Location and History
You can find your way into downtown Abingdon from three different exits on I-81 or from several state routes including scenic routes 11 and 58. Abingdon is located just 15 miles the Virginia-Tennessee border in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It’s a quick, easy and totally worth it drive, from:
Asheville, NC – 2 hours
Charleston, WV – 3 hours
Knoxville, TN – 2 hours
Nashville, TN – 4.5 hours
Richmond, VA – 4.5 hours
Roanoke, VA – 2 hours
Winston-Salem, NC – 2.5 hours
Abingdon gets 47 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. Snowfall is 16 inches. The average US city gets 25 inches of snow per year. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is 135. On average, there are 196 sunny days per year in Abingdon. The July high is around 85 degrees. The January low is 23.
The site of present-day Abingdon is located on a well-traveled wilderness route called the Great Road, which many pioneers traveled through the Blue Ridge Mountains on the way to settle the new American frontier. In 1748-1750, the land was surveyed by Dr. Thomas Walker, who would later be partners with Peter Jefferson – father of Thomas Jefferson – in the Loyal Land Company. The area was named Wolf Hills by Daniel Boone in 1860 after his dogs were attacked by a pack of wolves.
The Town of Abingdon was established by an act of the Assembly of Virginia in 1778. Two short years later, Abingdon played a role in helping the young nation gain its independence. Patriots from Virginia and North Carolina gathered at the Muster Grounds to begin a 300-mile march to Kings Mountain, South Carolina. The ensuing battle was a turning point in the Revolutionary War.
In 1860, Martha Washington College opened in a former private residence in Abingdon. The college closed in 1932, but the grand building affectionately known as “The Martha” re-opened as a hotel in 1935.