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However, the Financial Panic of 1873 wrecked the AM&O's finances.

After several years of operating under receiverships, Mahone's role as a railroad builder ended in 1881 when northern financial interests took control.

Kimball's interest in geology was instrumental in the development of the Pocahontas coalfields in western Virginia and West Virginia.

He pushed N&W lines through the wilds of West Virginia, north to Columbus, Ohio and Cincinnati, Ohio, and south to Durham, North Carolina and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

As the N&W brought people and jobs, the Town of Roanoke quickly became an independent city in 1884.

Although the grateful citizens offered to rename their town "Kimball", at his suggestion, they agreed to name it Roanoke after the river.The Great Indian Warpath which later merged into the colonial Great Wagon Road, one of the most heavily traveled roads of eighteenth century America, ran from Philadelphia through the Shenandoah Valley to the future site of the City of Roanoke, where the Roanoke River passed through the Blue Ridge.The Carolina Road branched off in Cloverdale, Virginia to Boones Mill, Virginia, and on to the Yadkin River Valley.Roanoke has a weak mayor-city manager form of government.The city manager is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the city's government and has the authority to hire and fire city employees.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.

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