About the District

Owner: District History Committee

Chicago, IL, Rotary Club No. 1 was started on February 23, 1905. In due course Chicago helped to organize the Washington, D.C. Club, which in turn organized Richmond Rotary Club, in 1913, the 69th Rotary Club to be founded. The Washington, D.C. Club also was the parent club of Nashville, TN. Among the progeny of these two clubs are all the current Clubs of District 7570.

The Rotary Club of Roanoke, VA was organized by Richmond Rotary in 1914, so it is the oldest club in 7570, followed by Johnson City, TN founded by Nashville in 1916 with Lynchburg, VA and Bristol VA-TN following in 1917. One club in 7570 was sponsored by a club not from the district. Amherst was founded in 1939 by Blackstone, which was started by Richmond. Thus all clubs in the District are descended from either Richmond or Nashville.

From 1914 to 1917 four clubs organized. During the 1920 decade, twenty-five clubs were organized, our largest period of growth. The 1930s produced ten clubs, the 1940s two, and one each in the 1950, 1960 and 1970 decades. From 1983 to 1989 fourteen new clubs came into existence, while the decade of the 1990's saw eleven new clubs and fourteen clubs have joined our ranks since 2000.  As of 2012 we have 83 clubs (and just over 3,300 members).

District 7570 started part of the 4th District of Rotary in 1914, comprising Virginia and the Carolinas. In 1923, South Carolina was removed and we became the 7th District which four years later became the 56th District when North Carolina departed. In 1937 when a bit of Tennessee was added and the eastern part of Virginia separated, we became the 186th District. The District number was changed to 275 in 1949; to 757 in 1957, and to 7570 on July 1st, 1991.

From Greeneville, TN to Winchester, VA a distance of about 435 miles, north and south lying mostly west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the Shenandoah, James, Roanoke and Holston River valleys, District 7570 is truly a scenic district. Time and Interstate 81 has changed the District. Forty years ago it was a long day's drive from Greeneville to Winchester. Now it can be done in just about six hours.

Support of the Rotary Foundation and its programs has been a priority for District 7570.  The District was 47th among all districts in support of the Polio Plus Program.   Endowments in honor of William E. Skelton and Reid Jones have assets in excess of $1.5 million to support the Ambassadorial Scholar program.  

District 7570 has distinguished itself as a strong district actively involved in Rotary International. Edward R. Johnson(1935-36) of the Roanoke Club and William E. Skelton (1983-84) of the Christiansburg-Blacksburg Club served as Presidents of Rotary International.   Edward R. Johnson (1933-34) and Eric E. Adamson (2009-10) of Front Royal served as Vice Presidents of Rotary International. In addition to the three leaders above, E. W Palmer (1939-40) of Kingsport, Irvin Cubine (1945-46) of Martinsville, and Edgar C. Hatcher (1996-98) of Bristol VA/TN served as Rotary International Directors.   
District 7570 was selected as one of twelve to pioneer the new District Leadership plan. Several past district governors serve as a R. I. President's Representative to other District. Several of our members have been appointed to committees and task force groups of Rotary International.

(Note: Based on a history written by Rotarian Hensel T. Eckman of Pulaski, District Historian from 1945 until 1965, and brought to date by District Historian Richard Hamrick of Staunton.)

See "District History" for more information about the District