Fairfax Street -
State Park Side
Fairfax Inn once dominated most of the Fairfax St. block facing the park
under a variety of names, and built helter skelter beginning in 1794.
When the main section of the hotel on the east side of Warm Springs Run
burned in 1901, the way was open to develop the block as a commercial
building at Fairfax and Washington has one of the most complicated histories
of any structure in town and it is linked -- literally at some periods
-- to surrounding buildings. In 887, tannery worker George Biser bought
a grocery business on this corner and built a brick building there in
1889. By the beginning of the 20th century, his retail business included
both a structure on the corner and the building to the west on Fairfax
St. In 1904, Biser added two stories to the corner building then sold
it four years later to the Bank of Morgan County. Citizens National Bank
purchased both this building and the adjacent one on Washington St. in
1939. The yellow brick facade was added by the bank in the 1950s. Mountain
Laurel moved to this corner in 1998.
next building to the west has cornices that state 1876 and 1890 marking
it as the oldest structure on the block. It has always housed retail businesses
and once opened to the corner building as part of Biser’s store.
The 1901 fire stopped here. Italianate details on the upper level include
a bracketted cornice.
Works is located in two buildings that have housed retail
businesses for nearly a century. The easternmost structure was built by
Ziler in 1908 and soon after became part of George Biser’s retail
store. In 1913, the Dunham Building was constructed as a new addition
to Biser’s store. Homeopathy Works opened in 1993.
building next west was rebult in 1915 after a three-story structure, built
in 1908 on Fairfax Inn grounds to house Ruppenthal Photo Gallery, was
burned in the 1912 Fairfax Annex fire. It has been the site of a variety
of retail business through the decades.
Bath House Health Center building teaches earnest viewers
not to believe everything engraved on a cornerstone. It was constructed
in 1988 in the style of the older surrounding buildings, and dated 1888
as a joke. A building was constructed on this site in 1911 and then burned
in the following year’s fire. It was rebuilt in 1912 and for many
years housed the Bridge Cafe which advertised itself in 1918 as “The
Delmonicos of Berkeley Springs.” Fire claimed the brick structure
northeastern corner of Wilkes and Fairfax streets is Lot A and entrance
to the park. In 1822, the newly formed Morgan County bought the lot and
the 18th century stone structure from Joseph Sherrard as the first courthouse.
In 1844, it was burned in a massive fire. The county traded the lot for
the one that holds the current Courthouse. In the 1880s, the St. Elmo
Inn was located here and later became an annex to the Fairfax Inn linked
by walkways over the run. It survived the 1901 fire and was operated as
an independent lodging business with room for 200 guests and an adjoining
pavilion. The building was destroyed by fire in 1912. The brick building
now housing the Berkeley Springs Antique Mall was constructed in1922 as
a car garage boasting "fireproof storage" for automobiles. A
succession of businesses, most auto-related, located in the building including
a bottling plant in 1934. The building was used by Berkeley Metal for
manufacturing prior to the Antique Mall taking it over
in 1990. The tiny building to the east was constructed in 1994 over Warm
Springs Run where the walkways once were.
for an interactive map of the Walking Tour.
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Berkeley Springs - Morgan
County Chamber of Commerce
127 Fairfax Street
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
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