Abingdon Historic Homes Tour
August 3 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm| $20
Friday, August 3, 2018 – 10:00am to 4:00pm
Visitors who have pre-registered must pick up their tickets and maps at either The Bank (225 E. Main St.) or the Valentine Baugh House (129 East Main St.) before beginning the tour.
Visit some of Abingdon’s most historic homes, all within easy walking distance on Main and Valley Streets. Homes include The Bank which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tickets are $20. Registration is available in advance online or the day of the event in person.
Sponsored by Park St. Guest House.
Tickets will be available at The Bank (225 East Main Street), or the Valentine Baugh House (129 East Main Street).
About the Homes
129 East Main Street
The Valentine Baugh House was originally a log cabin built in 1798, then added onto in 1807. Baugh was a surveyor appointed by the Governor of Virginia to mark the state boundary line between Virginia and Tennessee in 1802. The house descended through Valentine’s son Leonidas to his daughter Minnie Baugh who added an apothecary shop in 1891 (now a clothing boutique). Minnie and her sister Ethel were instrumental in organizing the Washington County Historical Society. It was the residence of Virginia Ditges in the 20th century, until it was purchased and renovated by the late Julie Finney.
171 East Main Street
Wealthy merchant Colonel James White built this Federal-style house in 1819. It was burned in December 1864 during the Civil War and later re-built by Col. White’s son, who added the Italianate brackets under the roof eaves, an architectural feature seen on several Main Street homes. At the rear of the property is a brick building originally used as servants’ (slave) quarters. White was said to own so much property between Abingdon and Alabama that he never had to spend a night on land he didn’t own. Emmitt Yeary is the current owner.
Plumb Alley (behind Col. James White’s house)
Now called the Walnut Grove-Yeary Cabin, this homestead was constructed from multiple original log homes which were moved to this site to form an authentic example of an early working farm, complete with blacksmith shop, kiln, bee hives and outdoor bread oven. Emmitt Yeary is the creator and owner. There will be demonstrations at this site during the tour.
222 East Main Street
The Tavern was built in 1779, making it the oldest building in Abingdon. Originally the structure was a tavern and overnight inn for stagecoach travelers, but during the Civil War it was used as a field hospital. Most people have visited the Tavern for dinner, but this special tour will allow visitors to climb to the third floor to see the original charcoal numbers etched into the walls that numbered the beds of the injured. The Tavern has been used as a residence, and an antique shop, but since 1994 it has been a popular restaurant managed by Max Hermann. Tours will close at 3 p.m.
225 East Main Street
The Bank was built to serve both as residence and business address for the Exchange Bank, established in 1849 with Robert Preston its first cashier. The banker’s family lived on the east side of the house. The west side was reserved for banking operations, with a separate entrance, walk-in safe and bars on the windows. Exchange Bank closed many years ago, but it has remained the residence of the Preston and Stuart families, descending to Mr. and Mrs. G.R.C. Stuart. Of special interest are original features of the bank and a portrait of Abingdon’s first mayor, John Montgomery Preston.
228 East Main Street
Washington House, Abingdon’s first hotel, was built in 1835 by Thomas Findlay, serving stage coach and other business travelers, as well as housing professional offices. During the early 20th century, a meat market and a hat shop were located on the first level. It is currently owned by Byrum Geisler, who fully restored and renovated it to include his residence on the upper floors and two businesses on the ground level.
218 Pecan Street
This cottage was built in 1942 along with several similar structures constructed on Pecan Street at that time. It originally had five rooms when it was owned by Shirley and Linda McCracken. The current owner Jack Barrow has totally renovated the interior, taking down walls and creating an open, three-room cottage. The renovation is an inspiration for others who want to downsize and create an open, functional space for clutter-free living.
107 Park Street
Rick and Susan Humphreys have recently restored this 1834 structure, adding an ell to the rear. An empty, abandoned and derelict property before the restoration, many of its architectural features were found and carefully brought back to life. Interesting aspects are its restored front porch, original basement kitchen, stone foundation, and clapboard siding. It is now a B&B, the Black Dog Inn.
119 Park Street
Built in 1840, this is another restoration by Rick and Susan Humphreys. It also features an ell addition. Completed in 2003, many architectural details were saved and restored, including mantels, doors, windows and casements, floors, baseboards, and stairs. The property is now utilized for vacation rentals and is known as A Tailor’s Lodging, recalling the tailor business of the original 19th century owners.
262 Bradley Street
This house was built in 1908 by the Bradley family, who were prominent in the lumber business, and is an example of the distinguished homes built on Bradley Street at that time. The Edwardian style home has seven fireplaces and ash wood in the interior which was carried to Abingdon by the Virginia Creeper Railroad. Since 1994 the home has been owned by Rick Rose and Amanda Aldridge.
179 West Valley Street
The Legard House was built in 1912 by John E. Legard, President of People’s National Bank in Abingdon and General Manager of Abingdon Grocery Company. It features five original Italian marble fireplaces, original woodwork, large pocket floors, and renovations from 2010, including a outdoor waterfall.. The house has descended in the Legard family for over 100 years, to John E. Legard, Jr. and Ruth Rhea Legard, and then to the current owners, John E. Legard III and Annette Legard.
255 West Valley Street
This pink Queen Anne Victorian home was built in 1895 by George R. B. Hagy and then was owned by his daughter Lorraine Hagy Patton. It was the residence of Bill and Peggy Potts for over 40 years. It features two formal living areas, original woodwork and hardwood floors, an extensive front porch, and the original staircase. The current owners are Brenda Elliott and Richard Kerr.
Sinking Spring Cemetery, West End of Valley Street
In 1773, Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church asked Parson Charles Cummings to be its minister, and he accepted the calling. Needing a place to live in the area, Cummings built a small cabin, now known as the Parson Cummings Cabin, about two miles north of Abingdon. The cabin was owned by the Cummings family for many years until 1968 when it was donated to the church, which had it moved to the corner of Sinking Spring Cemetery, the location of the original “log meeting house.”