Author Hugh Campbell talks of Blacksburg’s history

Hugh Campbell signs copies of his book, The Blacksburg Drama, which tells the fundamentals of Blacksburg’s history.

Author Hugh Campbell related the highlights of Blacksburg’s long and storied history at an author’s talk Thursday evening at the Alexander Black House and Cultural Center.

Campbell delivered his talk in the wake of the publication of his book, The Blacksburg Drama. He said he wrote the book “for readers who want to know more about the essential and fundamental elements of Blacksburg’s history but do not want an overdose of historical dates, events and names.”

The book is subtitled “A History of Blacksburg in Three Acts.” Act one is “The Pre-Smithfield Years (Before 1774).” Act two is “The Smithfield Years (1774-1862).” Act three is “The Land Grant College Years (1862 and beyond).”

Campbell said he was motivated to write the book because Blacksburg is such a wonderful place to live. He was also driven by curiosity, he said, about the town’s past and how it got to where and what it is today. He said he wants the book “to preserve the history of our community.”

The inspiration behind the book was actually a bus tour of historical Blacksburg he led in 2012. “It was so well received that I thought I might as well put some of those things down,” Campbell said. But it was four or five years later before he got serious about it, the author said.

Campbell returned one hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of his books Thursday evening to the Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation.