(Sweet Springs Resort)(Old Springs)

19540 Sweet Springs Valley Road, Gap Mills, WV

Status: Former Courthouse and Jail, Former Resort, Former Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Former Old Age Home, Private Property

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All Photos Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie


The first European to own this property was William Lewis; a Revolutionary War veteran. He owned over 1000 acres in 1775 and had hopes of developing a town and resort.

In 1790 the State of Virginia – West Virginia did not exist previous to the Civil War – granted him a charter to create the town of Fontville. For 12 years the Virginia Circuit Court for 4 – and later 5 – Counties met here. There is still a jailhouse on the property from this time.

In the early 19th century, the bid was lost to become the County Seat and focus was reset on creating a resort. In 1830 construction was began – to be completed in 1833 – of a permanent brick hotel. This is the main building, what most call the Jefferson Building, on the grounds today.

The resort had many famous historical guests in the late 18th and 19th centuries including US Presidents George Washington, Millard Fillmore and James Monroe and Confederate General Robert E Lee.

The Lewis family owned the resort until 1852 when it was sold due to financial distress. The resort was restored and new structures were added by the new owners creating its historically and most financially successful period until the Civil War.

Union forces occupied the site during the Civil War but there is no record of any damage being done. After the War tourists did return to the resort but visitor numbers began to dwindle as many people preferred to visit the resorts nearer to the railway lines.

The Lewis family bought the resort again in 1902 but by 1930 it was in bankruptcy and closed down. From 1942 to 1945 the resort was used as a tuberculosis sanatorium. After 1945 the State of West Virginia bought the property and converted it into the Andrew S Rowan Memorial Home for the Aged.

In 1991 the State closed the Old Age home and turned the site over to the County to create a rehabilitation center. That plan failed and the site was put up for private sale in 1996.

In 2005 the site was bought by an owner looking to renovate it back into the resort it once was. Unfortunately, the owner passed away in 2015 and the property was put up for auction in 2015 before being bought by the current owners.


Paranormal Activity

Legend says a high number of former owners have died unexpectedly creating stories of a curse.

For a place purported to be very active there is surprisingly very little information on this site.

The following is what we gathered from the few sources:

Apparitions of former guests, patients and staff including a woman who is seen watching out a window from the third floor; touches, tugs and pulls from unseen entities; phantom footsteps; electrical disturbances including all the lights turning on on their own; empathic feelings of sorrow; unexplained noises and disembodied voices; objects moving on their own and feelings of being watched and not being alone.