. MONTGOMERY COUNTY HISTORIC SITES SURVEY.Christiansburg, VA: Montgomery County, 1986. [F232 M7 M74 1986 Special Collections and Newman 3rd floor]. A two-volume publication resulting from the Montgomery County Planning Commission's charge for a "tool to help plan growth and still preserve the county's historical and architectural resources." Topics covered are: urban and rural development, transportation, industry, agriculture, commerce, religion, education, government, and domestic life for the years 1745-1950. Blacksburg information is included on each topic and is easily located. Includes maps, charts, statistics, survey forms, and a table of contents. Original survey forms and photographs are in the Montgomery County Historic Sites Survey manuscript collection.


  • Cemetery lists in VIRGINIA APPALACHIAN NOTES. May and August 1984. [CS42 V5 Special Collections]. Transcriptions of tombstones in Blacksburg area cemeteries. Kinzer Cemetery located one mile west of Blacksburg (May 1984, p. 62). Robinson Cemetery located one mile north-west of Blacksburg (May 1984, p. 63). McDonald Cemetery located 2 miles west of Blacksburg (August 1984, p. 85). Price Cemetery, west of Price's Fork, off Route 659 (August 1984, p. 86). Bishop Cemetery located 1.5 miles north-east of Blacksburg off Route 460 (August 1984, p. 87).
  • Kenney, Anna Whitehead. THE PRESTON CEMETERY AT SMITHIFlELD PLANTATION, 1782-1980. Christiansburg, VA: Montgomery Branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, 1984. [CS71 P94 1984 Special Collections]. Inscriptions from the tombstones in the Preston Cemetery at Smithfield plantation, 17821980, with explanatory notes about the people buried there. Includes index.


Manuscript Collection:

  • Jones-Chad, Carmen. WAKE FOREST COMMUNITY CEMETERY COLLECTION, 2001. [Ms2002-033 Special Collections]. Document by Carmen Clad-Jones about cemetery including names on stones--2 paper copies and digital copy also received.


  • BLACKSBURG UNITED METHCDIST CHURCH. [BX8481 B55 B58 1976 1980 Special Collections]. Directories for years 1976 and 1980 which give some history of the church, lists of members, committees, women's circles, and other church related activities.
  • Fishwick, Marshall. HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY PARISH FROM 1856- 1956. N.p., n.d. [BX5918 M6 F5 Special Collections and Newman Folio]. A short history of the Episcopal Church in Blacksburg, from 1856-1956. Also mentions many prominent members, and its mission church at "High Top."
  • Kinnear, Duncan Lyle. PRICE'S FORK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 1878-1978: A HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. Price's Fork, VA, 1978. [BX8382.2 A44 P7 Special Collections]. A history of the United Methodist church and some history of Price's Fork from 1741 to 1978. Price's Fork is a very early community near Blacksburg and the people of both communities are interrelated. Includes accounts of community feelings about the Civil War, and the building of a non-Lutheran church. No Blacksburg people are specifically named. Not indexed.
  • Lucas, Frangie (Davis). EARLY HISTORY OF WHISNER MEMORIAL CHURCH. Blacksburg, VA, 1930. [BX8481 B55 W4 Special Collections and Newman 2nd floor]. A history of Methodism in the Blacksburg area, beginning with the church group formed at McDonald's home on Tom's Creek in the late 1700s. It includes the history of the town church with information on the Sunday School and women's groups.
  • Smyth, Ellison. A HISTORY OF THE BLACKSBURG PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: ITS FIRST 150 YEARS. Blacksburg, VA, 1982. [BX9211 B55 B43 1982 Special Collections and Newman 2nd floor]. A history of the church from 1832 to 1982. Includes lists of ministers, members, elders, pictures, and a map.
  • Turner, C. A. METHODISM IN BLACKSBURG, 1798-1948. [BX8249 B55 B4 Special Collections]. A history of the church written for its sesquicentennial celebration in 1948. Illustrations.


