Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Center of Hospitality

Washington Heritage Trail

 
 
Center of Hospitality Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, May 12, 2018
1. Center of Hospitality Marker
Inscription. 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 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
Center of Hospitality Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Jones, May 12, 2018
2. Center of Hospitality Marker
in 1933 as the Park View Inn. It became so popular, two wings were added in 1937 and more famous guests came to stay. New owners in 1972 named it the Country Inn, a name the current owners restored.

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 & CommerceNotable PersonsPolitics
 
 
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.
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