Abingdon Muster Grounds

Abingdon Muster Grounds The Abingdon Muster Grounds, northern trail head of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, is a picturesque park with an Interpretive Center.
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In the summer of 1780, the Southern American colonies - and hopes of independence - seemed at the mercy of an invading British army. A militia was formed on the western frontier, today know as the Overmountain Men. A brave group of some 400 volunteers came to the Abingdon Muster Grounds to begin their journey. The Virginians joined militia from modern day Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and the Overmountain Men gave chase to British Major Patrick Ferguson, surrounding his army on Kings Mountain, SC. In little over an hour, they killed or captured his entire command. Kings Mountain was the beginning of the successful end to the Revolution, assuring independence for the United States of America. The Keller Interpretive Center is located within the 9-acre Muster Grounds, and is the premier center for Colonial Backcountry history from the American Revolutionary period in Southwest Virginia. Exhibits help visitors discover what life was like for the Overmountain Men, Backcountry Women, African-Americans and Native Americans, as well as British Loyalists, and a history of Washington County - the Overmountain region of Southwest Virginia. Artifacts used at the Battle of Kings Mountain and others from the late 18th-century Overmountain region are on display. The Keller Interpretive Center is open from 9-5 daily. The Grounds and the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail are open from dawn-dusk.

The sounds of our Town Crier's bell and Drum Sergeant Major's Fife and Drum Corps can be heard across the Muster Grounds...
04/14/2020

The sounds of our Town Crier's bell and Drum Sergeant Major's Fife and Drum Corps can be heard across the Muster Grounds. These two know how to communicate with sound!

04/11/2020
Kings Mountain National Military Park

Ranger Leah shares some insight into British Major Patrick Ferguson.

Want to know more about Ranger Leah's choice for the most significant British leader in the backcountry, Patrick Ferguson? Delve into his personality traits in this video!

#clashofthecommanders #southerncampaign #patrickferguson #kingsmountain #kingsmountainNMP #history #NPS #findyourpark #findyourvirtualpark #virtualexperience

One of my favorite pictures of this past year shows the Presbyterian Minister of Sinking Springs and Ebbing Springs Chur...
04/07/2020

One of my favorite pictures of this past year shows the Presbyterian Minister of Sinking Springs and Ebbing Springs Churches, Charles "the Fighting Parson" Cummings, at the Muster Grounds. Many of Colonel William Campbell's militia men were part of Parson Cummings congregations.

Our friend Michael Henningsen,who portrays Charles Cummings, is a man of many talents (and as many hats)! As we share more pictures, notice how many different kinds of stories he has to share!

Backcountry Colonial Day Campers participate in a lot of hands on activities during the week of camp. It is always a lot...
04/07/2020

Backcountry Colonial Day Campers participate in a lot of hands on activities during the week of camp. It is always a lot of fun and campers learn a lot about the Overmountain Men and about life in the backcountry!

04/04/2020
Kings Mountain National Military Park

Kings Mountain National Military Park

Here is Ranger Leah's answer on behalf of Kings Mountain NMP in "Clash of the Commanders": William Campbell. Hear about his life, his service, and his leadership, and decide if he is the most significant Patriot leader in the backcountry!

The park rangers of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks Group are teaming up for a little friendly competition for another epic "Ask a Ranger: Clash of the Commanders!"

We have each picked a different answer to the question, "Who is the most significant Patriot leader in the backcountry?"

Follow along with all of the Southern Campaign sites:
Sunday (4/5): Ranger William and the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail: Isaac Shelby
Monday (4/6): Ranger Roland and Cowpens National Battlefield: William Davie
Tuesday (4/7): Ranger Adrian and Ninety Six National Historic Site: Nathanael Greene

Who will have the most convincing commander? You decide! Tune in starting today and Find Your Park with the Southern Campaign Parks!