  • Lucas, Frangie. "SCHOOLS OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA." Typescript, 1935. [LA379 L8 Special Collections]. Reference made to early home schools at Preston home and Smithfield (p. 2). Includes an early account (1839) of schools in Blacksburg.
  • Poteet, G. F. SECONDARY EDUCATION IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, 1776- 1936. M.A. thesis, University of Virginia, 1937. [LA380 M6 P6 1937a Special Collections]. A study of secondary education in Montgomery County. Mention of early school masters in Blacksburg and at Smithfield (pp. 88-89). A lottery attempted to build a school in Blacksburg between 1819 and 1820 (pp. 101-102). A history of the Blacksburg Female Academy, 1840-1872, including a list of the trustees, including Black, Wall, Peck, Peterman, Preston, Amiss, and others (pp. 103-109). Mention of a private school in Blacksburg known as Locksley Hall and operated from 1869 to 1871 with Lawson, Black, Palmer, and Lybrook students (p. 178). Mention of a private school for boys in Blacksburg in 1850 taught by Rev. Charles Martin (p. t79). A history of Blacksburg High School, beginning with the 1906/1907 school session (pp. 284-288).


For infomation and resources on the Preston family, see the Preston Family Resources guide. The list below does not include all Blacksburg families. Search the library's catalog for specific families or contact Special Collections for further assistance.

