During the years 1748-1750, Doctor Thomas Walker surveyed for himself 6870 acres of this prime land west of the Blue Ridge. In 1760 Colonel William Byrd and his regiment of men cut the Great Road through what is now Abingdon and on to present-day Kingsport, Tennessee. During that same year, Daniel Boone came and camped in Abingdon. Along with his companion, Nathaniel Gist, he was on his way through the area on a hunting trip. While they camped here, wolves emerged from a cave before them and attacked their dogs. Boone then gave Abingdon its first name, "Wolf Hills." Today, the Cave House Craft Shop sits on the site of the wolves' den The Depression, while causing the downfall of lumbering and the Martha Washington College, brought to Abingdon one of its greatest treasures: the Barter Theatre. In 1933, Robert Porterfield gathered 22 fellow actors and headed to his hometown of Abingdon. Here, he established the idea of "ham for Hamlet," bartering foodstuffs in exchange for a ticket to the theatre. Playwrights, including Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams, and Thornton Wilder, agreed to accept ham as royalties. One exception was George Bernard Shaw, a vegetarian, who bartered the rights to his plays for spinach. Barter Theatre became the State Theatre of Virginia in 1946, with help from Eleanor Roosevelt, and in 1965 Lady Bird Johnson bartered a potted plant for a ticket. Barter's heritage is rich and colorful and includes many famous thespians: Ernest Borgnine, Hume Cronyn, Gregory Peck, and Ned Beatty, just to name a few! Today, Abingdon is proud of its history and rich heritage. As you stroll down the shaded brick sidewalks, it's as if you have stepped back in time. It's easy to imagine the frightful night spent by Daniel Boone, the girlish laughter echoing from the Martha Washington Inn, and the applause of an audience of poor farmers at the Barter Theatre. Abingdon is indeed a history-filled town and an entertaining trip through time.