A Pictorial History
Click Below to Stop
"I've Been Working on the Railroad"
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.
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
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
Byrne's General Merchant Store
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.
Home Back Next Page