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Town Tour

Pulaski Gatewood for Virginia Tech football camping and lodgingA driving / walking tour of the Town of Pulaski is an important experience in modern industrial history. “The Town sprang up at the coming of the railroad” (statement on the State of Virginia historical site sign in Jackson Park) is true, but the discovery and exploitation of coal in the nearby mountains fueled the growth of “Pulaski City.” Commerce, especially industrialization, brought residential development. From the Welsh workers’ houses to Victorian Queen Anne mansions, Pulaskians lived (and continue to live) a shared destiny.

Pulaskians are fortunate to have national recognition for our historical districts. Although we who live and work here daily may occasionally take our surroundings for granted, there are three Historical Districts in the community which underscore architectural significance: the Historic Commercial District, the Pulaski South Historical Residential and Industrial District; and the Pulaski Historical Residential District. Four structures are recognized landmark sites: the Pulaski Depot, the Pulaski County Courthouse, the Dalton Theater Building, and Calfee Park.


This tour is chronologically arranged, admittedly not the best for “touring” per se. One key in understanding the Town of Pulaski, however, is to appreciate the “compaction” of its history. Pulaski was a late Nineteenth Century boomtown that moved quickly away from its agrarian roots as the Martin Plantation to a manufacturing center with buildings, factories, and industrial activities more in common with urban society. The legacies of rapid industrial growth remain. Some are beautiful and enchanting. Others are foul and in disrepair.

The next phase of the Town’s history will inevitably build on these physical legacies. Yet, the stories of the people who built and sustained the boom now need to be told. In a driving-walking tour, we must try to identify them, hear their stories, and listen to their voices.

John B. White

Please click here for part one of a printable version of the Tour of Pulaski, Virginia.

Please click here for part two of a printable version of the Tour of Pulaski, Virginia.





 

   


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