Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Borland Springs Hotel

The former Borland Springs Hotel was built by John Wilbur (J.W.) Grimm in 1908.  Grimm, who was born in Pennsylvania on September 22, 1866, built the hotel atop a 240 acre property straddling Wood and Pleasants Counties.  When opened, the inn boasted 65 guest rooms, a dining room seating 90, and ample recreational opportunities.  However, it was for the healing benefits of the mineral springs that led to its popularity, and at weekly rates of $12-14, including meals, it was affordable for the majority of the population.  In addition to services as a resort, Borland Springs also sold its healing spring water through mail order and local stores.

Business did well until August 16, 1918.  That year, Grimm's oldest son, Frank Chandis Grimm, shot and killed  20 year old John Maidens in the spring house.  Allegedly the murder was over a love triangle involving a Miss Pearson.  It is said that in the spring house, which often hosted dances and other social events, the blood stain of Mr. Maidens remained for years.

Shortly after the murder, guests began to report strange noises and other odd happenings around the hotel.  Business also took a turn for the worse, and finally, Grimm sold the hotel in 1932 to C.T. Leavitt, a local from Parkersburg.  Leavitt did extensive restorations on the declining hotel, including redoing the blood-stained spring house.  He reopened the resort in 1934, and operated it until 1938.  Hard times required the hotel to temporarily shut down, reopening in 1940-1941, when it was shut down permanently.

By the early 1950s, the former hotel served as a massive chicken coop before burning to the ground in 1967.  Today, the property sits outside of the Mountwood Park campgrounds, and is still rumored to be haunted.  Did the spirit of John Maidens "curse" the once prosperous hotel, now doomed to walk the property for an eternity, or does the spirit of former owner, J.W. Grimm (who died in 1955 at nearby Camden Clark Hospital) show up to express his displeasure at the fate of his former resort?


  1. im a local in parkersburg me and a couple of friends would like to see the site of this old hotel could someone give us directions???

    1. are you still on this address? if so, let me know

  2. I'm not familiar with the area, and the most recent literature I have on the subject is the 2004 Borland Springs Hotel book by Michael Naylor. According to the book:

    "Site: All that remains of the Borland Springs Hotel are parts of the foundation, a concrete walk, an old cistern, steps to the Spring House, and the cables that once held the suspension foot bridge over Bull Creek. The Hotel was destroyed by arson in 1967. There are no markers.

    Directions: Take U.S. Route 50 east from Parkersburg, WV for approximately 10 miles. After passing the "Mount Wood Park" exit sign on the right, take the "Borland Springs" exit, the next exit on the left. Proceed for approximately three miles on Campbell's Run Road until you come to a low-water concrete bridge and dthen turn left onto Bull Creek Road. Proceed up the incline for approximately 100 yards until you come to the summit. The Hotel was on the right about 50 feet from the road. Carefully look for the end of the concrete sidewalk that led to the main door of the hotel. On the left side of the road and over the bank are the steps to the old suspension bridge over Bull Creek that led to the Spring House."