Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Center of Hospitality
Washington Heritage Trail
For more than 200 years, the area bordering the park and springs on which the Country Inn stands, has been the historic spa town's center of hospitality.
In September 1784, George Washington stayed at Sign of the Liberty Pole and Flag located just south of today's inn. There, the nation's most famous man met inventor and sawmill owner, James Rumsey, who demonstrated his mechanical boat to Washington.
One of the ten lots occupied by the Country Inn was owned by James Smith, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania; another by General Horatio Gates who witnessed Rumsey's successful public steamboat trial in Shepherdstown in 1787.
In the prosperous decades before the Civil War, the Strother family built the elaborate Berkeley Springs Hotel facing onto the park. Soon after, President James K. Polk stayed there. When Confederate General Stonewall Jackson spent two days in January 1862 shelling Hancock, Maryland, he quartered his men and horses in the grand hotel; the Strothers were well-known Union supporters.
Famous for its dress balls and band music, the Berkeley Springs Hotel
The tiny lodging place known as Bath Cottage, south of the Inn, was built in the 1990s on the foundation of the cabin where 19th century bathkeeper, John Davis, was born and lived. Behind the Inn are two lots that once held prominent 19th century cottages.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Parks & Recreational Areas • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, the George Washington Slept Here, and the West Virginia, Washington Heritage Trail series lists.
Location. 39° 37.542′ N, 78° 13.731′ W. Marker is in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, in Morgan County. Marker is on South Washington Street (U.S. 522) south of Liberty Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 South Washington Street, Berkeley Springs WV 25411, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sam Purviance / George Irwin (here, next to this marker); Robert Carter Willis (a few steps from this marker); Thomas Lawson and John Orr (a few steps from this marker); A Winter Refuge (a few steps from this marker); Fielding Lewis (within shouting distance of this marker); Harry Dorsey Gough (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Dick (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Carroll (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley Springs.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 96 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 12, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.