Washington Heritage Trail
For more than 200 years, the area bordering the park and springs on which the Country Inn stands, has been the historic spa town's center of hospitality.
In September 1784, George Washington stayed at Sign of the Liberty Pole and Flag located just south of today's inn. There, the nation's most famous man met inventor and sawmill owner, James Rumsey, who demonstrated his mechanical boat to Washington.
One of the ten lots occupied by the Country Inn was owned by James Smith, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania; another by General Horatio Gates who witnessed Rumsey's successful public steamboat trial in Shepherdstown in 1787.
In the prosperous decades before the Civil War, the Strother family built the elaborate Berkeley Springs Hotel facing onto the park. Soon after, President James K. Polk stayed there. When Confederate General Stonewall Jackson spent two days in January 1862 shelling Hancock, Maryland, he quartered his men and horses in the grand hotel; the Strothers were well-known Union supporters.
Famous for its dress balls and band music, the Berkeley Springs Hotel continued as a mainstay of the resort town until March 1898 when it burned. After three decades of rumors and false starts by various investors, the local Harmison family built the current center section
in 1933 as the Park View Inn. It became so popular, two wings were added in 1937 and more famous guests came to stay. New owners in 1972 named it the Country Inn, a name the current owners restored.
The tiny lodging place known as Bath Cottage, south of the Inn, was built in the 1990s on the foundation of the cabin where 19th century bathkeeper, John Davis, was born and lived. Behind the Inn are two lots that once held prominent 19th century cottages.