Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lewisburg's Fort Savannah Inn

In the mid 1700's, the area we know as Lewisburg was known as the Savannah.  Around 1770, although some say as early as 1755, a fort was constructed known as Fort Savannah.  It was Fort Savannah where Andrew Lewis compiled and lead troops on a 160 mile march to engage the Indians in the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774.

Today, the fort is memorialized by a motel called the Fort Savannah Inn, located just across the street from where the fort originally stood.  The Fort Savannah Inn, or "The Fort" as deemed by the locals, consists of a log cabin structure made from the reclaimed wood of historic structures which houses the offices, check-in desk, and a restaurant/pub.  Other buildings include  a manager's cottage and two separate motel buildings housing a total of 66 rooms.

According to the book, Ghosts of Greenbrier County, by Nancy Richmond,  this hotel is also home to a ghost or two, which is most often observed by overnight clerks, which leads me to believe that the majority of activity is undoubtedly noticed in the log cabin section of the complex.  According to Richmond, night clerks have observed things such as hearing doors in the basement open and shut, and seeing lights go on and off in unoccupied rooms.  The kitchen refrigerator has been known to open by itself, and one clerk reported an ice bucket flying 15 feet into the air and rolling across the floor.

Unfortunately, chances to experience these phenomena for oneself may be impossible in some cases, and in others, simply not worth the effort.  When doing research for this location, I came across scores of reviews from guests to the hotel...and not one of them was positive.  The main issues were filthy rooms, broken bathroom fixtures, and an extremely rude staff with a manager who price gouged room rates whenever area events made rooms in town scarce.  The hotel was put up for sale in 2010, but apparently is still operational as of July 2012, with little to no marked improvement, and rumors that one building housing motel rooms is actually shut down because its sinking into an underground cavern. 

Photo property of Rebecca Gaujot

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