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The town first called Big Lick was established in 1852 and chartered in 1874. It was named for a large outcropping of salt which drew the wildlife to the site near the Roanoke River. In 1882 it became the town of Roanoke, and in 1884 it was chartered as the independent city of Roanoke. The name "Roanoke" is said to have originated from an Algonquian word for shell "money".The population has declined since its peak in 1970; there are efforts underway to revitalize downtowns and neighborhoods within walking distance of downtown, including those along Mill Mountain (the location on which much early industry depended), Salem Avenue (a major thoroughfare that runs through most parts of east-central Roanoke), First Street SW/NE (which runs through west-central areas) as well as others throughout central, north central, northeast sections such as South Jefferson Street NE/SE or Westover Road NW/SW where many new restaurants have opened up recently.