History of The Glen Ferris Inn
The Glen Ferris Inn has served guests since 1839 under the previous names of “Stockton Tavern“, “Stockton Inn” and “Hawkins Hotel“. Regardless of the name used, travelers have enjoyed good food, hospitality and some of the most beautiful scenery in the State of West Virginia. It may have been built as early as 1815 as there is an 1815 newspaper article that states this but it has been clearly serving customers since 1939 when Aaron Stockton applied for a license to operate an “ordinary” to accommodate travelers on the James and Kanawha Turnpike as the passed through the area.
The guests who have come to The Inn have included many of the young country and include John Tyler, Andrew Jackson, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, George Rodgers Clark, Henry Clay, John James Audubon, Thomas Hart Benton, John Criffenden, Jon Breckinridge, Henry Wise and John Floyd to name just a few. In fact, Henry Clay was such a frequent visitor that the room in which he usually stayed was called “The Clay Room” by the staff. Today this room serves as The Inn’s conference room.
With the arrival of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad on the Southern bank of the Kanawha River, travelers who chose to pass over the old turnpike (later called the Midland Trail) by carriage began to diminish. As the number of road travelers declined, the ability of the inn to support itself also decreased. A new, modern railroad hotel, ‘The Kanawha Hotel” in Kanawha Falls (across the river and below the falls) gained guests as the Stockton Inn lost its customer base and from 1874 until 1929 the building, still referred to as “The Inn”, served as a private residence to the descendants of Aaron Stockton. Through the entire period however, “The Inn” continued to host both travelers and boarders.
Significant remodeling of the Inn occurred around 1910 when Mr. Bonaventura Bosia was hired to remodel it. He added the third floor, built the classical columns and porches that surround the building and added a wall around the property. The wall is made of local quartzite and large pieces of slag, a waste product from the nearby Ferroalloy plant.
In 1929, the Electrometallurgical Corporation (EMOC) purchased the property to house senior employees sent to the area to build the world’s largest Ferroalloy plant and the disastrous Hawk’s Nest Tunnel, but the Inn was still open to space-available basis, to travelers. During this period, the Inn was owned by Union Carbide, the parent company of EMCO.
The Inn remained in the hands of Union Carbide as an active tourist hotel until 1981 when Union Carbide sold its metals division to a Norwegian Firm Elkem. The Inn continued to serve guests until it was sold to Dan and Rebecca Hill in Sept. 1996 and they added to the property with a new enlarged dining room overlooking the falls and made general improvements to the entire Inn.
In July 2017 the Hills sold the Inn to Tom Willis and HB Gilliam.Due to a variety of circumstances, Dan and Becky Hill regained ownership of the Inn. After spending several months refurbishing the rooms, the grounds and kitchen, the Hills reopened Glen Ferris Inn December 16, 2018 and continue to make The Glen Ferris Inn as a destination spot for our guests to enjoy the beauty and history of Fayette County and all the natural wonder West Virginia has to offer.