Roanoke Station  LbNA # 30841

Placed DateMay 12 2007
LocationDrakes Branch, VA
Found By Nurse Nan
Last Found Jul 3 2009
Hike Distance?

Difficulty level: easy

Roanoke Station, and the river nearby (extension of Roanoke River locally called Staunton River), take their names from John Randolph’s home, Roanoke Plantation. The city of Roanoke didn’t exist during John Randolph’s time, except as the trading post named “Big Lick.”
And, of course, “Roanoke” was taken from one of the Algonquin languages. The Saponi Indians lived here along the river, and Saponi artifacts are on display in the Roanoke Station building. There is also an exhibit of rare Southern Railway memorabilia from the Crescent Passenger line that served the Roanoke Depot in the early 1920-1930s.

The Station is now part of the Staunton River Battlefield State Park, where the railroad bridge was successfully defended from Federal troops by a vastly outnumbered group of “old men and young boys” in 1864. However, the bridge was burned by the Confederates themselves the following year, soon after Jefferson Davis and his cabinet passed through when fleeing Richmond to safer quarters in Danville.

The first challenge is locating Roanoke Station. On Route 360, just east of the Roanoke (locally called Staunton) River, turn north on Rt. 607. Follow 607 about 6 miles to the hamlet of Randolph. There you will find the Roanoke Station Visitor’s Center. It is not open in winter months, and not always open in warmer weather, as the Clover Center is the main headquarters for the park.

The challenge to locating the letterbox is simply to find a time when no one is about, because it is located on top of one of the piers supporting the entrance stairway. Be careful that no small creatures have taken residence in the litter covering the box, and watch for the wasps that like to nest under the shelter of the station above.

Otherwise, it’s a simple find. The fun is in visiting the state park. See also the other letterbox hidden under the Staunton River Battlefield bridge, which was the actual site contested in 1864.

I am adding this as a hybrid with geocaching boxes. Coordinates available at geocaching website.
Because there are several geocaching sites in the Battlefield Park, this one will be a "hybrid" but the one aty the bridge is for letterboxers only.