1928 - Alderson High School - 1968
GREENBRIER HISTORICAL SOCIETY 814 West Washington Street Lewisburg, WV  24910                                                                         304-645-3398                                         NEWS RELEASE VARIETY AND SHARED HISTORY The   traditional   Saturday   tour   of   historic   homes   is   always   the   anchor   of   the   Greenbrier   Historical   Society’s   Home   Tour Weekend   and   2017   is   no   different.      Its   position,   in   between   the   elegant   gala   at   the   home   of Angus   Peyton   on   Friday,   June 9   from   5-7   and   the   afternoon   tea   and   recognition   of   Medal   of   Freedom   winner   Katherine   Coleman   Johnson   on   Sunday, June 11 at 2 and again at 4 p.m., allows visitors to enjoy very special houses in the Greenbrier Valley. Waiting   for   visitors   on   Saturday,   June   10   from   10-5   p.m.   on   the   banks   of   the   Greenbrier   River   at   Caldwell   is   Elmhurst.     Owner Alicia   Kuhn   has   brought   an   airy   elegance   to   this   venerable   old   charmer   of   a   house.      Kuhn   is   obviously   no   stranger to   challenges   and   this   huge   house   did   not   daunt   her.      Even   flood   waters   in   June,   2016   did   not   keep   her   from   moving forward. Elmhurst   has   seen   its   share   of   adversity.      Built   in   1824   as   a   tavern   by   John   Dunn   with   mantels   carved   by   Conrad   Burgess, it   first   served   as   a   stage   coach   stop   at   the   toll   bridge   crossing   the   Greenbrier   River.      Private   parties   were   held   here   for guests   from   what   is   now   “The   Greenbrier”   and   was   then   “the   White   Sulphur   Springs   resort”   including   a   very   famous   one given   in   honor   of   President   Martin   Van   Buren.      While   everyone   is   welcome   to   visit   during   the   Home   Tour,   only   men   were invited   to   the   Van   Buren   party!      The   belles   at   White   Sulphur   were   very   much   annoyed   to   have   their   eligible   beaus   taken away   for   an   afternoon.      During   the   Civil   War,   fighting   took   place   in   this   area,   and   only   the   illness   of   a   family   member   is   said to have saved Elmhurst while all its outbuildings were burned. As   a   special   treat   for   guests,   author   Courtney   Soling   Smith   will   be   in   the   Elmhurst   living   room   to   discuss   and   sell   her   novel, “LIES:   Based   on   True   Stories”,   about   the   house   and   its   occupants   during   one   turbulent   set   of   days   during   the   Civil   War.     This   book   is   a   lively   read   about   the   fate   of   one   family   when   raiding   Union   soldiers   came   looking   for   medical   supplies.      This story   is   well   researched,   partly   using   the   archives   of   the   Greenbrier   Historical   Society,   and   sheds   light   on   the   customs   of the day, especially for women. The   close   association   between   Elmhurst   and   the   Greenbrier   has   lasted   over   the   years.      Guests   may   have   stopped   at   the Elmhurst   Tavern   to   wait   on   rooms   at   the   White   Sulphur   Springs   resort.      Certainly,   if   they   were   going   west   to   their   homes   or to   other   resorts   such   as   the   Blue   Sulphur   Springs,   they   passed   by.      The   party   for   President   Van   Buren   was   important enough   to   rate   a   newspaper   article   and   even   the   menu   was   preserved.      This   association   continues   as   the   Greenbrier   is   a sponsor of the 2107 Homes Tour and is opening its Presidents’ Cottage Museum for visitors. On   the   fabulous   grounds   of   the   Greenbrier   Resort,   the   Presidents’   Cottage   Museum   was   built   in   1835   as   a   private   summer residence   for   Mr.   Stephen   Henderson,   a   wealthy   Louisiana   merchant   and   sugar   plantation   owner.      In   the   1830’s   it   was common   for   the   more   wealthy   guests   at   White   Sulphur   Springs   to   build   their   own   private   cottages   at   the   resort.     They   were insured   no   problem   with   reservations!      When   Henderson   passed   away   in   1838,   Caldwell,   the   resort   owner,   took   the cottage   over   and   used   it   to   house   his   most   important   guests.      Five   presidents   stayed   in   this   cottage   before   the   Civil   War.      It opened as a museum in 1932.  Visitors   are   invited   to   look   out   over   the   Greenbrier   grounds   from   the   porch   and   imagine   the   scene   in   as   it   might   have   been in   years   past.      Visitors   are   also   invited   to   explore   the   Art   Colony   Shops,   located   in   the   historic   Alabama   Row   cottages which   are   among   the   oldest   structures,   having   been   built   in   the   1830s.     Together,   the   President’s   Cottage   Museum   and   the Alabama   Row   cottages   are   the   most   authentic   remaining   portion   of   the   famed   antebellum   resort   then   known   as   White Sulphur Springs.  It is planned to have an additional historic cottage open for viewing depending on bookings at the time. Tickets   are   available   at   the   North   House   Museum   and   the   Greenbrier   Convention   and   Visitors   Bureau   in   Lewisburg;   City Hall   in   White   Sulphur   Springs   and   from   GHS   board   members.      Gala   tickets   are   $60;   tour   tickets   are   $30;   and   tea   tickets are   $20.     A   special   value   weekend   package   of   tickets   to   all   three   events   is   available   for   $100.      While   home   tour   tickets   will be   available   at   each   house   on   the   day   of   the   tour,   gala   and   tea   tickets   must   be   purchased   by   June   2.      Please   call   304-645- 3398   for   more   information.      The   Greenbrier   Historical   Society   thanks   The   Greenbrier   Resort   for   helping   to   sponsor   these events. PHOTO CAPTIONS: Left   Photo:   This   is   the   entrance   door   to   the   Presidents’   Cottage   Museum   at   The   Greenbrier.      Five   pre-civil   war   presidents used this doorway! Right   Photo:   Elmhurst   stands   a   gracious   sentinel   beside   the   Greenbrier   River.      Parties   from   the   White   Sulphur   Springs Resort (The Greenbrier) spilled over onto its beautiful grounds. Contact:  Margaret Hambrick  or Nick LaCasse     304-646-2439               304-645-3398
Date:  May 4, 2017
(Click on photo for larger view)