Thanks to a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation in partnership with the West Virginia Humanities Council’s Folklife Program and installation by “Friends of the Blue” committee member, Raymond Tuckwiller, as well as David Hambrick, Dan Clay, and Joe Clay, a new roadside marker commemorating the legendary Blue Sulphur Springs Resort and Pavilion was dedicated on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m.
A nice group of friends, neighbors, and supporters gathered on a brilliant October day to help unveil the new marker. Margaret Hambrick, president, Greenbrier Historical Society, read a congratulatory letter from Deryn Pomeroy of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.
He said, “The Pomeroy Foundation would like to extend our thanks to the Greenbrier Historical Society; Friends of the Blue; our Legends & Lore partner, the West Virginia Folklife Program at the West Virginia Humanities Council; and all those involved in obtaining this marker. We know just how important it is to recognize cultural heritage in local communities and we commend you for the good work that you are doing to preserve the remaining pavilion.”
The Greek style pavilion is all that remains of a once flourishing resort which rivaled The Greenbrier for food and comfort. In his report to a newspaper in the Spring of 1834, a young man with the pen name of Peregrine Prolix wrote as follows:
“We arrived at this beautiful abode of the youngest of the sulphurous sisters at three p.m., a little too late for the regular dinner; but Major Vass, who governs here and whose obliging disposition is famous in these mountains, bestirred himself and his household staff with such effect that we soon were seated at a dinner made up of an incredible number of good things, considering our geographical position: beef, mutton, venison, fowls, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, various pastry, preserves, ice cream, and even Chinese ginger, all served forth to furnish our feast. It is plain from what we saw and ate that the owners and the manager of this establishment are determined to spare no expense or trouble to contribute to the comfort and enjoyment of their visitors.”
It is to preserve this rich history and much more that the Friends of the Blue Committee has undertaken the huge task of restoration of the pavilion with the support of the Greenbrier Historical Society which owns the property following its gift by Mrs. Rebecca Lineberry. At the height of its popularity in the early to mid-1800s, “the Blue” hosted presidents and many other dignitaries fleeing from the heat and disease of eastern and southern cities.
Friends of the Blue chair, Alex McLaughlin said, “We owe thanks to so many people from those of you standing here to others who are with us in spirit. Individuals, private foundations and the WV State Historic Preservation Office have all contributed to the work done so far. We especially thank the Pomeroy Foundation for this marker which will help explain the presence of a graceful pavilion in this field. We are always grateful to Mrs. Lineberry for her generous gift which started this process.”
As Pomeroy said, “It is our hope that it (the marker) will stand here at The Blue as a testament to this unique part of your cultural heritage for generations to come.”