Glade Spring, Virginia

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Glade Spring is a town in Washington County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,374 at the 2000 census. It is part of the KingsportBristol (TN)Bristol (VA) Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.



The original name of Glade Spring derives from the Indian word Passawatami which means "this is the place." According to early records, near the town is a field where Native American tribes held a type of Olympics in the fall, with athletic competitions, dancing and socializing. The Porterfield family, who arrived about 1760, were some of the earliest permanent settlers.

During its first years, the town was called Glade Spring Depot to differentiate it from the community centered around Glade Spring Presbyterian Church, two miles to the southwest on the old stage road, now U.S. Route 11. The post office was moved from Old Glade to Glade Spring Depot in 1856 due to the arrival of the railroad.

The Civil War slowed down its growth, and local men made up a military unit called The Glade Spring Rifles. Federal and Confederate troops passed through the town several times, and cannon emplacements can still be seen just outside Glade Spring on the road to Saltville. Although a few new buildings were constructed before the Civil War, most of the town's growth occurred rapidly in the decade after the war. With the railroad access, Glade Spring turned into a prime shipping yard for produce, livestock and other local goods. An Abingdon newspaper first took note of the "stirring, thriving, wide-awake community" in 1870. By the time Glade Spring was incorporated in 1875, there were 31 houses (three were brick), six stores, two hotels, and a Masonic Hall. Virginia Intermont College was located in Glade from 1884 to 1892, before it moved to the present location near Bristol.

After the train service discontinued, the growth in the town slowed down. Today, the train tracks that once connected Glade to Saltville, are being removed and being replaced by an 8.91-mile trail called the Salt Trail.

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