Pence Springs in Summers Co, WV is named so due to the spring resort established by Andrew Pence.
Andrew used the natural spring water for his resort guests to drink (at this time spring water was believed to have healing properties) and in 1882 he started bottling the water from the spring to sell. The water became famous across the county when it won a silver medal for its “high quality of the spring sulpho-alkaline” at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.
In the 1890’s the first hotel was built, but would burn down in 1912. Horse drawn carriages would bring guests from the local stockyard/ train station to the hotel.
The second Pence Springs Hotel was built in 1918 conveniently built on the hill above the spring to let guests easily spend the night and enjoy the healing waters.
During the “Roaring '20s” the building had some hidden secrets. While most guests came to “take the waters,” others came for the hidden bar in the basement that acted as a speakeasy during prohibition. Any visitor coming to the bar had the option to come from the train station in a window-tinted limousine so as not to be seen. The illegal alcohol was imported from Kentucky until the hotel started their own whiskey distillery. The hotel also bought moonshine from the locals of Summers Co. In the 1920s, guests could also enjoy the golf course, pavilion ballroom, and casino.
Gambling and illegal alcohol made the hotel a classic roaring '20s party, but it all had to be “hush hush.” In 1913, West Virginia was under the Yost Law to enforce prohibition. By 1920, prohibition went national with the Volstead Act. Sheriffs, constables, city police, and eventually the state police would all enforce the dry law by hunting down bootleggers and moonshiners.
If you're looking for a legal good time with all the same thrills that the 1920s had to offer, come join the Historical Society’s 1920s party/fundraiser at Stellar Evening, December 3rd at 6:30pm, in the gymnasium of the Greenbrier Community School. Wear your best 1920s attire and get ready to dance! Tickets are on sale now! Get them while you can, as seats are limited. Tickets will only be sold until December 1st, 2022. There will be NO ticket sales at the door at the time of the event. Admission is $50 per person, or you can choose to sponsor a table for 4 or 8 people.
Hope to see you there! www.eventbrite.com/e/stellar-evening-2022-tickets-460279998867
For several months now the Hinton community has been anticipating the opening of a new department store, called Roses. The old Magic Mart building in Avis had been shut down and empty until Roses started moving in and hiring staff this year. With an opening date in early November, the town has been waiting to see what this new store might be like. What some might not know is that Hinton has seen a Roses before, but under different management; and it was 100 years ago, literally.
The Roses coming to Hinton in November 2022 is a discount store that was first founded in Henderson, North Carolina in 1915 by Paul Howard Rose. Roses was bought by Variety Wholesalers Inc. in 1997. Back in the early 1900s, Shan Rose of Hinton founded and ran the Rose’s Drug Store in downtown Hinton. It was located at the corner of 3rd and Temple.
In the heyday of the Roses Drug Store there were advertisements all around town using their slogan “Get it at Roses”. These advertisements were on their trucks (which offered free deliveries, no matter how small) and on the side of barns. They even had a float in the WWI Victory Parade and decked out the store to celebrate the end of the war.
The Rose family owned and managed the store. In the image below you can see founder Shan Rose, his son John Rose is behind the counter, and his son Charlie Rose is working as the fountain boy. Founder Shan Rose is pictured here with his dog. The family is buried at Hilltop Cemetery in Hinton, WV.