A Glimpse into the Past
Founded in 1778, the resort’s early days were marked by its role as a natural healing oasis and a place of retreat for those seeking solace. Its mineral springs were believed to possess therapeutic properties, drawing in guests seeking respite from all over the world.
In the 1830s, the resort experienced its first period of prominence as a gathering place for politicians, judges, editors, lawyers, diplomats, ministers, planters, and merchants, primarily hailing from the Southern states. The allure of our “village in the wilderness” was particularly strong during the summer months, when the resort’s 2,000-foot elevation provided a welcome escape from the stifling heat and humidity of the lowlands. Before the Civil War, the resort hosted five sitting presidents, showcasing its esteemed standing as the preferred destination for gatherings among the country’s most influential and prestigious families.
Amidst the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the resort temporarily closed its doors. During this somber period, the resort’s grounds served as a hospital and military command center. The Greenbrier opened its doors shortly after the war’s end in 1865. This marked the beginning of a new era, with a significant turning point arriving in 1873 with the completion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, a pivotal moment that laid the foundation for its future growth and resilience.