Town of Abingdon Wayside

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Town of Abingdon Wayside

Venue Information



About the Wayside Exhibits

In 1800 when the nation’s population was two million, 10,000 people passed each year through Abingdon on their way to the South, Southwest, and heartland, making ti the first, busiest, and most important of America’s frontier towns. One-fourth of all Americans have an ancestor who came here, most of them on foot. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, native son Robert Porterfield created Barter Theatre here. Now the State Theatre of Virginia, the Barter is a shining example of high quality and relevance in American regional theater. Much of America’s music was invented in Virginia, combining elements that were English, German, Scots-Irish, and African into sounds forged from a Virginia experience. The music has been well kept along The Crooked Road of musical communities in the southwestern region of the state.

Among the fine examples of Crooked Road musicians are the influential a” cappella” gospel group, The Chestnut Grove Quartet, which began its career shortly after World War I on Abingdon radio. Brilliant instrumentalist Hobart Smith lived north of here in Saltville, but spent much of his time in Abingdon. In addition to its rich history, Abingdon features a variety of cultural activities, including the William King Regional Arts Center, the Virginia Highlands Festival, and numerous crafts outlets. The Virginia Creeper Trail originates here and offers many recreational opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast.

Other Nearby Wayside Exhibits

City of Bristol Wayside

16.26 miles

Whitetop Wayside – Grayson County

21.76 miles