Creating a Sense of Community Throughout The Appalachian Highlands

Abingdon, Virginia’s tree-lined streets might appear to present a quiet and sleepy town, but behind the historic trees is a bustling town with much to offer. The Historic Martha Washington Inn lies just across the street from Barter Theater: two landmarks that draw thousands to Abingdon each year. Lovers of food will not be disappointed since the historic twenty-block street offers keep Asian fusion to barbeque and much in between. Antique shops, art galleries, a bustling Farmer’s Market, an old-fashioned soda fountain, and funky flea markets can be found up and down Main Street.

During the summer, live music, sponsored by Abingdon Music Experience, can be found being played most weekends and each summer brings the Virginia Highlands Festival. Specialty shops, boutiques, and art galleries offer a different type of shopping to suit any taste. Abingdon, Virginia is a destination worth taking the time to travel to and is certainly not one that will ever disappoint even the worldliest traveler. Take time today to visit downtown Abingdon to see what all the buzz is about!

Foxglove Antiques & Etc.

Karen McClanahan opened Foxglove Antiques & Etc. in 1993. She has spent years developing a carefully selected stock of fine 18th, 19th and 20th Century American, English and Continental Antiques. Included in this selected stock, one can a find a mixture of quality oil paintings, porcelain, American or Southern furniture, boxes, especially tea caddies, and many other unique items.

Foxglove Antiques is an antique destination for many interior designers, collectors and trade buyers from across the nation.

Foxglove Antiques, also has a wide variety of garden items such as distinctive statuary, planters, urns and many other hard to fine garden items.

Customer satisfaction has always been a top priority at Foxglove Antiques. Karen pays close attention to every detail to ensure her clients have a rewarding shopping experience.

Please stop by to see the many treasures that await you.

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa began life as the retirement home for General Robert Preston following his successes in the War of 1812! It was built in 1832 as a private residence for General Francis Preston and Sarah Buchanan Preston and their nine children.

Much of the architectural integrity of this historic landmark has been meticulously preserved for over a century and a half. The original brick residence still comprises the central structure of The Martha Washington Hotel and the original living room of the Preston family is now the main lobby of the hotel. In fact, the grand stairway and parlors are today much as they were in the 19th century. The rare and elaborate Dutch-baroque grandfather clock, measuring over nine feet tall, was shipped from England by one of the Preston daughters, Mrs. Floyd, and now resides in the Edith Wilson Parlor.

In 1995, The Martha Washington Inn joined The Camberley Collection of fine historic properties. Sensitive to their role as stewards of a long and enduring legacy, Camberley maintains the Inn’s strong ties with the Barter Theatre and the community of Abingdon. Today The Martha Washington Inn & Spa stands as a gateway to the past, providing those modern amenities expected by today’s traveler amid the genteel elegance of period antiques and furnishings.

The Martha is the ideal wedding site for all of your celebration needs: from engagement parties, bridal showers and rehearsal dinners, to the perfect ceremony, wedding reception and farewell brunch. For the treasured moments and memories of your wedding day, make The Martha your wedding destination!

We know what businesses are looking for. You want your meetings to be a success and you want to look good in the process. Should you need space for a board meeting for 10 people or a conference of 200 people, The Martha offers a unique meeting atmosphere with flawless service. The Martha provides extensive and elegantly appointed meeting and banquet spaces equipped with high speed internet access, surround sound capability, telephone connections, and modern audio-visual equipment.

Visit our website at for a complete list of amenities, special packages as well as special spa treatments and unique therapy.

William King Regional Arts Center

It was late last summer at a meeting in Richmond that Alex Nyerges, the director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), reminded me that this spring would mark twenty-five years since we reopened as a high-security exhibition facility. We had changed our name to William King Regional Arts Center, adding the word “regional” to underscore our intention to serve the region as a whole – the nine counties that make up far Southwest Virginia and the border counties of nearby Tennessee. The VMFA was critical to our capacity-building renovation that paved the way to exhibit significant works of art that in turn fueled our move from a local focus to a regional one. We had undertaken this big upswing in vision because we had done some homework and discovered two significant voids: (1) the lack of gallery space with security and climate-control features necessary to borrow and exhibit precious works of art and (2) the lack of art teachers in elementary schools and, in some cases, high schools. We hoped to help address this by adapting our 1913 school building with the requisite components that of high-security and to develop programs for school audiences that tied looking at art to making art, thus initiating a new habit of art awareness for a new generation. Regionwide, we hoped the overarching result would be a new way to spend leisure time with a new appreciation for art.

