Once a part of the Creek Indian territory, early pioneers settled the area and, on December 18th, 1832, the Alabama General Assembly established our 371,840 acre county, naming it Randolph County after a popular U.S. Senator from Virginia, John Randolph.

Roanoke, the largest city in Randolph County, is located in the southeastern corner of the county.   Once known as High Pine,  in the 1830's the name was changed to Roanoke in honor of John Randolph's Virginia Plantation.

In the mid 1830's, the Alabama Gold Rush provided a thriving gold mining industry until the Great California Gold Rush drew the miners westward. Luckily, most of the folks stayed, and agriculture soon became the area's economic backbone.
The Central of Georgia Railroad came to Roanoke in 1887, beginning a new growth period during which many of the downtown brick stores were built. A group of visionary business people began a cotton mill, W. A. Handley Manufacturing, and for years, Roanoke had a cotton-centered economy.
Early Central of Georgia Train

Beautiful Older Home in Roanoke

In 1907, a second railroad came to the area and, along with it, other diversified industries, resulting in steady and healthy economic growth. Those early years are still reflected in the many well-preserved older homes which are popular housing today.
Modern Roanoke, with a population nearing 7,000, has a more varied industrial base, a fact that gives us a high quality of life. The Roanoke City School System has recently completed construction of a new middle school, elementary school, and renovation of its high school.

Modern Industrial Roanoke 


Roanoke Doll Factory, 1900 - 1925

Doll collectors the world over feel a special reverence for Roanoke because it was here that Ella Smith created and manufactured her famous Roanoke dolls, often referred to as the Alabama Indestructible Baby.
<Roanoke Doll Factory, 1900 - 1925

Click to return to Top of Page

Return to The City of Roanoke Home Page