Vacant lots are a problem for towns throughout Appalachia, but in Radford, Virginia, city leaders have brought life back to two empty pockets of the community. The Carson’s Drug Store building stood in the heart of downtown Radford for nearly a century. A fire in 1992 turned the site into a heap of burned-out debris.… Continue Reading Season Six, Episode Six
Ann Taylor Wright realized that spending a few hours each week selling meat products to farmer’s market customers wouldn’t keep her sixth-generation family farm afloat. She approached leaders in the nearby town of South Hill, Virginia, with the idea of creating a food hub – a place where meats and produce could be processed and… Continue Reading Season Six, Episode Five
Confronted with railroad layoffs that all but demolished the local economy, Erwin, Tennessee, took a sordid event from its past and created a new selling point for the town. Once the site of unspeakable cruelty, Erwin now brings in tourists and raises money for The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Also in the episode, viewers will… Continue Reading Season Six, Episode Four
A new idea for an old mountain road is lighting an economic fire in Tazewell, Virginia. The town, whose fortunes had fallen with the coal industry, now is a destination for motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts from around the world. Speaking of roads, the Small Town Big Number segment takes a jog down memory lane,… Continue Reading Season Six, Episode Three
Fincastle, Virginia, hadn’t changed its boundaries since 1772. But when elected leaders first attempted to expand acreage and population a few years ago, the effort stumbled. Can they create enough unity to bring growth to the town of about 300 people?
Accomplishments and setbacks in Marion, Virginia — the town we followed for a year.
The latest episode of Save Our Towns takes us to Jonesborough, Tennessee. While known as the “oldest town in Tennessee,” Jonesborough town leaders discovered that its real claim to fame was its rich tradition of storytelling. The expert tip comes from former mayor Jimmy Neil Smith, who began the first National Storytelling Festival in 1973… Continue Reading Season 4, Episode 5
The latest episode of Save Our Towns takes us to Williamson, West Virginia, where the Sustainable Williamson project has focused on positioning the town for life after coal. Meanwhile, we see how the renovation of the Lee Theatre in Pennington Gap, Virginia, has been the key to the town’s revitalization. Maxwell’s Number highlights the “Local… Continue Reading Season 4, Episode 4
The second episode of season four takes Save Our Towns to Boone, North Carolina, where town leaders made national headlines after resolving to end the use of fossil fuels by 2050. We also hear about a class on sustainability taught jointly by Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia in Europe. Our visit to Pennington… Continue Reading Season 4, Episode 2
Save Our Towns returns for its fourth season and hits the ground running with a visit to Damascus, Virginia, where town leaders are seeking to nurture a year-round tourism-based economy. We introduce Pennington Gap, the small town located in far Southwest Virginia, that will be followed over the course of the entire season. After a… Continue Reading Season 4, Episode 1