Historic New River Gorge home to re-open to lodgers

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Beloved for its hillside gardens, the Garvey House in Winona will reopen to lodgers this spring.
Beloved for its hillside gardens, the Garvey House in Winona will reopen to lodgers this spring.

Among the New River Gorge region’s iconic residences, the Garvey House, a former bed-and-breakfast in Winona, W.Va., will reopen for guests this spring, according to its owner.

Renowned for its gardens and proximity to local rock-climbing areas, the inn will begin welcoming guests in May as its owner, Susana McArthur, embarks on a restoration effort that will focus on its gardens and stonework.

Gazebo at the Garvey House
Gazebo at the Garvey House

“It’s an exciting time to re-invest in the gorge,” says McArthur, who spent much of the last decade managing inns in Arkansas and New Jersey while maintaining the Garvey House as a residence.

“When we left five years ago, whitewater rafting was on the decline, but since then hiking, biking, and rock climbing have increased the size of the tourism pie, and we hope to appeal in large part to climbers coming to Beauty Mountain and the Endless Wall, either of which are only four miles away,” she said.

McArthur says the five-bedroom home overlooking Keeney Creek was originally built by J.W. Garvey, superintendent of the Maryland New River Coal Co., which operated coal mines in the area in the 1910s and ’20s.

While the residence is exceptional in its design, which includes a rear cellar, its extensive rock-walled gardens, which includes a gazebo and gold-fish ponds, are among the property’s key historic attractions, she says.

“We plan to make a restoration of the gardens a priority,” McArthur said.

Living Room in the Garvey House
Living Room in the Garvey House

“The gardens are the epitome of shade gardens — filled with fern, laurel, and other shade-loving specimens, but what did the Garvey’s originally intend? Was it always intended to be a shade garden?”

Though the house had long operated as a bed-and-breakfast, McArthur said she plans to market the rooms to both long- and short-term lodgers without providing meals.

As well as being located near some of the region’s most popular rock climbing areas, the house also fronts one of the region’s most challenging kayaking streams, Keeneys Creek, which descends rapidly through chutes and waterfalls to the New River. The village of Winona is also the gateway to the historic Nuttallburg Mining Complex, a popular tourist attraction restored by the National Park Service.

For more information on the Garvey House, email innkeepersrs@yahoo.com or call 304-574-4710.


Garvey House Interiors-Exteriors