The Beeches, owned and operated as an event venue by the Women’s Club of Saint Albans, West Virginia, was built in 1874 by railroad magnate Collis P. Huntington for his nephew Henry Edwards Huntington. The younger Huntington had been summoned from New York to manage a lumber mill for his uncle. Named for the many beech trees on its property, the stately Italianate-style residence was sold only a few years later, along with the sawmill, and used as its supervisor’s home. In 1903, The Beeches sold at auction for only $3,750 to politician and railroad owner John V. R. Skinner. In 1923, Skinner formalized the home with a Neo-Classical renovation undertaken by architect Walter F. Martens, who added bay windows, a porte cochere, and an upper room with a vestibule. Upon his death in 1949, Skinner bequeathed The Beeches to the Women’s Club for their use as a center for culture and education.
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