Photo Rescued from Snowshoe Dumpster
This is a photo of Grace Davis, who was the daughter of Senator Henry Gassaway Davis, a millionaire who co-founded the city of Elkins. You might recognize her father the Senator as the figure on the iron horse on Randolph Avenue, or US Route 219. The historic Graceland mansion of Elkins was named in honor of the young Grace in the photo. Graceland was built as a Victorian style vacation home for the Davis family around 1894. The mansion to the left of it is called Halliehurst, which Grace's sister built as her own summer residence.
One story about their father is that the Senator did not allow popular music to be played on Sundays. Because he was tone deaf, some of his family adapted a few new songs to the same rhythm as old hymns, and apparently he never noticed the difference. The halls of Graceland were known to have some interesting variations of the "new" songs of the early 1900s. Grace was the Senator's youngest daughter. She was killed in a car crash at the cusp of the Great Depression, in 1931.
We dropped by Graceland earlier this week when one of the staff, Kaila St. Louis, pointed out this photo of Grace. She said the photo had recently come to Graceland after someone discovered it in a dumpster somewhere on Snowshoe Mountain.
Historic Graceland has been fully restored and is currently used as an Inn, Retreat Center, and a restaurant (which serves Easter brunch this Sunday from 11:30-3:00. ﾠhttp://www.gracelandinn.com/main/Graceland_Dining.html
If you're traveling through Elkins and have never taken a real close look at this building, we definitely think it's time you did. Be sure to take a look at the impressive stonework used in the chimneys and the original stained glass windows.
PS- As you enter Elkins on US 219 headed south, look for the original stone wall to your left that was built as a part of the Henry G. Davis property.
-Emily and Roxy