During a visit to the region, a number of years ago, my good friend and traveling companion, David Fuerst, suggested that we need a name for the region. I chose “Holstonia.”

Greater Holstonia lies in the Valley and Ridge province of the Appalachian mountain chain straddling the states of Virginia and Tennessee. Holstonia's SW-NE orientation follows the watershed of the Holston River and its forks and reflects the topography of the region.

Holstonia's axis is modern day Interstate Highway 81, which today, as it has been for millennia, remains a great trading route.


Holstonia in Virginia is centered in the counties of Smyth and Washington. Across the Tennessee line, Holstonia extends most clearly into Hawkins and Sullivan Counties and the city of Kingsport.

Narrowly defined, Holstonia in Virginia is the watersheds of the forks of the Holton Rivers shown in gray. If Holstonia has a capital city, Saltville can make the best claim to be it.