By William “Skip” Deegans
Built in 1929 in East Rainelle at a cost of $50,000, the 50-room Maple Oaks Hotel was one of the largest hotels on U. S. Route 60 between Staunton and Charleston.
The hotel closed during the depression, and in 1935 it was bought by Coleman Core, a Virginian, who renamed it the King Coal Hotel. In front of the hotel, Core put a 3-ton lump of coal with a gold crown on it. The hotel suffered a fire in 1953 but was substantially remodeled afterwards. Room rates were $2-5 for a single and $3-8 for a double. The hotel advertised that rooms had North Star all wool blankets and Southern Cross box springs. As the timber and coal industries declined in the 1950s, the hotel fell on hard times. The death knell came when Interstate 64 by-passed Rainelle. The hotel sat vacant for many years and was demolished in 2014.
Postcard photo courtesy of Greenbrier Historical Society.
Sources: Beckley Post-Herald, Raleigh Register, Greenbrier Historical Society.