Thursday, November 16, 2017

Day 2 - Cranberry PA to Wytheville VA

November 2017 - Wytheville VA

After a complimentary hot breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn we were packed up and on the road by 8:45.  Grey and overcast at 7 C but it quickly brightened up as we crossed into West Virginia.

The Neville Island Bridge is a tied arch bridge which carries Interstate 79 and the Yellow Belt across the Ohio River and over Neville Island, west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Its official name is Pittsburgh Naval & Shipbuilders Memorial Bridge 1941–1945.

A quick detour into Fayetteville WV.

We had lunch in Tamarack after the 40 cent toll.

We checked into the hotel in Wytheville around 2:30 and headed out to find some things in town.

The scissors is inside the store.

Inscription: Near his site, and with the sponsorship of Wytheville civic organizations, J. Hampton Rich, Director of the Boone 'Fran Highway & Memorial Association, erected the original monument in 1928. It was one of many placed across the nation to memorialize the trail-blazing, frontier statesman, and pioneer hero, Daniel Boone. It also serves as a monument to the Spanish-American War of 1898, when. America rallied to the cry, “Remember the Maine,” and became a dominant power for peace in the world.
The present monument was rebuilt in 2005.

When Wythe County was formed, this place became the county seat under the name of Evansham. It was incorporated in 1839 as Wytheville. The old Wilderness Road to Cumberland Gap passed here. It July, 1863, Toland’s Raiders captured the town. In May, 1864, Averell passed here on a raid; the town was again occupied by Union troops in December, 1864, and April 1865.
Erected 1941 by Virginia Conservation Commission.


The Bolling Wilson Hotel was originally built in 1927 as the George Wythe Hotel where it operated until the late 1960’s. At that time, it was touted as a fire proof building due to its solid construction, which was important at the time as so many small towns had experienced fires which demolished many of their service facilities. When the property opened you could rent a room for $1.50 for a single and $2.50 for a double, how things have changed!  

Since its closure as a hotel in the 1970’s it has enjoyed many lives as a bank. When the last bank decided to move and the building became available it was purchased by Bill and Farron Smith of Smith Enterprises, in 2010.

Bill Smith, locally born and raised, had long admired the building and longed to see it brought back to its original grandeur in a more modern way. He was emboldened by an old postcard that was found from a visitor to Wytheville and the George Wythe Hotel in 1931. In the postcard message it said “Wytheville hasn’t changed in 20 years. They need someone to come here and wake them up and put this place on the map!” And, that’s exactly what he aimed to do . . . wake up Downtown Wytheville. When considering the design of the property and its accouterments, there seemed to be no other choice than to pay homage to Wytheville’s most prominent citizen, Edith Bolling Wilson, who was President Woodrow Wilson’s second wife and was born and raised across the street from the hotel in the Bolling Family home.

 The morning after their wedding, an aide accompanying them on their honeymoon train reported seeing President Woodrow Wilson dancing a little jig, and whistling “Oh You Beautiful Doll.”

And here is the birthplace of Edith Bolling Wilson, directly across from the hotel.

Edith Bolling Wilson was born here on 15 Oct. 1872, where she lived with her parents Judge William H. and Sallie White Bolling and ten siblings. Edith Bolling married Norman Galt in 1896 and after his death in 1908 she operated his Washington, D.C., jewelry store. She married President Woodrow Wilson on 18 Dec. 1915 and actively supported him and his policies. Following President Wilson’s debilitating stroke in Oct. 1919, she managed his affairs during his convalescence and promoted Wilson’s legacy after his death in 1924. Edith Wilson died on 28 Dec. 1961 and is interred with President Wilson at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

A church, you'll see more of it on Sunday!

Less than half a century ago, U.S. Highway 21 was known largely as America's Great Lakes-to-Florida Highway.

"That used to be the main route, north to south," remembered Donald "D.W." Miles, Sr., a businessman from Sparta, North Carolina."And I-77 took the traffic off Highway 21."

The museum did not appear to be open.

Hot air balloon water tower.

We stayed in the Hampton Inn, photo from their website.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This blog does not allow anonymous comments.