The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia


In the southeastern part of the state of West Virginia just west of the Virginia state line is the town of White Sulphur Springs.  It is a small town, but it has a great significance.  It is the home to the Greenbrier, a world renowned resort on 1,000 acres that is also a National Historic Landmark.  What began in 1778 as a visit to the ‘White Sulphur Spring’ and grew into a resort, it has hosted 27 U.S. Presidents, royalties and business leaders.  Today, you will be totally amazed as you walk around and visit all of the rooms and walk along the walking paths.  A visit or a stay at the Greenbrier will be a stay that you will never want to see come to an end.

President arrives with brother Milton

Now some of you are saying, “Wow!  This has got to be one amazing spot to have great dignitaries stay here.  It must be a sight to see.  There is one problem.  This is a magnificent resort and hotel that has no railroad.  Therefore, you will not be seeing me around these dignitaries or business leaders at this place.”

That is a very interesting thought.  This is a very luxurious resort, but the Greenbrier owes part of its success to the railroad.

PR photo 1950's

As mentioned, it all began in 1778.  However, it was closed during the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865 where both sides used the hotel as either a headquarters or hospital.  When the war ends, the resort is reopened.  In 1869, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway arrived in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and people came to the resort by train.  The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway purchases the property in 1910, and the Greenbrier Hotel is opened in 1913.  In 1931, a new depot was built to replace the one that had stood for many years.

Then World War II came.  In 1941 after the United States entered the war, the hotel is leased to the U.S. State Department.  In 1942, the U.S. Army purchased the Greenbrier and made it into a hospital.  When the war is over, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway repurchased the hotel, and it was remodeled and opened in 1948.  The existence of this high class resort is owed to the railroad, and the railroad is why thousands of people are able to enjoy this resort today.

Trains station 1942

Today, you can stay at the Greenbrier, and you can see how the resort was very significant role in the defense of the nation from the American Civil War to the Cold War, and you can see how the town of White Sulphur Springs became the unofficial capital of the United States of America.  (Please note that there is a security checkpoint that you must pass by to enter the resort.)  You can also see the train depot that was opened in 1931 across the street from the entrance where visitors can still ride the train to the resort today.

two locomotives c. 1931

The Greenbrier is located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia at 101 Main Street West (U.S. 60) on the west side of White Sulphur Springs and just minutes from Interstate 64.  You can go to to get more information on this resort and to read deeper into the rich history plus to see events and activities the resort has to offer.  One of the activities is train watching at the historic depot.

When you book your stay at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, you are not just spending a night at a luxurious hotel.  You are staying on a historic piece of land that helped protect America.  You are staying where many greats once stayed.  You are staying at a place that was shaped by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.


PLEASE NOTE that the black and while photos have been supplied by the Greenbrier to be used in this article.  The Greenbrier owns the copyrights to these photos.

3 thoughts on “The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

  1. John,
    Nice photos.
    I’m a member of the NSMRC.
    A railroad club in Wakefield MA.
    We are in the process of updating a scene of the Greenbrier hotel in White Sulfur Springs WV on our layout,
    In my search for photos to use for modeling the area I found you.
    I’m wondering if you could help find some close up pictures of the bridge across the railroad tracks at Kate’s Mountain Rd. I hope to scratch build a model of that bridge.
    Robert Wall

    Liked by 1 person

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