History of the Greenbrier, the Oldest Resort in America

The Greenbrier, located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, tucked away in the gorgeous Allegheny Mountains, is a representation of opulent hospitality and timelessness. This majestic resort, whose history dates back to the late 18th century, has contributed to the molding of American history and served as an unrivaled sanctuary for tourists.

Visit iGamingWV to find out more about the Greenbrier and other resorts and casinos in West Virginia. Let’s go back in time to discover The Greenbrier’s unique past as the country’s first resort.

The Early Years

A little healing spring that was found on the site in 1778 serves as the starting point for the history of The Greenbrier. As news of the area’s alleged therapeutic virtues spread, tourists flocked there in search of the purported benefits of the area’s mineral-rich waters. John Stuart bought the land in the 1830s after realizing it had the makings of an opulent resort.

Grand Hotel Era

The Greenbrier was transformed into a great hotel under Stuart’s ownership in 1858, drawing travelers from all over the country. The hotel provided medical care for injured troops during the Civil War, demonstrating its dedication to providing assistance even in times of war. The Greenbrier thrived after the war and attracted notable people like Presidents Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison.

The Cold War and the Bunker

The Cold War saw the unfolding of one of The Greenbrier’s most fascinating chapters in history. The U.S. government made an unusual request to the resort in 1956. They planned to construct a top-secret subterranean bunker that would house Congress in the case of a nuclear attack under the resort. The undertaking, known only as “Project Greek Island,” was kept a secret for many years.

The bunker, which was concealed under The Greenbrier’s West Virginia Wing, has living rooms, a decontamination chamber, and enough medical supplies to treat over 1,000 people for up to 60 days. Until its declassification in 1992, the facility was still in use.

Contemporary Elegance

The Greenbrier underwent major renovations in the late 20th century to maintain its reputation as a haven of elegance and refinement. The resort currently offers a variety of attractions, such as top-notch golf courses, an opulent spa, and upscale dining choices.

The sparkling Dorothy Draper décor, a vivid and daring design aesthetic that covers the resort’s interiors, is one of The Greenbrier’s most recognizable aspects. She had a long-lasting impact on the resort’s decor, as seen by the famous Greenbrier White dining room with its green and white stripes.

The Sporting Tradition

Numerous competitions have been held there on its famed golf courses, notably the PGA TOUR’s Greenbrier Classic. The resort also has a strong equestrian heritage, drawing national champion riders to a horse show of championship standard.

An Oasis of Comfort and Luxury

The Greenbrier is still an outstanding example of the charm of American hospitality today. Visitors may enjoy spa services, explore the resort’s 11,000 acres of unspoiled terrain, or engage in outdoor pursuits like horseback riding, hiking, and fishing.

Final Thoughts

The Greenbrier has developed from a modest mineral spring to a lavish sanctuary of leisure and elegance. Its colorful past, from the heyday of the big hotel to the secret Cold War bunker, adds an enticing new dimension to its extensive past. The Greenbrier is still a beloved vacation spot today, providing visitors with the ideal balance of elegance, history, and natural beauty.

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