#clashofthecommanders #southerncampaign #williamcampbell #kingsmountainNMP #findyourpark #findyourvirtualpark

Ol' Lady Edmondson, who had 5 immediate family members fight at the Battle of Kings Mountain, talks to visitors about li...
03/31/2020

Ol' Lady Edmondson, who had 5 immediate family members fight at the Battle of Kings Mountain, talks to visitors about life in the backcountry. Our friend Joella Johnson Barbourr, who portrays Ol' Lady Edmondson, has many ancestors who fought at the battle.

Do you think you might have ancestors who fought at Kings Mountain? We are happy to help you figure it out!

It is very satisfying to catch tinder on fire with a spark from flint and steel.  This student was very diligent!
03/30/2020

It is very satisfying to catch tinder on fire with a spark from flint and steel. This student was very diligent!

03/30/2020

At the Abingdon Muster Grounds, the patriot victory secured by the Overmountain Men at the Battle of Kings Mountain is at the heart of everything we do. We strive to honor the sacrifices made by the militia and their families by helping to keep the stories alive We do programs for the general public, students, campers, scouts, tour groups and more!

For now, we'd like to share some photos of past events or programs and we invite you to share memories you have of your visits to the Muster Grounds!

The Keller Interpretive Center will be closed until April 15, 2020.  The Muster Grounds and the Overmountain Victory Nat...
03/25/2020

The Keller Interpretive Center will be closed until April 15, 2020. The Muster Grounds and the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail remain open from dawn to dusk. Visitors need to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the State of Virginia and the Federal Government.

Please feel free to to contact us with any questions or concerns. We'd also love it if you want to contact us to talk about history or the patriots who fought at Kings Mountain!

UPDATE: Kings Mountain National Military Park is Modifying Operations to Implement Health Guidance

Kings Mountain NMP, in response to CDC guidance, is announcing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of March 24, 2020, Kings Mountain NMP will offer no services outside those that support visitor or resource protection. The following services and operations are suspended in order to comply with the CDC guidance order:

• Restrooms will be closed
• Visitor Center will be closed
• No on-site public or educational programs at any site

Outdoor spaces at the park remain accessible to the public from 9:00am to 5:00pm in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor COVID-19. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website, www.nps.gov/kimo, and page.

Be aware that sanitizing and disinfection protocols at the parks DO NOT include high-touch outdoor surfaces like water fountains, benches, signs, and trash cans. The NPS encourages people who choose to visit the park during this pandemic to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check our park website, www.nps.gov/kimo, and page for specific details about park operations.

Life in the Backcountry - just like life in the back country, there is always work to be done at the Muster Grounds! Tod...
03/22/2020

Life in the Backcountry - just like life in the back country, there is always work to be done at the Muster Grounds! Today, we're making benches for when visitors return.

03/19/2020
Kings Mountain National Military Park

Kings Mountain National Military Park

Welcome to our "Ask a Ranger" segment, where we will tackle one question each day about colonial and Revolutionary history, the battle, the park, the National Park Service--whatever questions you might have while our Visitor Center is closed. Ranger Leah may look a little different, but she is always excited to hear your questions!

This first segment focuses on a common question: why did Patrick Ferguson, the loyalist commander, choose to fight at Kings Mountain?

#askaranger #history #patrickferguson #kingsmountainNMP #findyourpark #findyourvirtualpark

Even people who have lots of experience with flintlocks and black powder participate in safety classes! Thank you John G...
03/11/2020

Even people who have lots of experience with flintlocks and black powder participate in safety classes! Thank you John Gullion and General William Campbell Chapter-SAR for helping keep the story alive!

Telling the stories of the Virginia frontier!
03/09/2020

Telling the stories of the Virginia frontier!

We did it! Thanks to Josh Adkins of Modern Woodmen of America, we have raised enough to custom weave the Murray of Tullibardine tartan pictured below the check in the painting of Lord Dunmore. Lord Dunmore help bring peace to the Virginia frontier and open lands for settlers.

03/06/2020

Blooms and flurries!

This decorative drum at the Muster Grounds was an unplayable decorative rope-tension drum. Today the drum was re-roped a...
02/16/2020

This decorative drum at the Muster Grounds was an unplayable decorative rope-tension drum. Today the drum was re-roped and snares added to make the drum playable for a Call to Arms.

