For a unique experience while you are in Roanoke you should stop by Luray Caverns. These caves experience over half a million guest annually making these some of the most popular caverns in America. The exact origin of these caves is unknown but it is known that they are about 4,000,000 centuries old and was discovered 1878. The caves are a U.S. Natural Landmark has several varieties of formations and unsurpassed natural color that has left countless families in awe. Everything in the cavern is amazing from well-lighted, paved walkways travelers explore cathedral-sized rooms with ceilings 10 stories high and pass through huge chambers filled with towering stone columns, shimmering draperies and crystal-clear pools. There are guided tours through the caves and while you are down there you will get the chance to see the amazing formations that surround the cavern. From the Great Stalacpipe Organ (the world’s largest musical instrument), the history of America event, and the ornamental garden. Take a chance to see what half a million people travel for every year right here in Roanoke.
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The city of Burke, VA was founded by Lieutenant Colonel Silas Burke and while you are in Burke you can see Silas’s old historic home. Built in 1824 this was the home to Burke his wife Hannah Coffer Burke, and two children, John Thomas and Ann Virginia. John T. Burke would go on to gain his own fame as Captain of the Fairfax Rifles, 17th Virginia Co. D Infantry, losing his life at the Battle of Antietam in 1862.Silas Burke had the house built close to the time of their marriage. Burke’s many accomplishments include being a successful farmer, inn keeper and owner of a store, grist and lumber mills, a blacksmith shop, and a brick yard. He held many county offices including chief justice of the Fairfax County court, presiding justice and county sheriff, lieutenant colonel in the county militia, commissioner of public buildings and schools, trustee, guardian and appraiser, road surveyor and President of the Fairfax Agricultural Society. Burke donated the land for Burke Station, on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, which was named after Burke who served as a director of the railroad and the Fairfax Turnpike Company. At the time of his death in September 1854, he was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Fairfax County’s history.