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
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