A Pictorial History


Lowry, Virgin

Page Two

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 "I've Been Working on the Railroad"

Train.JPG (71709 bytes)Lawrence Byrne came here when only twenty-three years old, from Baltimore with an older friend named Dunmeade, a contractor engaged by the Atlantic, Mississippi, & Ohio Railroad, the forerunner of the Norfolk and Western Railway, which ran from Lynchburg, Virginia to Bristol, Tennessee.

Pictured below is Bessie Lowry Markham with her sons Allen and Roscoe Markham.  She is getting ready to put her sister Margaret Lowry on the train for Roanoke.  Standing with this party is C. W. Leslie the Agent for The Norfolk & Western R.R. at Lowry.  The next picture is of the same area some eighty (80) years later.  Notice that the Depot is gone.

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In 1853, Mr. Byrne purchased from Nelson Lowry a three hundred acre tract of woodlands which he intended to use as a source of fuel to sell to the A. M.& 0. Railroad, as Lowry was the fuel stop to fire the engines. Mr. Byrne's home, a quarter mile from the road, was visited during Hunter's Raid by retreating union troops. Mr. Byrne, a British Subject, was not molested in any way during the course of the conflict. Actually a guard was posted to protect his  home and  family.   A Lt. McKinley, troop commander, had an injured horse which he gave to Mrs. Byrne along with a sword.   He later became President McKinley. When the war was over Mr. Byrne purchased a portion of the Nelson Lowry land nearer to the railroad and moved his family there. In 1910 Lawrence Byrne operated a brick kiln at Lowry. One hundred cords of wood were needed to make 100,000 bricks. Bricks from this kiln were used to build the structure at the corner of Bridge and Depot Street in Bedford and this is still standing today.

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This is the building that was built with the Bricks from Lawrence Byrne's Kiln.  It later became The Bridge Theater.

In the 1880-1881 period, in addition to aforementioned business enterprises, there was operating a Post Office, Byrne's General Merchant Store and Byrne's Liberty Distiller and Liquor Establishment.  In the later period up to 1899, J. B. Glass was a Coach and Wagon Maker; Lawrence Byrne, a distiller; William Byrne, E. A. Lee and      T. W. Stayton, general merchants; John Lowry, an insurance agent; and Henry Wilkes, a corn and flour mill operator. Another mill was located at Everett's Ford near Timber Ridge. Dr. John S. Mitchell lived on what is now  Route 460 and doctored the sick in this community. Listed under schools and colleges was Lowry Institute where Black Women were to be taught culture.

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