Monday, May 23, 2011

Lost River State Park

Lost River State Park, located in Hardy County, sits on the land acquired in 1796 by "Light Horse" Henry Lee, a Revolutionary War hero and father to Gen. Robert E. Lee.  Due to overwhelming debt and a busy lifestyle, Lee sold the land off in 1809.

By 1832, Lee's son Charles Carter Lee began re-acquiring his father's land with the intent to build a resort hotel, catering to visitors of the nearby mineral springs.  Work on the hotel didn't officially begin until 1848, but it is rumored that Charles began building several cabins as early as 1840.

During this time period, a livestock trader from Virginia named Charles Sager was returning home to Moorefield when he was ambushed near what is today the park's entrance.  He was dragged to what is known as the "Lee Cabin."    For reasons unknown, the ambushers stabbed Charles to death, and left his body in the upper far left corner of the second floor of the cabin. Blood dripped down the wall, staining the floor below.

In 1879, Charles Carter Lee sold the property.  It was later renovated into a posh retreat around 1897.  By 1910, the resort had burned to the ground.  The land was acquired by the government in the 1930s, and in 1940, the Civilian Conservation Corps restored much of the cabins, including the Lee Cabin.

It is highly debated whether or not Henry Lee, or his son Charles was the actual builder of the cabin, but what IS known is that the spirit of Charles Sager chose to remain there long after his brutal death.  Before the CCC came in and restored the cabin, it was said that the blood stains that pooled on both the second and first floor, and dripped down the wall, could not be scrubbed off.  Furthermore, many visitors to the posh retreat claimed to hear the eerie shrieks of a man in agony, coming from the cabin during warm nights.

There have been no recent reports of activity, but park rangers will be more than happy to tell you the stories, and try to give you a scare.  It is claimed that the lights will not come on in the Lee Cabin until Charles Sager is asked politely to turn them on...visitors are often amazed to find out that as soon as they call out his name, the lights will flicker on...much to the amusement of park staff who are behind the prank.

Lost River Website

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