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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

 

Historic Martha Washington Inn

Abingdon, Virginia


 

The beautiful and historic Martha Washington Inn is perhaps the feature landmark and tourist destination in the southwestern Virginia town of Abingdon, itself brimming with such landmarks. Standing proud as a living monument to early 19th century architecture, the Martha Washington Inn leaves you with a unique peek into the past.

The majestic
Martha Washington
Inn in the
Springtime...
Martha Washington Inn - Daytime
and at twilight!  
Martha Washington Inn - Twilight

The Martha Washington boasts a rich and storied history:

It was built in 1832 by General Francis Preston as his family's private residence. The cost of construction was a then huge $15,000!

In 1858, General Preston's home was sold for the staggering sum of $21,000. It was then transformed into an elite women's college and given the name Martha Washington College in recognition of this nation's original First Lady. It would remain in service as such for the next 70-odd years.

During the Civil War, many skirmishes took place in the local area, some of them actually in the town of Abingdon. During these turbulent years, the Martha Washington was
transformed once again into a makeshift hospital for those wounded in battle as well as a barracks for a local militia unit called the Washington Mounted Rifles.

Due to a variety of reasons, the college was closed in 1932. She stood silent and empty for several years except for a stint as a boarding house for actors working at the nearby
Barter Theatre. Several legendary actors and actresses graced the stage of the Barter and resided in the Martha Washington, most notably Ernest Borgnine, Patricia Neal, and Ned Beatty. This was the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship between the Martha Washington Inn and the Barter Theatre.

The magnificent building began it's current life as a top-tier hotel in 1935 as the Martha Washington Inn. Throughout it's long and varied history, the building was amazingly kept in good shape. The original architectural design and features were kept in place and many of the precious antique furnishings still grace the mansion.

Two of the wonderful rooms at the Martha Washington Inn...

Room in the Martha Washington Inn
There are
51 rooms &
11 suites
available!
 Room in the Martha Washington Inn

Spending a night in the Martha Washington Inn is like taking a trip back in time. You can enjoy an old-time atmosphere provided by a mixture of ornate antique furnishings and
tasteful reproductions, yet still take advantage of all the comforts of modern-day conveniences.

In addition to the famous guests listed earlier, the Martha has also played host to Presidents Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter, First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Lady Bird Johnson, and actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Why not visit Abingdon soon and take your turn enjoying the splendor of the Martha Washington Inn?


The Martha Washington Inn is located at 150 West Main Street. If coming north on I-81, take exit 17 and turn left onto Cummings Street (go under the bridge). If coming south on I-81, turn right onto Cummings Street and proceed to the 2nd traffic light. Turn right onto Main Street. The Martha Washington will be on your right. You can't miss it. It's the most magnificent building in Abingdon!
 

Map to Abingdon, Va

 
While you're in Abingdon, be sure to check out one of our exquisite Bed & Breakfasts!
 


 

 
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