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History – Media Archives

This page is part of an ongoing project to discover, digitize and share images, articles, book mentions, and other media about The Blennerhassett Hotel and William Chancellor, the man who took a chance and invested in his dream to build a hotel whose name still remains synonymous with ultimate hospitality and luxury.

We are actively seeking new content to include on this archival page. If you have photos that you have personally taken or photos predating 1927 (due to copyright law), or if you have newspaper clippings then please email to adotson@theblennerhassett.com.

1889

The Blennerhassett Hotel opened next to the Kaltenecker Building, which itself was beside The GE Smith Jeweler Building which was demolished around the year 2000. The historic Kaltenecker Building is now part of The Blennerhassett Hotel.

Sketch of the Smith Building beside of The Kaltenecker

Early 1900s

Things to note:

  1. Barber Shop Pole on the 4th St. side of the then-entrance.
  2. One of the earliest street lamps on the 4th St. side
  3. Signage for Parkersburg National Bank above the main entrance to the hotel
  4. Washable fabric awning
Blennerhassett Hotel in the early 1900s

Here is a closer look at the signage and awnings

A closer look at signage and awnings

1913

This clear photo of the Blennerhassett Hotel facade shows how high the water rose that devastated many businesses and homes in and around Parkersburg.

Blennerhassett Hotel - front during the 1913 flood in Parkersburg

1979

Before the 1979 Renovation

Hotel Fire - PN&S
Before the 79 Renovation

During the 1979 Renovation

1979

Stepping Back Into Gaslight Era
Richard Loar, The Parkersburg News, Sunday Dec 23, 1979
Click image to expand

2022

Current WV Governor Jim Justice and his dog Babydog visit The Blennerhassett Hotel and Spa

Babydog
Babydog cozily sitting next to Governor Jim Justice

Discover More History! Click one of the links below to explore more about the history at The Blennerhassett Hotel & Spa!

History – 1960 Presidential Campaign

In 1960, Mr. Robert Huck ran and operated the Blennerhassett Hotel. One of our most famous guests to have stayed at the hotel, at this time period was a young senator from Massachusetts, Senator John F. Kennedy. While running for the presidency in 1960, it was crucial to win West Virginia’s electoral vote. Kennedy touredRead More

History – The Legacy Continues 2019 – Present

In October of 2019, the hotel was sold and became under new local ownership. Currently known as the company R&W Hotels, and owned and operated by Wayne Waldeck and Lee Eric Rector, both local businessmen here in Parkersburg. In the early part of 2020 there were some new changes made to the hotel. Faux tinRead More

History – Most Recent Renovation 2002 – 2006

The Hotel's third major renovation began in November of 2002, and continued up until the spring of 2006. At this time the hotel property was owned by the Ross Family, who purchased the hotel's property in 2000. This renovation surpassed ten million dollars. Construction was started at the fifth level, and once completed, moved toRead More

History – Return to Glory 1985 – 2002

The Hotels second major renovation began in 1985, and continued until the early spring of 1986, surpassing seven million dollars. The new addition to the hotel was added at this time, including a grand Ballroom and Promenade on the first floor and guest rooms on the second through fifth floors, bringing the number of roomsRead More

History – First Renovation & Fire 1944-1979

History - First Renovation & Fire 1944-1979 The Hotel has had three major renovations since its opening in 1889. The first major renovation occurred in 1944-45, when William Chancellor’s grandson, Nelson C. Burwell ran and operated the hotel. At this time a new terrazzo floor was added to the lobby area and marble facade wasRead More

History of the Blennerhassett Hotel from 1889

The Historic Blennerhassett Hotel was built and constructed by Colonel William Nelson Chancellor. Construction on the original part of the hotel began in 1883, and after six years of construction, the doors were officially opened to the world on Monday, May 6, 1889. Chancellor wanted a hotel grand for its time, and second to noRead More


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