Society Homepage

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Welcome to the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia!

Located in downtown Abingdon, Virginia, the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia is headquartered in the old Norfolk&Western Passenger Depot. The Society is the leading center in the region for genealogical and historical research.

Most of our staff are volunteers. We derive funding from donations and store sales. Monies received are used to meet library operating expenses and for the preservation of our regional history. Members of the Society are joined in a profound respect for history and share a sense of duty to maintain the historical record of the past people, places, and events which have defined our region. We invite you to join us in our preservation efforts. Any contribution whether through donation or through service will be greatly appreciated.


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CONTACT:
1-276-623-8337
office@hswcv.org

ADDRESS:
Historical Society of
Washington County, Virginia
306 Depot Square
P.O. Box 484
Abingdon, VA 24212-0484


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HOURS:
Open 10-4 pm Tuesday-Friday
Open 11-4 pm Saturday
Closed Sunday and Monday

The society is closed on all Federal holidays and closes during inclement winter weather. The library is staffed by volunteers and there are times when we do not have enough staff available to keep the library open five days a week. If you are planning a trip to visit us, please call ahead to be sure we will be open.


Search the HSWCV Website:


Only search the HSWCV website


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IT'S TIME TO RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP
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Renewal letters for the May 2014/ April 2015 Membership year have been sent out. If you wish to renew online, just click on the card to access the Memberships section of our Store page. The dues and Membership levels are shown in the information there, as well as a link to submit your payment.


SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
PDF Icon Current Issue - March 2014

ARCHIVED ISSUES:



~> FRIDAY AUGUST 1ST TO SUNDAY AUGUST 3RD, 2014

BE SURE TO VISIT THE ABINGDON MUSTER GROUNDS DURING THE ANNUAL CIVIL WAR WEEKEND.
civil_war_weekend.jpg The Third Annual Abingdon Civil War Weekend will be held at the historic Abingdon Muster Grounds on August 1st to the 3rd as part of the Annual Virginia Highlands Festival (August 1-10, 2014). During this weekend, reenactors will be encamped on the Muster Grounds and you are invited to visit to learn more about the camp life of a rank and file Civil War soldier and the local history of the Muster Grounds. There will be live firing demonstrations as well as scholarly presentations about local Civil War events. This year, 2014, has special significance as it is the sesquicentennial of the Federal raid of the Abingdon Muster Grounds property and the burning of the Washington County Courthouse in Abingdon.

Activities for the weekend start on the evening of Friday, August 1st, with an outdoor screening of Part 1 of the film "Gettysburg" at 8:30 PM. Part 2 of the film will be shown the next evening (Saturday) at 8:30 PM. The camp itself will be open on Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM and on Sunday from 10 AM to 3 PM. Worship services will be held at 10 AM on Sunday. Admission is free and free festival buses and trolleys will run to the camp between 10 AM and 6 PM daily. If you will be driving, general parking is available on the grassy lot across from the camp at the corner of Colonial Road and Holston Street. Handicapped parking is available at the Keller Interpretive Center.

The camp is located at 1780 Muster Place (also know as 702 Colonial Rd) in Abingdon, Virginia. To reach the Grounds, get off Interstate 81 at Exit 14 at Abingdon. Turn North (and East) on Virginia Route 140. In about a half mile you will dead end into Route 11. Turn right on Route 11 and travel another half mile. Then turn right off of Route 11 onto Colonial Rd SW and drive a half mile to Muster Place. For more information, contact Leigh Anne Hunter at 276-525-1050, lhunter@abingdon-va.gov.



~> FRIDAY, AUGUST 8TH TO SUNDAY, AUGUST 10TH, 2014

THE CIVIL WAR 150 HISTORYMOBILE
IS COMING TO TOWN!
historymobile_logo.jpg The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile is an interactive “museum on wheels” housed in a 53 foot expandable tractor-trailer. The museum is currently on a four year tour that started on July 21, 2011 as part of the 150th anniversary commemoration of the First Battle of Manassas. The museum is divided into four sections; Battlefront, Homefront, Journey to Freedom, and Loss-Gain-Legacy. The exhibits include:

The Whirlwind: Virginia in the Civil War—A film that examines Virginia’s decision to secede and poses the question “Why War?”

Battlefront Immersion—Conveys the experience of battle in its intensity, confusion, and suffering.

Home Interrupted—Offers a first-person view of real-life dilemmas faced by civilians, soldiers, and slaves in Virginia during the Civil War.

Journey to Freedom—Presents the overall experience of enslaved persons amid war, including the decision to fight for freedom.

Loss-Gain-Legacy—Explores the profound impact of the war on Virginia, the end of slavery, and the reunification of the nation.

The museum will be stopping by Abingdon on Friday, August 8th to Sunday, August 10th as part of the Virginia Highlands Festival. It will be parked on Remsburg Drive in Abingdon and will be open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on each of the three days. You can learn more about HistoryMobile by visiting their website at www.virginiacivilwar.org. You can also directly contact Noelle Baker, Senior Tour Manager, at (804) 545-5526, or Cheryl Jackson, Executive Director, at (804) 786-3591, ext. 276.
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CIVIL WAR HISTORY BROCHURE

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Click here to view and print the Washington County, Virginia Civil War History Brochure, with a walking tour of Abingdon sites.



