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Burrell Memorial Hospital site honored with historical marker

Roanoke unveils new historical marker for former hospital
Roanoke unveils new historical marker for former hospital

ROANOKE, Va. – A vital part of Roanoke’s Black history has been immortalized with a plaque from the state.

City leaders unveiled Burrell Memorial Hospital’s historical marker Friday afternoon. The hospital opened in 1915 to serve Black patients and train Black nurses during segregation. It closed in 1978.

Former Roanoke mayor Nelson Harris crafted the application for Burrell’s historical marker. He said it took two years for the hospital to receive its honor, but it was earned through the quality of its care.

“The legacy of Burrell Memorial Hospital is it was created during segregation, which made it an uphill battle for funding, acceptance, and recognition,” Harris said. “They did it, and they did it well.”

The building which once housed the hospital is now Blue Ridge Behavioral Health at the Burrell Center.