The Historic General Lewis Inn, a unique blend of the old and the new, is a boutique hotel owned by Sparrow and Aaron Huffman that has been in continuous operation since 1929.
The eastern end of the building, including the dining room, the kitchen and a suite of rooms on the first floor plus two bedrooms and a suite on the second floor, was a brick residence built in the early 1800's by John H. Withrow. The main section and the west wing of the inn were designed in 1928 for the Hocks by Walter Martens, a well-known West Virginia architect who also designed the Governor's Mansion in Charleston. The Hock family spent many years gathering antiques from Greenbrier and adjoining counties to furnish the inn. Spool and canopy beds, chests of drawers, china, glass, old prints and other memorabilia are throughout the building.
The hand-hewn beam in the dining room was added when the wall separating two front rooms was removed to create a larger dining room. This beam, as well as the ones in the lounge and lobby, were reclaimed from old quarters behind the residence. The handsome door of the original home was moved to the present main entrance and the mantle from the original dining room was moved to the lounge.
All of our guest rooms are furnished with antiques. Our open doors are an invitation for you to look through them. Don't miss the dollhouse in the Garden!
We hope that you will find your visit with us pleasant and will return often!
GENERAL ANDREW LEWIS
Andrew Lewis, for whom this historic Inn and the town of Lewisburg are named, served as one of George Washington’s principal officers in the Virginia Regiment during the French & Indian War and, in the words of George Washington biographer Douglas Southall Freeman, was unquestionably “the hardest-working officer of the Regiment.”
Born in County Donegal, Ireland, he immigrated as a youth to North America with his family and, by 1733, settled on the Virginia frontier in Augusta County. Maturing in these environs prepared him - and his four brothers - well for backcountry warfare. As a surveyor for the Greenbrier Land Company he first came to the area in 1751 where he discovered Lewis Spring on the site of the present town of Lewisburg.
Andrew Lewis was active in the local militia for several years before receiving a Captain’s commission in the Virginia Regiment on March 8, 1754. After Braddock’s defeat, Colonel George Washington promoted Lewis as Major of the renewed Virginia Regiment in September of 1755. Lewis commanded the ill-fated Sandy Creek expedition in 1756 and played a key role in the Anglo-American assault on Fort Duquesne in 1758, where he was captured and spent the next year in captivity in Canada. Unaware at first that Lewis been taken alive, Washington wrote “…Lewis, who chearfully went upon this Enterprize (when he found there was no dissuading Colonel Bouquet from the attempt) frequently there and afterwards upon the march, desired his friends to remember, that he had opposed the undertaking to the utmost. He is a great loss to the Regiment and is universally lamented.”
Andrew Lewis continued in military service during Pontiac’s rebellion and as a commissioner at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768. He moved his family to the newly-established Botetourt County, Virginia around 1770 and he was duly elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses for several sessions thereafter.
In the summer of 1774, he was chosen to command the colony’s militia in Lord Dunmore’s War, and led and expedition against the united tribes of the Shawnees, Delawares, Mingoes and Ottowa under Chief Cornstalk. Based on his prior experience in the western Virginia area, he assembled the army on the Big Levels, now Lewisburg, naming the assembly area Fort Union. After an arduous march of 161 miles, the Virginia militia met and defeated the Indians at the Battle of Point Pleasant on the Ohio River on October 10, 1774.
On the eve of the War for American Independence, Lewis was appointed by the Second Virginia Convention along with George Washington and others to a committee “to prepare a Plan for embodying, arming and disciplining such a Number of Men as may be sufficient for” defending the state on March 23, 1775. Less than a year later, the Continental Congress appointed him a Brigadier General in the Continental Army on March 1, 1776. General George Washington wholly approved of the selection, writing, “The appointment of Lewis I think was also judicious…I always look’d upon him as a Man of Spirit and a good Officer.” Lewis’ greatest triumph in this role was in driving the defiant Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, out of Virginia at Gwynn’s Island in July of 1776. However, hard feelings over the promotion of a junior officer steered Andrew Lewis to resign his commission the following spring. George Washington sought to placate his old comrade-in-arms: “I was much disappointed at not perceiving your name in the list of Major Generals lately made by the Congress: And most sincerely wish that the neglect may not induce You to abandon the service…The Cause requires your Aid - No one more sincerely wishes it than I do.” Andrew Lewis continued to serve his state and country as an Indian commissioner and on the privy council of Governor Thomas Jefferson until he died of a fever on September 25, 1781. He was buried in Bedford County, Virginia and was subsequently moved to Salem, Virginia where a monument was erected in his honor.
Johnson, Patricia Givens. General Andrew Lewis of Roanoke and Greenbrier. Blacksburg: Southern Printing Co., 1980.
Stuart, John. Memoir of Indian Wars, and Other Occurrences. Presented to the Virginia Historical & Philosophical Society, by Chas. A. Stuart. With an Introduction by Otis K. Rice. Parsons, W. V.: Reprinted by McClain Print. Co., 1971.
Tillson, Albert H., Jr. Gentry and Common Folk: Political Culture on a Virginia Frontier, 1740-1789. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1991.
Wrike, Peter Jennings. The Governor’s Island: Gwynn’s Island, Virginia, during the Revolution. Gwynn, Va.: The Gwynn’s Island Museum, 1993.