This decorative drum at the Muster Grounds was an unplayable decorative rope-tension drum. Today the drum was re-roped and snares added to make the drum playable for a Call to Arms.

Representing the Muster Grounds and OVTA at the conversation with Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry.
02/14/2020

Representing the Muster Grounds and OVTA at the conversation with Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry.

Kings Mountain National Military Park
02/08/2020

Kings Mountain National Military Park

Happy Photo Friday with a Quote! In honor of Black History Month, this week's photo features our African American Patriot Monument, which recognizes the service of the three known African Americans who fought on the patriot side in the battle of Kings Mountain. All three of these men came from Virginia, so we chose a fitting quote from Virginian and overall commander, Colonel William Campbell: "Boys, remember your liberty!" He bellowed these words as he led his men charging up the hillside.

What would those words have meant to these men? Two of them, Esaius Bowman and Andrew Ferguson, were free men, but John Broddy rode with Campbell as his slave (he would later be freed for his service).

Two other African Americans are believed to have fought at Kings Mountain: Primus, a free man from South Carolina, and Ishmael Titus, a slave from North Carolina who was granted freedom for his service after the war. What would these words have meant to Titus, if he heard them?

Maybe for them, the words changed to "Boys, fight for your liberty!"

We’ve been watching the ducks swim across the Muster Grounds.
02/06/2020

We’ve been watching the ducks swim across the Muster Grounds.

Both shoes DONE!
02/03/2020

Both shoes DONE!

Abingdon Muster Grounds
02/02/2020

Abingdon Muster Grounds

Today at the Muster Grounds! The cobbler's bench .... building and 'cobbling' a heel.

Today at the Muster Grounds! The cobbler's bench .... building and 'cobbling' a heel.
02/02/2020

Today at the Muster Grounds! The cobbler's bench .... building and 'cobbling' a heel.

Today at the Muster Grounds! The Heav'n-Taught Ploughman - Robert Burns! While the Overmountain Militia were gathering i...
01/26/2020

Today at the Muster Grounds! The Heav'n-Taught Ploughman - Robert Burns! While the Overmountain Militia were gathering in a little field in Abingdon, Robert Burns, the ploughman poet of Scotland was already crafting verse and gaining an audience. A staunch supporter of the cause of liberty, Burns even wrote an ode to George Washington for his birthday! Stop by today for a visit with the Heav'n-Taught Ploughman, Robert Burns ... and join him for an evening of Scottish culture at Morgan's of Abingdon, 5:00 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/events/2480374115509463/?notif_t=event_aggregate¬if_id=1580042851681697

Hand-crafted shoes ready for the march to King's Mountain!!
01/23/2020

Hand-crafted shoes ready for the march to King's Mountain!!

Hand-crafted shoe from the hand-crafted last.

Life in colonial Virginia required lots of skills, including knowing how to make and repair your own shoes!! Here we sho...
01/09/2020

Life in colonial Virginia required lots of skills, including knowing how to make and repair your own shoes!! Here we show the making of just the shoe 'last' (wooden form)!

Fresh from the workshop - a R/L wooden shoe last to make period shoes.

Today at the Muster Grounds (while the weather holds!): Repairing an old loom and working on benches.
12/29/2019

Today at the Muster Grounds (while the weather holds!): Repairing an old loom and working on benches.

We spent the morning with a group from Chesapeake, VA and enjoyed telling them about the backcountry and the victory at ...
12/05/2019

We spent the morning with a group from Chesapeake, VA and enjoyed telling them about the backcountry and the victory at Kings Mountain

In observance of Thanksgiving, the Keller Interpretive Center will be closed:Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 1:00 pm-5:00 ...
11/27/2019

In observance of Thanksgiving, the Keller Interpretive Center will be closed:
Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Thursday, November 28, 2019
Friday, November 29. 2019
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and the Grounds will remain open from dawn to dusk, daily.

