For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF
VLR Listing Date 12/02/1969
NRHP Listing Date 02/26/1970
NRHP Reference Number 70000831
Abingdon is the best-preserved of the numerous linear communities that developed in the late 18th century along the Great Valley Road. The town is unusual for its large quantity of brick Federal and antebellum buildings, which served to give the community an air of permanence and prosperity. Abingdon was founded in 1778 and flourished almost immediately. Secretary of the Treasury John Campbell, Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston, and three Virginia governors, Wyndham Robinson, David Campbell, and John Buchanan Floyd, all lived in Abingdon. Gen. Francis Preston built one of the largest houses in Virginia here in the 1830s; it later was converted to Martha Washington College and is now the Martha Washington Inn. Another architectural highlight is the imposing 1868 Washington County Courthouse. In recent times Abingdon has been the home of the Barter Theatre, a nationally prominent repertory theater founded in 1933 by Robert Porterfield (pictured above).
A 1986 extension to the Abingdon Historic District possesses few modern intrusions, totaling 29 noncontributing buildings and two noncontributing structures.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
Updated: August 9, 2022