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Christmas Open House!

Saturday, December 3 from 3-5 pm
See information below

Historical Society office in old train station


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 memberships, 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.

phone.png CONTACT:

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


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.

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Christmas Open House


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".
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. We have well over 2500 members as of May 2016, so there are lots of possible undiscovered cousins out there!

PDF Icon Current Issue - April 2016


Dues for 2017 remain at $35/individual or family. We value all our members and know that we couldn't exist without you.

If you wish to join or 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. You may also call the office at 276-623-8337, or mail us a check for your dues (address above).




a Sketchbook

By Carol Farris Blevins

Abingdon book

The essence of Historical Abingdon, Virginia, captured in seventy watercolor and graphite images by artist Carole Farris Blevins, representing some of the most iconic architectural buildings and landscapes in and around the Main Street community. Noted with historical observations, these visual portraits by the artist create a beautiful keepsake of time and place.

Hardcover with Jacket Cover, 9 x 12, 32 pages, 2016
Item: 407
Price: $39.99

Friendliest Town on the Trail

Friendliest Town on the Trail
The Appalachian Trail was opened by 1937 and by the mid-fifties a handful of people had walked its entire length. As "thru-hiking" took hold, more and more hikers were coming through Damascus, Virginia. Their adventures prompted a change in the character of the town, leading to its reputation of being "the friendliest town on the Trail". In this book you will meet some of the people from the town during that period and learn more about the five trails passing through the area.

Soft Cover, 6 X 9", 111 pages, 2014
Item: 270
Price: $12.95

Abingdon's Mollie

Abingdon's Mollie

Engine # 433, a Class M locomotive, was built by the American Locomotive Company for the Norfolk and Western Railway and completed in January 1907. Engines of this class were referred to as "Mollies". By the 1920s Class M engines were being quickly replaced by heavier, faster locomotives and the Mollies were left for smaller rail lines like the “Virginia Creeper”.

Abingdon’s Mollie, one of only two still in existence, survived a wreck in 1951 and was finally retired in 1958. The railroad donated Mollie to the Town of Abingdon, and in 2002 volunteers from the Virginia Creeper Trail Club and the Washington County, Virginia Preservation Foundation restored # 433 to its original 1907 appearance.

Today, (2015) the Mollie stands proudly at the head of the Virginia Creeper Trail and within sight of the railroad tracks – a remembrance of times past.

Item: 225
Price: $18.99

Working for Stuarts: Life on One of the Oldest and Largest Cattle Farms East of the Mississippi

by Kathy Shearer

Working for Stuarts reveals the rich history of this immense farming operation whose family roots reach back to 1776. Stories and pictures from the 1900s to the present tell of the lives of the men and women who worked and lived on the four farms: Elk Garden, Rich Mountain, Clifton, and Rosedale.

Soft cover (8 x 10), with 100s of photographs, 2015, 575 pages with index
Item: 403
Price: $40.00


Item Image
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
Original Price: $19.95 NEW PRICE: $10.95


80th Logo Tee

All cotton, mid weight, white unisex tee
Sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL (please specify on order form)

Item: 342
Price: $12.35

Along Virginia's Route 58: True Tales From Beach to Bluegrass

Route 58
by Joe Tennis

This book is a journey through more than 400 years of history across more than 500 miles of Virginia landmarks, legends, and lore. And all the tales are true! Author Joe Tennis provides a guide to Route 58 with a trail of tales, accompanied by easy driving directons and vivid photography.

Soft Cover, 6 x 9", 205 pages, Index and Bibliography, color and b&w photos, 2015
Item: 405
Price: $19.99


Victorian Marriage Certificate
This Matrimonial Certificate has been digitally reproduced from a late 1800's Washington County family Bible. It is printed on matt finish 13x19 inch photo paper (so the names can be written in), and is suitable for framing. This would make a unique gift for a wedding, anniversary, or any special family occasion. The Certificate is not printed until ordered, and is sent by regular mail only.

Item: 062
Price: $6.95


Abingdon, c. 1845

Abingdon, sketched about 1845 by Henry Howe and published in Historical Collections of Virginia, 1852. The sheet is 8.5 x 11 inches and the image area of the sketch is 8.5 x 6.25 inches. Printed on cream colored heavy stock and suitable for framing.

Item: 340
Price: $1.00


Item Image
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.
Autographed copy

Item: 332
PRICE: $20.00



This essay is an examination of what happened during the Reconstruction Era in one place in the South, Washington County, Virginia. When the Civil War ended, the people struggled to reestablish their economy and cope with the frequently changing political situation. Although most white people bitterly opposed political reconstruction, they persevered and gradually accepted their new situation, rebuilt old institutions, and formed new ones. The time was not as bleak as most would imagine, at least not in this place.

Soft cover, with photographs, 2015, 119 pages with index
Item: 329
Price: $18.99