So in 1990, we closed the doors on the old school, moved to temporary off-site offices, and plunged into a complete construction project. It took two years – asbestos abatement, scaffolding stretching up to reach high crumbling ceilings, installation of fire suppression and security alarms, vapor barriers behind windows, and finishing touches that transformed the historic school into an art museum. The opening day was March 29, 1992. The VMFA, Virginia’s state art museum, had been with us all along the way, offering technical assistance for every aspect of high-security gallery design and anything else we needed. They were with us that fine opening day, too. Katharine Lee was the VMFA director then. She and her staff made the trip the Abingdon to help us celebrate, as did the staff of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Virginia Association of Museums.

It was a community celebration that welcomed Virginia’s newest art museum. We thought it fitting today to mark the 25 years with another community celebration, one that celebrates not only our own 25 years but the whole region’s art appreciation. So we’ve worked with twelve collectors in our region whose eye for art – their connoisseurship – is evident in their art collections and then selected pieces from each for our signature birthday exhibition: Connoisseur: Private Collecting in Southwest Virginia & Northeast Tennessee. The Exhibition is open through Aug. 13, 2017. We hope you will join the celebration.

Siegner’s Ltd.

This month Siegner’s Ltd. will be celebrating our 20 year anniversary. When April Barnes asked if I would like to write a little article about our 20 years in business, I thought about how thankful I am for our wonderful customers who have helped make Siegner’s a success over the years. I am thankful to God for opening a door of opportunity, for providing guidance, wisdom, and help to use the talents He gave me to earn an income! Siegner’s Ltd. started out as a gift shop I purchased from the owner of The Martha Washington Inn in 1997. Since that time Siegner’s has evolved into a boutique of small gifts, jewelry, accessories, and clothing. We are pleased to offer EILEEN FISHER clothing line for the missy and petite gal! Many of her things are washable, travel well and coordinates season to season.

In 2011, Siegner’s Ltd. opened its second Main Street location in a beautiful restored historic building. My daughter, Lauren Siegner, had just moved to Abingdon with a BA in Fine Arts and her own faux finishing business. I invited her to take a risk and try retail. That risk paid off and she has successfully managed the new location for the past six years. A big part of Siegners Ltd. success is our very talented part time staff. Bobbie has been with us the longest. I met Bobbie as a customer shortly after starting the business. I am thankful for the experience she brought to Siegner’s Ltd. from having her own clothing line business and a flair for fashion. Bobbie has been a valuable, sincere friend who has offered much encouragement through the struggling ups and downs of small business owner. Bobbie and her husband enjoy their world travels to exotic places but is faithful to step in and help when needed. Jo is next, originally from England, she adds a European edge to fashion. Jo helped redecorate our Martha Washington Inn store when it needed a new look. She faux finished mirrors, antique display pieces, and more, creating a “French Boutique“ look. She also enjoys painting and gardening. Sallie has been with us for the past six years. She is a huge fan of our EILEEN FISHER clothing line, and creates her own look with the versatile pieces the EILEEN FISHER line affords. Sallie also has a passion for rescue Golden Retrievers.These gals have done everything in the stores from opening shipments to event modeling. I am very grateful and blessed to have a wonderful staff who support me, love people and bring diversity to the workplace. I do most of the buying for the stores at the Atlanta Apparel & Gift Markets. I follow up on my staff and customers suggestions for jewelry and clothing lines. A customer suggested we might want to look at the jewelry line ‘UNO de 50’, so we did and it has been the perfect match for the store at 226 East Main Street. I spend a lot of time hand-picking jewelry and accessories for the stores. I guess you might say that’s my first love, and the clothing line serves as a canvas for the accessories! It’s a lot of hard work, but to do something you enjoy it is worth it. Also, having repeat customers that share your taste and return to see what is new, keeps me on the hunt for something new and different for the next season! So, I want to invite you to Siegner’s Ltd. to join in our 20 year celebration with daily sales promotions and discounts for the entire month of May. Again, thank you! ~ Mary Siegner Semenov

Share Post
Written by