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More West Virginia

July 13, 2010

We stayed at the Graceland Inn on the campus of Davis and Elkins College. The house was built sometime around 1892 as a summer home for Senator Henry Gassaway Davis. The farm on which the Inn was built originally consisted of about 360 acres. The outside of the house is constructed of native sandstone. The inside is decorated in native hardwoods, mostly quartered oak, bird’s eye maple, cherry and walnut. The house was named for Senator Davis’ youngest daughter, Grace. After her mother passed away, she acted as her father’s hostess. She inherited the house after her father died, and continued to go there every summer. Grace died in a tragic car accident in 1931. Her children inherited the house and it was sold in 1939. It was acquired by the West Virginia Presbyterian Education Fund in 1941 and presented to the college. Until 1970, Graceland was used as a men’s residence hall but in 1971 it was closed until the early 1990’s when restoration began. The Inn received its first guests in 1996.

Graceland was designated a National Historic Landmark and along with historic Halliehurst Mansion and two other historic buildings on the campus of Davis & Elkins College, forms what is now a national historic district, one of 169 in the United States.

We were in Grace’s Suite. It is on the 3rd floor and is on the southwestern facing part of the house. It has a beautiful view of the town and of the mountains in the distance.

The fireplace in the entry

The original oil painting above the fireplace. It is of Blackwater Falls before it was logged.

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