  • Bodell, Dorothy H. THE HEAVENER FAMILY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, 1797-1982. Blacksburg, VA: By the author, 1983. [CS71 H42 1983 Special Collections and Newman 2nd floor]. The history of a Blacksburg family which has been in the area since the middle of the 1830s. In the index are Blacksburg names such as Price, Long, Harless, and Keister.
  • Goodrich, Percy E. and Calvin. A GREAT-GRANDMOTHER AND HER PEOPLE. Winchester, IN: By the author, 1950. [CS71 G655 1950 Special Collections]. A history of the John Baldwin Goodrich family who were residents of Blacksburg from about 1815 to 1831, and who lived in Christiansburg before 1815. Included are land transactions with prominent citizens of that time, such as Black, Linkous, Hoge, and Argabright. Also included are four early and rare pictures of Blacksburg properties owned by Goodrich.
  • Keister, J. T. and Nannie Sibold. KEISTER GENEALOGY. Blacksburg, VA: By the authors, 1948. [CS71 K277 1946 Special Collections and Newman 2nd floor]. Genealogy of a Blacksburg area family starting with the year 1799, and includes much data from Professor H. L. Price's "FAMILY LINES." No index.
  • Keister, J. T. PRICE GENEALOGY. Blacksburg, VA: By the author, 1946. [CS71 P946 1948 Special Colletions and Newman 2nd floor]. A compilation of the descendants of Michael Price of Price's Fork, and the linkage of the Keister and Sibold families.
  • Linkous, Clovis. THE LINKOUS FAMILY HISTORY. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1982. [CS71 L75634 1982 Special Collections and Newman 2nd floor]. A history and genealogy of the Linkous family which settled in the Blacksburg area in 1780. A genealogical index of family members; maps, newspaper articles, and pictures are included.
  • Linkous, Clovis. THE LINKOUS FAMILY HISTORY EXPANDED: PRESENTING ALL MATERIAL OF THE 1982 BOOK PLUS RESULTS OF 15 MORE YEARS OF FAMILY RESEARCH. Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1997. [CS71 L75634 1997 Special Collections]. A history and genealogy of the Linkous family which settled in the Blacksburg area in 1780. A genealogical index of family members; maps, newspaper articles, and pictures are included.
  • Nicolay, John. "The Broce Family." MOUNTAINSIDE, v.l, no.2, pp. 14-17. [F232 N5 M68 Special Collections and Remote Storage (requires notice for retrieval)]. History of the Broce family who were early residents of the Blacksburg area (1785).
  • Porter, Nannie F. BLACKS AND OTHER FAMILIES. Richmond, VA: By the author, 1954. [CS71 B636 1954 Special Colletions and Newman 2nd floor]. History and genealogy of the Black family for whom Blacksburg is named (pp. 1-24).
  • Price, Harvey Lee. OUTLINES OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY FAMILIES.Typescript, 1940. 4 volumes in 5. [CS69 P75 Special Collections, Newman 2nd floor, and Microfilm]. This five-volume work is an outline of many Montgomery County families, and an extensive study of the Price family. Even though there are many errors and omissions, any study of Blacksburg families can start here. Names included are Long, Barger, Grissom, Keister, Kinzer, Kipps, Linkous, Shell, Surface, Wall, Argabrite, Black, Calloway, Crumpacker, Lybrook, and many others.
  • Price, W. Conway (William Conway. MEMOIRS OF W. CONWAY PRICE, 1906-1976. Portland, Ore?: Anne Price Yates, 2010. [CS71 P9462 A1 2010 Special Collections].
  • Price, W. Conway (William Conway. SOME DESCENDANTS OF GILES THOMAS, REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER. Portland, Ore?: Anne Price Yates, 2010. [CS71 T46 2010 Special Collections].
  • Pritchard, Jacob. HARLESS GENEALOGY. Los Altos, CA, 1963. [CS71 H3 Newman 2nd floor]. A history and genealogy of John Philip Harless and Margaretha Preiss (Price) Harless. The Harless family has been in the Blacksburg area since the 1750s. Indexed.
  • Tribble, Anna Laura H. THE FAMILY TREE OF HENDERSON. [F232 M7 T74 1981 Special Collections]. A genealogy and history of the Henderson family who have been in the Blacksburg area since 1813. Included are birth, death, and marriage announcements; newspaper articles about family members and photographs.
  • Weiland, Florence B. FIFTY NEW ENGLAND COLONISTS AND FIVE VIRGINIA FAMILIES. Boothbay Harbor, ME: Boothbay Register. [CS71 B58 W4x Special Collections]. A history and genealogy of the Black family. William Black, who gave the land for the creation of the town, is mentioned (pp. 9-10). A special section outlines the lives of John and William Black of Blacksburg (pp. 22-26). Includes index, genealogical charts, and coats of arms.
  • Yates, Anne Hayden (Price). THE BROTHERS CONWAY OF MADISON COUNTY, VIRGINIA: AUTOBIOGRAPHIES OF CATLETT CONWAY AND WILLIAM BUCHANAN CONWAY. Ridgecrest, CA: By the author, 1998. [CT275 C767 A3 1998 Spec/Large]. Contains an autobiography of Dr. W. B. Conway, who was a significant early settler of Blacksburg, a physician and founder of the Bank of Blacksburg.
  • Yates, Anne Hayden (Price), ed. DESCENDENTS OF EDWIN CONWAY, THE IMMIGRANT. 2007. [CS71 C767 2007 Special Collections]. 
  • Yates, Anne Hayden (Price). INCREASES IN PRICES: SOME DESCENDENTS OF DAVID AND AGNES (HOFFMAN) PRICE OF 17TH CENTURY GERMANY. Ridgecrest, CA: By the author, 1985. [CS71 P946 1985 Special Collections and Newman 2nd floor]. An extensive reorganization of the author's grandfather's (H. L. Price, OUTLINES OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY FAMILlES) work on the Price family, including updates, corrections, and additions. Ms. Yates has carried the family lines to the present generation and has documentation in her work. An extensive index, genealogical numbering system, and maps are included.
  • Yates, Anne Hayden (Price). LETTERS WRITTEN BY CATLETT CONWAY (1840-1929), CSA VETERANRidgecrest, CA: By the author, 2012. [CS275 C767 A4 2012 Special Collections]. 
  • Yates, Anne Hayden (Price), ed. A YEAR OF ESSENTIAL CORRESPONDENCE: COURTING LETTERS OF JULIA E. THOMAS AND W. B. CONWAY, 1869-1870, AND OTHER FAMILY LETTERS. S.l.: s.n., c.2013. [CS71 C66 2013 Special Collections].

Telephone Directories & City Directories

Some telephone directories for Montgomery County (listing Blacksburg separately) from 1933 to the present are available in Special Collections [F232 M7 M77 Special Collections]. We hold sporadic issues between 1933 and 1970, then most issues after 1992. City directories for Blacksburg, dating from 1961 to the present, are available in the Newman stacks [F234 B5 H5 Newman 3rd floor], with the latest copy being kept in the Reference Room.

Town of Blacksburg Publications

Publications of the Town of Blacksburg can be found in many parts of the University Libraries system--mainly in the Newman stacks, the Reference Room, the Art and Architecture Library, and Special Collections. One way to access Blacksburg publications is through the library's catalog, using "Blacksburg (Va.)" as an author, as in: a/Blacksburg (Va.). Subdivided headings of potential interest include: Blacksburg (Va.)-Planning Commission; Blacksburg (Va.)--Planning Department; and Blacksburg (Va.)-Town Council.