2. Corner of Washington Street & Martinsburg Road
The busy intersection of Martinsburg Road and Washington Street now dominated by two gas station/convenience stores has an impressive history. The expansive Van Rensselaer estate extended south and east from the corner. Eugene Van Rensselaer, owner of the Berkeley Springs Water Company, built Glen Luta mansion there in 1872. Van Rensselaer razed the building in 1915 for a luxury hotel which was never built. After his death in 1925, its grounds were laid out and sold in lots. The corner became commercial with Glen Luta miniature golf opening in 1930 and lasting two seasons. The Glen Luta Restaurant was succeeded by Tastee Freeze, now Sheetz.
The north corner was part of the original town plat and included three lots. Daniel of St. Thomas Jennifer, friend of George Washington and signer of the U.S. Constitution from Maryland, owned two of them. A rare Civil War encounter occurred here in 1864. A party of Southern soldiers raided the lodge room in the house built on Washington Street by Joseph Duckwall and held several local officials captive while stealing numerous horses. In 1867, noted writer and illustrator, David Hunter Strother, known as Porte Crayon, bought and lived in the house until early 20th century. After a period of being operated for summer lodging, the Strother house became Willard's Tourist Home. It was demolished in 1977. Initially a store, then a service station, Roy's has expanded since 1927 to occupy all three lots: the block between Mercer and Washington streets bounded by Warren Street and Martinsburg Road.
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