A gallery of abandoned businesses in the United States.
The Farmers Bank of Clintonville, Kentucky was established by William F. Heathman in 1903. 3 The modest one-story building featured a pretentious parapet across the top with the name of the bank displayed in Art Nouveau lettering. The bank was robbed in a violent attempted robbery that left the teller, Mr. Buchanan, dead in 1924. Farmers Bank closed shortly after and the building was reused as a grocery.
Developed by a flamboyant individual who worked in the oil industry, this resort park opened in 1968. 8 The park has undergone changes over the years, which included the addition of the 749-seat Good TIme Theater in 1983, the closure of the swimming lake in 2004, and the shuttering of the on-site restaurant in 2010. The park still features numerous camping and RV sites and a swimming pool, among other amenities.
Best Western Gateway Hotel
The Best Western Gateway Hotel, a now-demolished hotel in Barboursville, West Virginia, was constructed in 1954 with 18 rooms 5 and expanded into a Holiday Inn with a new 250-room wing in 1964. 7 A conference center was added in the mid-1980s. Despite $200,000 in renovations during the year, the Holiday Inn franchise was pulled on April 1, 1997. 4 The property became affiliated with Best Western on October 1.
The 208-room Best Western Gateway Inn closed on June 28, 2001. 4 Mark Davis, a Barboursville chiropractor, purchased the closed hotel with plans to transform the property into a residential and retirement community, eventually settling on the demolition of much of the complex. 6 Two buildings would be retained for 66 residential condominiums.
An auction of the hotel’s contents was held on August 24 and 25, 2001. 5 The shopping center was opened in August 2002 and the remainder of the property was redeveloped by 2004.
A lonely general store lays abandoned in the Allegheny highlands. It was last operated in 1991 or 1992.
Hotel West Virginian
The Hotel West Virginian is a former hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia that was constructed in 1930 by Constantine Thymius, a Greek contractor, for Theodore Soure. 1 The hotel featured an “Old World” design inspired by Edward Simpson’s antique shop at The Greenbrier and featured 22 guest rooms and the White Sulphur Restaurant, the latter operated by Theodore and John and Nick Argyrakis, both Greek immigrants.
The hotel closed in the 1980s and was subsequently owned by John Bell, a Lewisburg contractor. 2 It was then sold to The Greenbrier in 2003 for $160,000 under the assumption that the structure would be preserved and renovated. The Simpson-Taylor Building adjacent to the hotel was also purchased for $250,000. After discovering significant structural problems with the hotel, it was demolished.
Seneca Motor Company
The Seneca Motor Company was the location of D. C. Harper’s Ford dealership in Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. 9 In 1923, D. C. Harper began selling Ford Model T vehicles from his general store under a sub-dealership arrangement with M. A. Bean. 10 In 1946, an adjoining building was constructed and Harper began selling Ford cars, trucks, and tractors under the name of Seneca Motor Company which remained in operation until 1963 or 1964. 9 10
- Simpson, Debbie Schwarz. “The Greenbrier Razes Buildings, Considers Use of Vacant Lots.” State Journal, 26 Jan. 2006.
- Simpson, Debbie Schwarz. “The Greenbrier Razes Buildings, Considers Use of Vacant Lots.” WVNS-TV, 26 Jan. 2006.
- Langsan, Walter E., and William Gus Johnson. Historic Architecture of Bourbon County, Kentucky. N.p.: Historic Paris-Bourbon County, Inc., 1985. 166.
- Ross, Jim. “Hotel to close after years in bankruptcy, will reopen as another type of business.” Herald-Dispatch (Huntington) 31 May 2001.
- Chambers, Bryan. “Everything from cups to shrubs to be sold at Best Western Gateway Inn on U.S. 60.” Herald-Dispatch (Huntington) 23 Aug. 2001.
- Chambers, Bryan. “New owner says Barboursville facility should be ready in the next two years.” Herald-Dispatch (Huntington) 23 Aug. 2001.
- Chambers, Bryan. “Fond memories, sense of urgency add to intensity of auction at former hotel.” Herald-Dispatch (Huntington) 25 Aug. 2001.
- Lawrence, Keith. “Diamond Lake being sold.” Messenger-Inquirer [Owensboro], 16 May 2021.
- ASC Group. “Seneca Motor Company.” West Virginia Historic Property Inventory Form, 10 Dec. 2015.
- Stevens, Nan. “Harper’s Store.” Historic Properties Inventory Form, 1983.