Named for seven natural springs once thought to be the sources of curative mineral water, Glade Spring has long been a location that has drawn a wide variety of people from far away. For many years, tourists visited the Washington Springs Hotel, which has since been razed, to bathe in its mineral water baths. In addition, passenger trains, which stopped running in the 1960s, for more than 100 years brought tourists and business people to Glade Spring from miles around.

The Virginia and Tennessee railroad gave birth to Glade Spring by building a depot here in the spring of 1856. By 1861, the town had begun to bustle, according to “Boomtown,” an historical account of Glade Spring written by Mary Towles Allison. “Glade’s business district adopted the look and feel of other turn-of-the-century boomtowns, complete with shiny storefronts, freight trains and travelers in transit,” Allison writes.

The farm lands that extend just beyond the town limits of Glade Spring have long been a part of its history, economy and charm. As the town has grown into more of a residential community, much of that farm land has been developed. Still, many farmers continue to seek their livelihood through raising cattle and growing tobacco, corn and other vegetables.