THE CIVIL WAR TRAILS PROGRAM

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The Civil War Trails program has installed more than 1,000 interpretive markers at Civil War sites in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina. Driving tours following major campaigns have been created, and a series of regional brochures is available.


Click here to go to Civil War Trails-Virginia.



HSWCV FACEBOOK GROUP

Keep up with what's going on with the Society and share research with other members on our Facebook group page, "Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia".

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Click this icon to log in to Facebook and go straight to our group page. Anyone can read the posts, but to be able to reply, ask to join. You will be added to the group within a day or two.



~> SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 2014

JOIN US FOR A LIVING HISTORY TOUR OF THE SINKING SPRING CEMETERY.
living_history_tour.jpg On Saturday, August 2nd, from 5:30 to 8:00 PM, the Historical Society will be hosting a Living History Tour of the Sinking Spring Cemetery in Abingdon, Virginia. In the 1770's, the cemetery was established by the Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church on 11 acres of land in Abingdon. The land was purchased by the Church from Dr. Thomas Walker, an explorer and wealthy land speculator who was promoting the development of the Town of Abingdon. A stroll in the cemetery takes you back through to the earliest history of the Town and County. During the Living History Tour, a guide will join you for a walk by historical interpreters in period costume who will tell the stories of past local residents.

Tours will begin at 5:30 PM with the last tour starting at 7:15 PM. Each tour will last about 45 minutes with an admission of $5 per person. The content of the tour is appropriate for families; however, very small children may become tired or bored. There is nothing scary about the presentations or the location. Since the ground is uneven, we recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes. To reach the cemetery from Interstate 81 in Virginia, take Exit 17, Abingdon, Virginia. Turn North off the exit onto Cummings St. After 0.8 miles, turn left onto W. Main Street for 0.2 miles. Turn right onto Russell Rd. NW for a few hundred feet.



~> SUMMER/FALL 2014

TAKE A TOUR OF
THE 2014 ABINGDON WOLVES!
Cinder According to local folklore, while camping in the Abingdon area, Daniel Boone and his dogs were attacked by wolves that lived in caves in the hills. Boone is said to have named this location Wolf Hills, later to be renamed as Abingdon. To commemorate this legend, the Advance Abingdon Public Art Project has once again populated town businesses with colorful wolf statues painted by local artisans to be sold at a fundraising auction in the Fall. Although a walking tour of this year's wolves is possible, they are some distance apart and it would be quite a hike. You will probably want to drive to some of the locations. But first, be sure and stop by to pet the Historical Society wolf pup Cinder for good luck. Our two year old pup is in front of the Society Library at 306 Depot Square. To help you plan your 2014 exploration, we have posted an interactive online map and a printable PDF map of wolf sighting locations. Just click on the following link to look at the map and good luck with your wolf hunt!

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Link to Interactive Abingdon Wolves Map




~> SUMMER/FALL 2014

THE DOWNTOWN ABINGDON MURAL IS ALMOST COMPLETED.
abingdon_history_mural.jpg Artist Ellen Elmes has almost completed the Town of Abingdon's first public mural, "Celebration: A Social History of Abingdon". Ellen is painting the mural on the side of the Brandywine Antiques building at 301 W Main Street in downtown Abingdon. Commissioned by Abingdon Main Street, a non-profit community revitalization program, the mural's imagery depicts the historical growth and associated changes in the Town from its rural roots as a farming community to the modern day. "Celebration" is a fascinating work of art and well worth your time, so stop by the next time you are downtown. If you would like some more information on the project, you can call 276-492-2237 or email mainstreet@abingdon-va.gov.





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2014 HISTORICAL SOCIETY CALENDAR

Poster of Calendar
Filled with fascinating vintage photographs and historical references, the 2014 calendar is for sale at the Society Library in the Train Depot or it can be ordered online by clicking on the ORDER button below.

Item: 041
Reduced: $6.65



1850 WASHINGTON COUNTY CENSUS, ANNOTATED
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By Waverly W. Barbe
Edited by Ms. Shelby Ireson Edwards

Published in 2000 by Holston Territory Genealogical Society, 545 pps, Hardbound.

Annotations include data on the heads of families and their children listed with them in the 1850 Census and those from after 1850 to the same families. Data was drawn from tombstone inscriptions, family and Bible records, published genealogies, county records of births, deaths, marriages, and wills, and the 1840, 1860, and the 1870 censuses of the county.

Item: 010 Price: $19.95 SALE! $5.95




HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA TO 1865

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by James W. Hagy

James Hagy is a Washington County native and retired professor of history at the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. Dr. Hagy currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of Washington County, VA.

The book is divided into 12 chapters, organized according to subject from "The Land and the People" and "Earliest Times", to the "Civil War". To quote the author, "I have sought to give an accurate account of the events in Washington County until the end of the Civil War and to make known much that has been overlooked in the past."

Hardcover, 2013, 306 pps. including index.

Item: 328
NEW PRICE: $39.95