Old Southwest Tour – Web Resources

Background Information and Neighborhood Maps:

A “gayborhood” is defined as any residential area in which queer people have historically congregated. We interpret the Old Southwest neighborhood as Roanoke’s gayborhood.

The following maps show the status of Old Southwest in the early 1970s when it was first becoming a gay enclave.

“Existing Zoning” Map, 1974, excerpted from Highland Park: A Neighborhood Study (1975). Courtesy of the Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.

“Structures converted from single-family residences to non-residential uses,” 1974, excerpted from Highland Park: A Neighborhood Study (1975). Courtesy of the Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.

FAIR – the Free Alliance for Individual Rights:

FAIR meeting advertisement from the March 1978 edition of The Virginia Gayzette. This meeting was held at 201 Mountain Avenue SW, Apt. 3.

115 Mountain Avenue SW, circa the 1920s. FAIR activists lived in this building in the 1970s. Courtesy of the Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.

GARV – the Gay Alliance of the Roanoke Valley:

For information about GARV, Roanoke’s first gay rights group, see the September 1971 edition of the Big Lick Gayzette.

To learn more about what GARV stood for, here is their Statement of Policy.

Trade Winds:

View of the Trade Winds looking north on Franklin Road from Elm Avenue in the 1950s. Someone posted this photograph in an online local history Facebook group. The Trade Winds sign can be seen in the far right of this photograph.

Insert informing the community of GARV’s “zap” on the Trade Winds from the November 5, 1971 edition of The Big Lick Gayzette.

Insert detailing a response to the incident at the Trade Winds on November 4, 1971, from the November 5, 1971 edition of The Big Lick Gayzette.

Menu Cover from the Trade Winds. Courtesy of Daniel Jones.

For more information about Trade Winds, see the bar guide in the February 1978 edition of The Virginia Gayzette.

Hugo’s Cafe:

Hugo’s Cafe advertisement from the December 1985/January 1986 edition of the Blue Ridge Lambda Press.

“Lezlie Landau” lesbian comic strip from the June 1985 edition of Skip Two Periods. “Hubert’s Cafe” in the comic strip is a fictionalized version of Hugo’s.

“Second Sunday Series” flyer, October 1985, Edward F. “Gerry” Jennings, Jr. Papers, LGBTQ History Collection, Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.

For more information on the “Second Sunday Series,” see the December 1985 edition of Skip Two Periods.

A ‘Male Brothel’:

Photograph from The Roanoke Times, May 29, 1992. Courtesy of the Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.

From The Roanoke Times, June 28, 1992. Courtesy of the Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.

First Friday:

Roanoke Valley Women’s Retreat brochure, 1982. Edward F. “Gerry” Jennings, Jr. Papers, LGBTQ History Collection, Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.

Excerpt from the July 1983 edition of Skip Two Periods, indicating a retreat planning meeting to be held at 517 Washington Avenue SW.

Highland Park:

Emi Kojima, “Life in Old Southwest Improving,” Roanoke Times, March 3, 2002.

OSW Neighborhood Watch advertisement. Old Southwest News, June/July 2008. Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Libraries.

Pride in the Park:

Pride in the Park VII flyer, September 29, 1996, Edward F. “Gerry” Jennings Jr. Papers, LGBTQ History Collection, Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.

Map of Pride in the Park VII at Highland Park, September 1996. Edward F. “Gerry” Jennings Jr. Papers, LGBTQ History Collection, Virginia Room, Roanoke Public Library.