Abingdon by Donna Akers Warmuth

By Donna Akers Warmuth

The captivating city of Abingdon is nestled in southwestern Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and positioned alongside the Holston River. initially often called Wolf Hills-a identify bestowed upon town via Daniel Boone-Abingdon was once renamed in honor of Martha Washington's domestic in England. the city at the present time enjoys a wealthy and sundry palate appropriate for citizens and travelers, old and young alike. photographs of the USA: Abingdon, Virginia celebrates the town's singular history by means of providing readers a unprecedented locate of just about two hundred photos, showcasing many recognized city entities, personalities, and companies from the earlier century. those pictures painting such buildings because the Stonewall Jackson lady Institute, the Abingdon Academy, the Belmont inn, and the Martha Washington lodge, in addition to the Barter Theater, particular in its trade of nutrition and family items for performances. Long-gone yet infrequently forgotten participants additionally make appearances, permitting newbies the opportunity to satisfy the folks at the back of the...

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The central portion was originally built in 1832 by Gen. Francis Preston and his wife Sarah Buchanan Campbell Preston as a private home (see page 35). From 1860 until 1919, the building was the Martha Washington College for women until it became part of Emory & Henry College from 1919 until 1932. Martha Washington College had over 350 graduates from many different states. The college advertised steam heating and lighting by incandescent electric lights. After the college was closed, it was reopened under several owners as a grand hotel.

But, the trees were soon timbered out, and the Great Depression hit the town. However, the Depression did give the town one of its greatest assets, the Barter Theatre. Robert Porterfield, an Abingdon native, started the Barter with the idea of “ham for Hamlet” and allowed the locals to barter foods and goods for tickets to see a show. This exchange benefited unemployed actors and provided entertainment for the local people. Many famous thespians had their start at the Barter Theatre, which became the State Theatre of Virginia in 1946 with assistance from Eleanor Roosevelt.

On the north side of Main Street from left to right are the following businesses: Vance Hardware and Supply Company, the Teen Shop, and People’s Drugs. Downtown was the main point for shopping, entertainment, and transportation, with the train depot and a Greyhound bus station on Wall Street. ) GREETINGS FROM ABINGDON, VA. POSTCARD. This c. 1965 advertising postcard reads “Looking east on Main Street, in a town know for the famous home of Barter Theatre, Martha Washington Inn, and for being one of the largest tobacco buying and selling centers in Southwest Virginia.

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