A picturesque scene in Raphine, Virginia
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The name "Raphine" came from an old Greek word "raphis", meaning "to sew." It was chosen in honor of James Edward Allen Gibbs (1829-1902), a local farmer who patented the first chain-stitch single-thread sewing machine on June 2, 1857. In partnership with James Wilcox, Gibbs became a principal in Wilcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company. Wilcox & Gibbs commercial sewing machines are still made and used in the 21st century.
Nearby, the McCormick family farm, Walnut Grove, was the home of Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884). He became famous as the inventor of the mechanical reaper in 1831. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1847, and was the founder, with his brother Leander, of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company which became part of International Harvester Corporation in 1902. The McCormick farm became a test farm for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (better known as "Virginia Tech").
Publications: Print and Web
- The Rockbridge Advocate (monthly magazine)
- The News-Gazette (weekly newspaper)
- Rockbridge Weekly (weekly newspaper)
- Rockbridge Vineyard
- Wade's Mill
- Orchardside Yarn Shop
- Alpacas of Maple Grove Farm
- Clark's Old Time Music Center
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