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.
Inn in the
|and at 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
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...
51 rooms &
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!
While you're in Abingdon, be sure to check out one of our exquisite Bed & Breakfasts!