We’ll be telling the story of the Overmountain Victory at Kings Mountain to several groups over the next few days. Conta...
11/19/2019

We’ll be telling the story of the Overmountain Victory at Kings Mountain to several groups over the next few days. Contact us and we’ll schedule a storytelling event for your group!

Upper Tennessee River Roundtable
10/28/2019

Upper Tennessee River Roundtable

Thanks to everyone who picked up litter at our annual Muster Grounds cleanup Sunday. We had 42 volunteers and a big pile of litter, buckets, wood, and a door. Special thanks to the Scouts and to the Emory & Henry College Greeks. Thanks to sponsors Sustain Abingdon, Clean Virginia Waterways, Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful, and TVA.

When a call to arms was issued for militia to respond to British Major Patrick Ferguson’s threat that, “he would march h...
09/24/2019

When a call to arms was issued for militia to respond to British Major Patrick Ferguson’s threat that, “he would march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay waste their country with fire and sword,” men from all over the region moved into action. After a two-week campaign, the Overmountain Men fought the Battle of Kings Mountain with overwhelming success. Thomas Jefferson said that the Battle of Kings Mountain was “the turn of the tide of success which terminated the Revolutionary War, with the seal of our independence.”

September 24, 1780: Washington County Virginia militia, under the command of Colonel William Campbell, departed the Abingdon Muster Grounds in pursuit of British Major Patrick Ferguson. Many of the militia men and their families were congregants of Sinking Springs or Ebbing Springs Presbyterian Churches, both led by the “Fighting Parson” Charles Cummings (depicted in this photo).

Visit Abingdon VA
09/24/2019

Visit Abingdon VA

Abingdon is full of history, but today is something special. On this date in 1780, Abingdon played a crucial role in the Revolutionary War, one that changed the course of American history, according to Thomas Jefferson. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

On September 24, 1780 the Overmountain Men mustered in Abingdon to begin their 330-mile march to the Battle of Kings Mountain, SC.

Under the leadership of Colonel William Campbell, 400 Virginians set out to join patriot militia from modern-day Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. After a two week campaign, the Overmountain Men fought the Battle of Kings Mountain with overwhelming success. Thomas Jefferson said it was “the turn of the tide of success which terminated the Revolutionary War, with the seal of our independence”.

Learn more at https://visitabingdonvirginia.com/directory/overmountain-victory-trail, then visit the Abingdon Muster Grounds to view the historic site yourself!

Look out for a segment about our annual event for 4th graders, A Call to Arms, on WJHL!
09/18/2019

Look out for a segment about our annual event for 4th graders, A Call to Arms, on WJHL!

A big huzzah to the Emory & Henry students who participated in a service plunge at the Muster Grounds today! Your work h...
08/27/2019

A big huzzah to the Emory & Henry students who participated in a service plunge at the Muster Grounds today! Your work here is greatly appreciated!

Address

1780 Muster Place
Abingdon, VA
24210

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Comments

Restoring an antique walking wheel.
Don't let the bed bugs bite!!
Today's project at the Muster Grounds - a primitive rope bed with dowelled mortise and tenon joints.
Repairing bench at the Muster Grounds.
We hope you'll join us!
Please join fellow patriots at the Barter Theatre on February 7 for "Conversation with Thomas Jefferson". This event is a fundraiser for the Historical Society and will feature Bill Barker of Williamsburg as Mr. Jefferson. There will be music by "Sons of Freedom" and "Muster Grounds Musik." Get you ticket at the Barter Box Office now. Bartertheatre.com
Will you be doing the over-mountain men/King's Mountain re-inactment again this summer?
We pause in remembrance today, 7 Oct 1780, and the victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain, SC. We also extend our prayers, love and condolences to the families of Bettie McCall Johnson and Sandra Hall Wimmer. These two ladies, descendants of many militia in the Battle, on behalf of their families, contributed the James Snodgrass Bible, and Major/Colonel William Edmiston's rifle to the W. Blair Keller Interpretive Center.