Monday, May 19, 2008

Today I had some time to kill in Elkins and decided to check out the two mansions that are located on the campus of Davis & Elkins College. Halliehurst and Graceland are the magnificent mansions now owned by the college.

These mansions were summer homes of Henry G. Davis and Stephen B. Elkins -- town founders, industrialists, and US Senators. Davis' home was named for his wife Grace, and Halliehurst was named for Elkins’ wife Hallie, who was Davis' daughter.

Today the Halliehurst mansion, with its large fireplaces, sprawling porches, and signature blue lapped siding, houses the offices of the President, Advancement staff, Alumni, Communications, and Admissions and is used by area residents for weddings, anniversary parties and other events. It is especially beautiful during the winter holidays.

Constructed of native hardwoods and stone, Halliehurst Mansion was patterned after a castle in the Rhineland admired by Mrs. Stephen Elkins, the former Hallie Davis. Completed in 1890, the house served as the Elkin’s family summer residence. Standing next to Graceland, together the two palatial homes became the site of many elaborate social occasions, political caucuses and business gatherings for the elite of the area, as well as of the nation.

Tomorrow you will get a look at Graceland.


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