Roark’s Gap Incident

On March 18, 1780, the James Roark massacre occurred in the Baptist Valley area of Tazewell County, VA. While James Roark, an early settler of this region, and two of his sons went on a hunting trip, Indians attacked his home. The Indians, alleged to be Shawnee, killed and scalped James’ wife and seven of his children. James, and his oldest son John, were later killed in a battle with the Shawnee Indians. Timothy Roark, Sr., who married Sarah Bolen, was the only family member to live to adulthood and raise a family.

On October 9, 2002, a State Historical Marker was unveiled and dedicated marking the site of the James Roark Family Massacre. Chuck Gross performed the unveiling, as he had initiated the dream, and working with John J. Roark they brought it to life for the R-CA. Doris Thornton, David Roark, and John J. Roark participated in the ceremonies along with about 30 other R-CA members who attended.

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