Inn at Wise
The Inn at Wise, built in 1910 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the county’s best example of Colonial Revival Architecture and the oft-described ‘hub’ of Wise County life. The Inn is not only a landmark but a foundation of memories for many who hail from this Southwest Virginia town. The history of The Inn begins during the post-Civil War era.
Wise County was formed in 1856 and named for Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise. The lands of Daniel Ramey at Big Glades were selected as the site of the new county seat and renamed Gladeville. A site for the courthouse was chosen and as early as 1870 records show the Dotson Hotel opened in the present site of The Inn at Wise. Wise County underwent a vast change in 1890 when railroads were completed into the county to take advantage of the vast natural resources present. In 1893 Gladeville officially became known as Wise and court business grew dramatically.
In 1909, The Dotson Hotel experienced a devastating fire. With the town population still relatively small and business booming, it was apparent to local citizens that a new hotel was needed immediately if Wise was to continue growing commercially. In 1909 the Wise Hotel Corporate, a group of local businessmen contracted D. J. Phipps to build the 22-room hotel for a cost of $17,000. The building was furnished and opened in July 1910.
The hotel changed hands multiple times beginning in 1910. In 1925 it was purchased by G. C. Wharton for $20,000. Mr. Wharton’s widow then turned it over for ownership to Herbert Thompson, president of the Red Ash Pocahontas Coal Company. Mr. Thompson and his wife redecorated the hotel to include eclectic antiques, beautiful art, restaurants, and renamed it The Inn at Wise Courthouse.
Until the early 1990s The Inn was always as important in the life of Wise County as it was in 1925, and after many years in disrepair and uncertainty, the Wise County Industrial Development Authority had the honor of resurrecting this old beauty and returning her to her former glory on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. With the help and dedication of many, The Inn at Wise can continue to make memories for generations to come.
The charm of tradition reimagined!