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Comprimento:
142 página
45 minutos
Lançado em:
Jan 30, 2017
ISBN:
9781439659380
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

According to legend, in about 1760, Daniel Boone first named this hinterlands settlement "Wolf Hills." Incorporated in 1778, the town of Abingdon became the leading trade, business, and legal center for Southwest Virginia from the late 1700s to mid-1800s. With a key location along the Great Wagon Road, the community blossomed during the 19th and 20th centuries due to trade, railroad commerce, banking, industry, and its natural resources, such as timber and salt from nearby Saltville. However, from the 1960s to 1980s, downtown lost several historic landmarks to fire and demolition. Businesses began to move to outlying shopping centers, and small, locally owned businesses were replaced by national chain stores. Railroad traffic decreased and no longer moved goods and passengers. Previously the locus for commerce, transportation, and entertainment, the historic downtown area transitioned to an arts and tourist destination and to a unique crossroads service area with government centers, restaurants, speciality stores, offices, banks, and hotels.
Lançado em:
Jan 30, 2017
ISBN:
9781439659380
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

Author, historian, and ninth-generation descendant of the area's settlers, Donna Gayle Akers has researched and gathered images from collectors and families to illustrate the modern-age transitions. She has published four other Arcadia book on this area. Fortunately, the preservation of the town's historic buildings and history combine to make this small town a distinctive and renowned mountain jewel.

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Amostra do Livro

Abingdon - Donna Gayle Akers

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INTRODUCTION

Due to past and future changes to Abingdon and the region, the author and community believed a need existed for a book chronicling the modern decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s, before those days are forgotten. This collection of photographs and postcards is intended to allow residents and visitors to recall these decades with images of streetscapes, buildings, businesses, churches, schools, friends, and community leaders. From a wilderness trade center on the frontier to a thriving commercial center in the 19th and 20th centuries, Abingdon today continues to function as a busy government and commercial center, with the addition of arts, cultural, entertainment, and historical resources as well. Named as one of the top small towns by Budget Travel and winner of other national awards, the town has garnered many accolades for the arts, livability, recreation, cost of living, and history.

Leading up this modern era, newspapers lauded Abingdon, as evidenced by the following: as a commercial and shopping center, Abingdon has held sway for nearly a century, developing from a village of comparatively small importance into a town which is unexcelled in stores and shops in southwest Virginia, according to a write-up in the August 25, 1925, Roanoke Times. The Roanoke Times also published articles in the 1930s and 1940s stating, among other things, that all roads lead to Abingdon, important in development as shopping and trading center, state highway system extension to north, south, east and west, and building permanent county roads. Abingdon became the queen of southwestern Virginia; the economy seemed to have no limits, even into the 1950s. An article in the August, 25, 1925, Roanoke Times states, Progressive, public spirited and substantial men engaged in mercantile trade. Owners and managers of stores contributed to progress and development of entire community . . . backbone of the town, invested money not for selfish ends but betterment and advancement of community as a whole. However, the demise of railroad traffic as trucks began to move goods affected the town, taking away its prominence as a shipping center. Individual ownership of vehicles allowed the shopper to compare prices elsewhere and travel to outlying shopping centers and malls. Economic changes brought about changes to the goods and services offered locally.

Downtown Abingdon changed substantially during the 1960s, as small businesses grew and expanded and vehicular traffic created parking problems. Restaurants replaced soda fountains, small grocery stories began to flourish, and entertainment facilities such as movie theaters and pool halls became popular. The train depot area continued to expand as a transportation network, creating a need for hotels, restaurants, and taxi centers. Fewer people traveled by train after the 1970s, and only goods were moved on the railroads. During the 1970s, clothing stores, beauty salons, pool halls, newsstands, and grocery stores had slowly been moving to shopping centers and strip malls being developed outside of the downtown area, and customers had the vehicles to travel to these places. Buses no longer ran in the town, and taxi services were being discontinued.

During the 1980s, the focal point of downtown, the Belmont Hotel, was torn down, and many folks viewed the hotel’s demolition as a death knell for the city center. Much of the draw for shoppers to come downtown was lost. The Burley tobacco warehouses flourished from the 1960s to 1980s, but the tobacco buyout program in the late 1990s ended the era of tobacco’s dominance. As the economy changed, downtown became less essential to residents, and shoppers traveled to the new malls and shopping centers in Bristol, accessible by Interstate 81. However, the 1980s also brought about an interest in historic preservation and downtown revitalization, and Abingdon had preserved much of its historic district. Leaders with new ideas for railroad-to-pedestrian trail conversions, such as the Virginia Creeper Trail, and encouraging development of arts centers and museums helped the town to transition to an arts and tourist economy. With resources such as the Barter Theatre, William King Regional Arts Center, various artisan groups, a vibrant music scene, and numerous fine restaurants, as well as numerous awards for livability, Abingdon continues to expand its reliance on history and culture to attract residents and tourists. Town leaders have realized change must occur to meet the needs of its citizens, newcomers, and visitors. The future looks bright for this crossroads settlement as it moves forward in the 21st century.

One

SCHOOL DAYS

From the earliest settlement days, residents of Abingdon prioritized

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