A Guide to Abingdon, Virginia

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This article is brought to you by the abuse lawyers of Abingdon. We are happy to bring you informative content about local towns like Abingdon.

Evolution of Abingdon

Located between the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Holston River, Abingdon is the county seat of Washington County. The region in which the town resides was once home to many indigenous people such as the Chisca and Xualae. In the late-1600s, the Cherokee Nation occupied the area. Between 1748 and 1750, it was surveyed by Dr. Thomas Walker. The land where Abingdon is situated was then named Wolf Hills by the famed frontiersman Daniel Boone after his dogs were attacked by wolves while they were out hunting in 1760. Soon after, the area was settled by James Douglas, George Blackburn, Andrew Colville, Samuel Briggs and James Piper.

In 1774, Joseph Black built Black's Fort during Lord Dunmore's War to protect local settlers from attacks by the Cherokee. The 120 acres of land that the original town was laid out on were donated by Black, Briggs and Walker. The community of Black's Fort was the prime location as a trade center and access point to the south and west. In 1778, it was incorporated as the town of Abingdon. It is speculated that the town was named after one of the following:

  • The ancestral home of Martha Washington, Abingdon-on-Thames
  • Jake Dore's home in Abingdon, Pennsylvania
  • Lord Abingdon

Today, the town of Abingdon is the final stop on the Virginia Creeper Trail. The Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia, is a repository for Washington County's history and serves as a regional genealogy center in Abingdon.

Read more: Lexington, VA: A Local Guide

Historic Sites

Besides the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia, there are other landmarks and establishments that showcase the history of the town and region. These sites include the Abingdon Historic District (added on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970), Abingdon Bank (NRHP in 1969), Mont Calm (NRHP in 1974), Moonlite Theatre (NRHP in 2007), Dr. William H. Pitts House (NRHP in 2002), White's Mill (NRHP in 1974), and Baker-St. John House (NRHP in 2011).

Points of Interest

Historic places are not the only thing that visitors to Abingdon can explore. Other points of interest are:

  • William King Museum of Art
    • Located in a historic 1913 school building in Abingdon, the museum of art features contemporary and historic art from around the world.
  • Barter Theatre
    • Opened during the Great Depression, the theatre is one of the longest-running professional Equity theatres in the U.S. In 1946, it was designated as the "State Theatre of Virginia."
  • Virginia Creeper Trail
    • A 35-mile multi-purpose trail running from Abingdon to Whitetop, Virginia.
  • The Virginia Highlands Festival
    • Started by Robert Porterfield in 1948, the 16-day festival offers a number of venues celebrating Appalachian arts and crafts.
  • The Crooked Road – Virginia's Heritage Music Trail
    • A 300-mile driving route through the Appalachian Mountains, visitors can explore the heritage of the mountain people and their region.
  • Heartwood – The Southwest Virginia Artisan Gateway
    • A gateway for regional music, craft, food, and local culture, it serves as a visitor center, community center, music venue and artisan marketplace in Abingdon.
  • St. Thomas Episcopal Church
    • Part of the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, the historic parish was consecrated on October 22, 1846.
  • Martha Washington Inn
    • Since 1935, the establishment has been operated as a hotel. However, it was once the home of the school for women, Martha Washington College.

Also located with Abingdon is the northern end of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.

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