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Gish’s Mill was built in 1797 by David Gish. The mill is also featured on the Town Seal. *Rendering and information provided by the Vinton Historical Society.*

A Brief History of Vinton

The Beginning: The area was part of an Indian trail that led to the Carolinas.

Mid-1700’s: Settlers began moving into the Roanoke Valley area to take advantage of the fertile land and abundant water supply. Some of the early settlers in the Vinton area were Jacob Vinyard, John McAdoo, Christian Gish, and his brother David Gish.

1797: The Gish brothers established a grist mill on Glade Creek, which led to the first official name for the Vinton area – Gish’s Mill.

1838: During the early years of the mill, Roanoke County was formed and Gish’s Mill became a part of the county.

1860’s: Gish’s Mill became a flag stop for the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio Railroad. Initially, Gish’s Depot was a small box car, but in the mid-1860’s the railroad company constructed a depot building. During this period only a few families lived in the general area.

The Vinyard family owned much of the land on which the Town of Vinton now stands. Over the years, other families settled around Gish’s Depot. Some of the early families to settle in this area were the Jones, Funks, Pollards, Pedigos, Walkers, McLeans, and the Basses.

Late 1870’s-early 1880’s: The Gish Family led a movement to establish a town at the depot site. Boundaries for the town were delineated, building lots platted and sold, and a school house constructed.

1883: A mass meeting was held in early 1883 to consider incorporation, which was supported. The group adopted the name Vinton.

There are two possible explanations as to the origin of this name. The first explanation is that the “Vin” in the name came from the first part of the Vinyard family name, while the “ton” came from the last part of the name of another local family – the Prestons. The second explanation indicates that Vinton was an Indian name suggested by one of the community leaders, B. A. Jones.

March 17, 1884: The Town of Vinton was incorporated and chartered.