Tag Archive | The World News

Mill Mountain Poem Written 100 years Ago.

Just like the little girl who wrote the poem about Roanoke’s Mill Mountain which was published In The World News June 9, 1916, I always felt comfortable having mountains around me. Never comfortable in “flat lands.” I grew up on the back side of Mill Mountain so this poem is truly a treasure! Thank you, David Gardner for sharing this with The History of the City of Roanoke facebook group!

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Mill Mountain in the background

Mill Mountain

The following lines were written by Norene Hancock, little daughter of Police Officer Hancock

Wonderful mountain!
Who made you so high,
With your base in the valley,
And crown in the sky.

Who made the great river,
That washes your feet?
Who made your wild flowers,
So fragrant and sweet?
Who made those great ledges,
Without trowel or hod?
No man could have done it,
It must have been God.

Who made those great boulders?
Who made the tall trees?
Who made the green foliage,
That sways in the breeze?
Who made the bright mosses?
Who made the green sward?
No man could have done it,
It must have been God.

You stand as a sentinel,
Our city to guard,
While the good and the bad are asleep,
While the beautiful river,
Glides peacefully on,
To mingle its flow with the deep.

[Good-bye], dear old mountain,
May your strength ever stand,
To guard all the good,
And the bad of our land.


[The World News, Volume 27, Number 139, June 8, 1916]


When this poem was written, one had to hike or ride “the incline” to get to the top.

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If you have read my novel, The Vision of a Mother’s Heart, Isabel (my grandmother who grew up in the Roanoke area would have been 4-years-old.

OLD NEWS – June 8, 1916 | Southeast Roanoke

In the 1940’s a neon Star was added to Mill Mountain. The nickname changed from Magic City (because it practally sprang up with the coming of the Norfolk & Western Railway) to The Star City.

Mill Mountain Star in 1949

Today, people come to Mill Mountain to see the star, the lovely view and to enjoy the Mill Mountain Zoo.


For more information about Mill Mountain and the star, click on the link below.