Franklin WV, the county seat of Pendleton is a beautiful town located on the south Branch of the Potomac River amid some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. At an elevation of 1800 ft. is the purest to be found anywhere. The town has a population of about 500, with churches,shcools, two large hotels, stores, two of which are the largest in this section of the state, drug stores, tannery, printeries, dentist, law and physicians office and anything to make up a good town. (From Panomamic photo, date unknown.)
Byrd Hotel / Franklin Hotel
One of Franklin's best-known landmarks is doomed to destruction. Pendleton Times 16 Aug. 2001
The Franklin Hotel, located on the west side of Main Street and Franklin's principal hostelry for a half-century, will be demolished and the lot will be converted into a downtown parking lot.
The 18,000 square foots lot upon which the hotel is located was sold last week by Roger D. Hott to a group of local businessman who plan to turn it into a parking lot. The sale price was $30,000.
Plans call for the removal of the building and its contents by April 1 and conversion of the lot into a parking lot which will provide space for 50 automobiles.
Purchasers of the lot were a group composed of Jeff Bowman, Gladys Hartman, M.L. Sponaugle, William Glover, Jr., A.M. Simmons, C.C. Hinkle, E.E. Hott, J.L. Skidmore, John Miller, John Harman, William McCoy, Jr., Woodrow Hartman, Sites Chevrolet, Inc., and the H-P Stores of W.Va., Inc.
The Franklin Hotel was built following the Franklin fire which wiped outmost of the buildings on Main Street.
The hotel was constructed by Richard M. "Dick" Byrd who operated it for many years under the name of "Byrd's Hotel." Prior to the fire Byrd had operated the Florentine Hotel which was on the same location and was destroyed by the fire.
The property was sold in 1931 to Mr. And Mrs. Raymond Boggs who operated it until 1959 when it was sold to Wilson Smith. Smith sold it shortly thereafter to John Miller, Eldon E. Hott and J.L. Skidmore, who operated it until 1967 when it was sold to Roger Hott. Hott converted it into an apartment house and has operated it as such since that time.
From the time of its construction through the 1940s, the Franklin Hotel was highly popular with travelers. It provided accommodations inlcuding a large dining room where excellent food was served in a genteel manner.
A spokesman for the group of purchasers said Franklin is in need of more parking space on Main Street and that the property can serve a better purpose as a parking lot than for living quarters.
Removal of the hotel will change the appearance of Franklin and, no doubt, will leave avoid in the town for hundreds of traveling salesmen, fishermen, hunters and tourists who have found pleasant accommodations there for the past 45 years.
Note: This excerpt was taken from the Pendleton Times 14 Aug, 1969 and 2 August 1970. This article was republished in the 16 Aug 2001 issue of the Pendleton Times.
26 July 2001. Pendleton Times. Once known as Byrd's Hotel, the Franklin Hotel, a grand building which was demolished to make way for a town parking lot, also housed some key business offices. In the 1950s, young Dr. H. Luke Eye and Dr. Maxwell were operating their first office on the left-most side of the building. (The late Dr. O.F. Mitchell also worked out of this building until about 1950.) The Monongahela Power Company had office space there from the 1950s until about 1953. The photo is by Ed Keller.