Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 39


Grand Tour:

RestoRed Hotels
of WesteRn ViRginia

Left:Beverly Street, in one of Staunton's six historic districts,
houses restaurants and shops that open in tandem with the
Shakespeare Theatre's schedule.
Right: Writer Sherwood Anderson often frequented the lounge
at the General Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Marion.

A glorious manifestation of the national trend of the restoration of
grand old hotels has taken place along the mountain corridor in
western Virginia. Come on along on a road trip from Staunton through
Wytheville and on down to Marion.
Story and photos by Su Clauson-Wicker
As the lights went on in the sleek new
rooms of the Bolling Wilson Hotel
in late 2014, so did the hopes of
downtown Wytheville, Virginia.
After almost 40 years of housing
banks, the four-story building that
began life as the George Wythe
Hotel in 1927 is again accommodating travelers.
The boutique hotel takes its new
name and decorative theme from
the life of former U.S. First Lady
Edith Bolling Wilson, whose birthplace museum stands across the
street. With an emphasis on history,
gourmet food and luxury furnishings, the Bolling Wilson gives travel-

ers reason to exit the interstate - and
this grand hotel named for
Wytheville's famous daughter just
could revitalize downtown.
The hotel's rebirth coincides
with a nationwide trend. Historic
downtown hotels, symbols of
glamour and focal points of community life that faded with the rise
of chain motels, are enjoying a
renaissance. Several stately downtown hotels have sprung back to
life recently in Virginia towns
along Interstate 81, catering to
folks eager to experience the graciousness and amenities of a historic full-service hotel.

The game plan is to take in three
of these restored lovelies in one
long weekend. Here's a plan for
your grand downtown-hotel hopping jaunt.

Thursday: Staunton's Stonewall
Jackson

Fixing up an aging hotel is an expensive gamble. Private owners of the
Bolling Wilson and Marion's Francis
Marion Hotel spent upwards of $4
million each; putting the glory back
into the seven-story Stonewall
Jackson Hotel required even deeper
pockets. The city of Staunton paid
half its $21.1-million renovation tab
July/August 2015 39



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015

Sweet Summer Weekends & Overnights in 7 States
The Great Divorce: Virginia-West Virginia
Swimming Holes for Summer: The Photoessay
Grand Hotel Comebacks of Western Virginia
SUP in the Mountains?
Northern Shenandoah Weekend
A Home in, on and from the Mountains
Far Beyond Sweet Tea: Great Restaurants of Upcountry South Carolina
From the Editor / Worth a Click
Mill Creek Stories
The Hike
Creature Feature
Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Festivals & Events
Country Roads
Mountian Garden
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - From the Editor / Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Sweet Summer Weekends & Overnights in 7 States
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - The Great Divorce: Virginia-West Virginia
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Swimming Holes for Summer: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Grand Hotel Comebacks of Western Virginia
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - SUP in the Mountains?
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Northern Shenandoah Weekend
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - A Home in, on and from the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Far Beyond Sweet Tea: Great Restaurants of Upcountry South Carolina
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Mountian Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover4
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