Vinton History Museum

preserving the past ... for the future


Vinton: The early days

The Town of Vinton can trace its heritage back to the mid-1700s, when the area was first settled. Before people started putting down roots in the area, it was part of Indian trails that led to the Carolinas.

Gish's Mill
Mathias Gish immigrated from Germany to Philadelphia in 1733. His son, Christian, was one of the first members of the Gish family to arrive in the area. In 1797, the Gish brothers, Christian and David, established a grist mill on Glade Creek, which led to the area's first official name — Gish's Mill.

Growth and Incorporation
A growing Roanoke City, incorporated in 1882, attracted an influx of people to the Valley's land and water. Other families who were instrumental in the early development of the Gish’s Mill area were the Vineyards and the Prestons. As population growth continued, Gish’s Mill was incorporated March 17, 1884, and renamed the Town of Vinton. 

Speculation as to why Vinton was chosen as the town’s name: ‘Vin’ was derived from the Vineyard family and ‘ton’ was derived from the Preston family. Many of the descendants of the earliest settlers remain in the area today.

Share by: