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Glen Ferris Inn

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c. 1815. c. 1910, Bonaventura Bosia. 1929. 1990s. East side of U.S. 60, overlooking the Falls of the Kanawha

The oldest built landmark in the area, this brick hostelry traces its beginnings to the early nineteenth century. Photographs taken before extensive alterations were made in the early twentieth century show a simple two-story, hipped-roof brick building—its short three-bay ends wedged between river and road—with a long one-story wing stretching to the west. Aaron Stockton bought it in 1817 and began operating it as an inn along the James River and Kanawha Turnpike early in the 1830s. In 1835 Joseph Martin, after warning that the Falls of the Kanawha might be a disappointment to visitors expecting something on the order of Niagara, promised that “the epicure would meet with none at the spacious hotel which stands opposite the falls.”

Early in the twentieth century, an Italian craftsman, Bonaventura Bosia, changed the hipped roof to a tall, pedimented gable form, adding large dormers to light a new third floor. He also built porticoes on three sides, supported by Ionic columns with wonderfully exaggerated entases. In 1920 EMCO purchased the building, reopened it as an inn, and in 1929 replaced the one-story west wing with a two-story addition. The most recent construction is a one-story dining pavilion overlooking the falls.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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