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Berkeley Springs, West Virginia13. Fairfax Street -
Southeast Block

The southeast corner of Washington and Fairfax St. and east along Fairfax was a densely built commercial area of town from the late 19th century through the disastrous fire of 1974 when all its buildings were destroyed including the Washington Hotel.

Dawson's Variety was the first structure rebuilt in 1975. Its site has a long history as a location for retail operations.

The present BB&T Bank was constructed in 1978 on the hotel site. Prior to construction of the Washington Hotel by George Biser in 1905, the corner held a dwelling that occasionally served as a boarding house. In the 1880s, Beverly Tucker rented it as his family cottage. Tucker was a US Government official turned Confederate agent who became a friend of postwar presidents including Harrison and Garfield, The Washington Hotel was the mainstay of the early 20th century resort industry also housing several businesses within its structure.

Among the most prominent of the commercial buildings on Fairfax St. destroyed by the fire was the Opera House built by W.H. Young in 1905. The town’s first motion pictures were shown there in 1909 and continued through the mid-20th century under a variety of names and managers. Many events were staged in the Opera House which could seat 450, had a 22-foot ceiling and a large stage. At various times it also held the Town Hall and an indoor miniature golf course.

Today, most of empty area is owned by St.Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. It is used for parking and as the food lot for the annual Apple Butter Festival.

The boulevard in Fairfax St. was added in 1916 when Fairfax and Washington streets were first paved -- with brick. The Soldiers Memorial Monument was added in 1925. Its landscaping is maintained by the Foxglove Garden Club.

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic ChurchBerkeley Springs Walking TourHunter Funeral Home


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Berkeley Springs - Morgan County Chamber of Commerce
127 Fairfax Street
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
800-447-8797

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