Grafton in Taylor County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
In 1911, Colonel John T. McGraw contracted JD Walsh and Son to build a modern hotel adjacent to the passenger station being built by the same company. His promise to erect the hotel, along with the donation of the land for the station, was instrumental in getting the new station built in Grafton. The Daily Sentinel predicted that when completed the Willard would be, "the crowning glory of the town."
A banquet was held in honor of Baltimore and Ohio Railroad President and hotel namesake Daniel Willard on April 17, 1912 and the building was opened to public inspection on May 13, 1912. B&O General Manager Thomas Fitzgerald became the first registered guest.
In 1918, silent film star Mabel Normand and the rest of the cast and crew of Back to the Woods stayed at the Willard Hotel while filming at nearby Valley Falls State Park.
The hotel was never financially successful and closed for public use on January 1, 1926. The Willard continued to be used as railroad offices, layover accommodations for rail workers, and later the engineering department. The Beanery, a restaurant in the basement level, operated until
Erected by West Virginia Humanities Council and Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 1, 1926.
Location. 39° 20.416′ N, 80° 1.054′ W. Marker is in Grafton, West Virginia, in Taylor County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street (U.S. 119) and Luzadder Street, on the right when traveling east on East Main Street. Marker is located at the far left of the Historic B&O Railroad Station. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 112 E Main St, Grafton WV 26354, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. B&O Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Elks Lodge No. 308 (within shouting distance of this marker); B&O Railroad (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church (about 300 feet away); First Presbyterian Church of Grafton (about 500 feet away); Cohen Building (about 500 feet away); St. Augustine Catholic Church (about 700 feet away); Gough Building (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grafton.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 144 times since then and 69 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 19, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.