Named for a well-known railroad town in England, Crewe was established in 1888 as the Norfolk and Western Railroad's midway terminal between Norfolk and Roanoke. Many of its early railroad buildings, including a semicircular brick roundhouse with twenty-one stalls, have been demolished, but a small railroad park commemorating the town's early rail history has a model of the roundhouse. The park also has a diesel and a steam engine, a caboose, and the wooden, former depot with its displays of artifacts and pictures. The town's commercial center on Carolina Avenue has mostly brick buildings, erected after a disastrous fire in 1899 destroyed the frame structures downtown. Most of the houses in Crewe are of wood, date from 1890 to 1910, and are good examples of period architecture, especially Queen Anne.
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