1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


The Greenbrier Hotel Via Post Card

Barry Worrell - October 10, 2011

I acquired these post cards some time ago but could never think of what to do with them.

The symbol of the Greenbrier is the spring house that covers the ever flowing sulphur well. The first recorded use of the spring was in 1778 by local pioneer, Mrs. Anderson. She used the sulphur water for her rheumatism, as the Native Americans did for some of their ailments. Becoming a resort, it was named White Sulphur Springs.

A prominent family from Baltimore, the Calwells, took over the resort and began to develope it further, selling cottages to Southern people. Many of those cottages still stand.  Henry Clay and Martin van Buren were once guest at the resort.

A hotel called The Grand Central Hotel, known by the moniker "The White" and later "The Old White", was constructed in 1858 and remained until 1922 when it was torn down after the construction of the current building. During the Civil War, the property changed hands between the Confederate Army and the Union Army, who almost burned the resort to the ground.

The resort was reopened after the Civil War, becoming a vacation spot for Northerners and Southerners, providing a cordial place for post war reconciliations. There, Robert E. Lee issued his only political position called, the White Sulphur Manifesto. After the arrival of the railroad, it was the mecca of post war society.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway purchased the resort in 1910 and built the Greenbrier Hotel and other amenities were added by 1913. They changed the name  to The Greenbrier, and the town around the hotel adopted White Sulphur Spring as their name. During World War II, the resort served both as an army hospital and as a relocation center for some of the Axis diplomats interned as enemies of the United States.

The C&O bought back the property from the Government and redecorated. The reopening was the social event of the season. Many attended the event including such luminaries as the Duke of Windsor with his wife, Wallis Simpson, Bing Crosby, and members of the Kennedy family. In recent years, several presidents and vice-presidents, foreign dignitaries such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, have stayed at The Greenbrier.

In 1958, underneath the West Virginia wing, construction was started on a bunker which would house and keep the U. S. House and Senate plus others. Completed in 1961 it was maintained by a company that was called Forsythe Associates, which in fact was government employees working undercover. The purpose was to keep vital members of our government safe in case of nuclear attack. This was supposed to be a secret facility, however, there were many in Alderson, including myself, that knew what they were building during construction.  Some secret!

Click on each picture to see a larger view.

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