On August 13, 1903, Wheeling newspapers carried an article entitled, "Local Capitalists Planning Construction of a Modern Hostelry." Stratford Springs had its official opening on May 1, 1907, and for 11 years the hotel was considered the "Gem of Wheeling," with its guests topping the Social Register.
On Jan. 13, 1918, at the height of its glory, the magnificent three-story, wood frame structure was destroyed by fire. But now, 71 years later, the Stratford Springs legend of elegance has been brought back to life by one of West Virginia's most successful "Local Capitalists," Tire America founder and former CEO Robert Ewing.
Ewing had served as the driving force behind Tire America's growth and status as the nation's largest independent retail tire distributor. Following the sale of Tire America in 1988, Ewing began devoting the major portion of his business efforts to the development of Stratford Springs.
The new Stratford Springs has taken up residence at the former site of the Wheeling Country Club. With its location, natural setting, and thoughtful development and management, Stratford Springs is making strides toward earning status as a world-class mini-resort.
The focal point of the new Stratford's development, the country club's former main clubhouse, was constructed in 1908, just one year following the opening of the original Stratford Springs resort. All new buildings and facilities within the 30-acre complex are being constructed in the style of the original clubhouse.
Four dining rooms, ranging from the casual Grill Room to the formal Stratford Room, seat up to 185 patrons. The original ballroom hosts special events; private meeting and dining rooms have been redecorated.
In addition to existing tennis and swimming facilities, plans call for the spring 1990 completion of a new health and fitness center with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, saunas, whirlpools, massage, and racquetball courts. A new guest complex will include 34 luxury suites in a cottage setting.
The Shoppes at Stratford Springs feature merchandise produced in West Virginia. The "Living Room" of the Stratford's main building is home to the Artists of West Virginia Gallery.
Service provided by the staff of the Ohio County Public Library in partnership with and funded in part by the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation.