Blue Sulphur Hotel


The Blue Sulphur Springs Hotel opened in 1883 and for decades
was a popular spot for visitors who arrived to “take
 the waters” from its natural mineral spring.
Courtesy James E. Casto


It’s been roughly 100 years since you could book a room at the Blue
 Sulphur Hotel. The popular Ona resort hotel opened in 1883,
 was closed in 1910, reopened in the early 1920s but soon
 was closed again. Long abandoned, it was
torn down in the mid-1960s.

In the nation’s early years, “taking the waters” at
natural mineral springs was a popular pastime
 for those who could afford to do so.

When businessman George Adam Floding purchased 35 acres
 of land on the Ohio River at today’s Blue Sulphur Road, he
immediately recognized the business potential of the
property, which had a natural mineral spring. In
1883 he built a small hotel to house
 visitors to the spring.

Later Floding remodeled the hotel and July 4, 1885, he had a fancy
 grand opening for it. Originally it was named the Floding Springs
 Hotel but its name soon was changed to the Blue Sulphur
Springs Hotel. Business boomed and prompted
Floding to add a third floor to his two-story
 hotel, bringing the total number
 of rooms to 35.

The tracks of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway ran between the hotel
 and the James River & Kanawha Turnpike (today’s U.S 60), and
the C & O opened a station to accommodate the hotel’s
guests, many of whom came from Virginia’s Tidewater
region and from as far down the Ohio as Cincinnati.
A wooden bridge carried passengers over the
road and into the hotel’s second floor.

The hotel’s business plunged when the C & O rerouted its tracks away
 from it. Soon it closed its doors. After years of standing empty,
 the old hotel was sold to Don Chafin, the legendary Logan
County sheriff. Chafin remodeled and reopened the
 hotel, putting his brother-in-law, Walter Frazier of
 Barboursville, in charge. But before long the
 hotel again was forced to close.

In 2000, when the old one-lane bridge that carried Blue
 Sulphur Road across Mud River was replaced with
 a modern two-lane bridge, the new span
 was named for Floding.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Mar. 1, 2022.


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