Vinton's business and industrial character has changed slowly since the turn of the century. For the most part, Vinton residents have relied fairly heavily on the availability of employment in Roanoke; however, several large business concerns have been established in and near the town. These industries have been positive factors in Vinton's history by supporting Vinton's economic base.
In 1917, the American Viscose Plant opened near Vinton, providing many job opportunities for residents. Unfortunately, the Viscose Plant closed in the 1950s. Burlington Mills, now known as Precision Fabrics Group Inc., was established in the town in 1936. Gish's Mill, the original industry in Vinton, was refurbished many times over the years and in 1946 changed its name to Vinton Milling Company. The Vinton Fuel Company was another early industry in Vinton. Southern States Cooperative established their mill in Vinton in 1937.
New Commercial Enterprises
Several new commercial enterprises have located in Vinton within the last few decades. Much of this new commercial growth has been centered along Hardy Road. In 1985, town officials used state, local, and private funds to establish a 30-acre industrial park in south Vinton, which has further expanded the economic tax base.
The community pride that has existed in the town since its inception is still evident. The Vinton Dogwood Festival, which originated in the late 1950s, provides an opportunity for town residents to show off their community to people throughout this region who visit the town during the week-long celebration.
The Vinton War Memorial, constructed in 1948, is another focal point for the community. It was constructed to recognize the sacrifice of Vinton's citizens during World War II. On its 50th anniversary, in 1998, it was re-dedicated to recognize the sacrifices of Vinton's citizens not only during World War II, but during all post-World War II conflicts. The War Memorial is a place where civic groups hold their meetings and where town residents and others from the Roanoke Valley area can gather to discuss local issues or celebrate special events.
The friendly spirit and concern for community, which have been the hallmarks of this western Virginia town from its earliest days, remain an important element of Vinton.