Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Center of Hospitality
Washington Heritage Trail
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 continued as a mainstay of the resort town until March 1898 when it burned. After three decades of rumors and false starts by various investors, the local Harmison family built the current center section
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.
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 in this post office area: Berkeley Springs WV 25411, United States of America.
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.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Notable Persons • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 12, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 12, 2018, by Devry Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.