A fine collection of historical photographs of Goshen has been assembled by Anne McClung, Rockbridge County Historian, Author, and former Goshen Public Librarian; we have many of those photographs at the Inn.
The Hummingbird Inn began life around 1780 as a two story four room structure, almost certainly a store or trading post for travelers who came through Goshen Pass by wagon on their way west. One of the original four rooms remain in tack. This single room of post and beam construction and a stone fireplace is now our rustic den. Today, you see where the ceiling is patched with original 1780 timber, over an opening for the ladder the family used to live above the store. The Alleghany guest room above the rustic den has been updated, however, the original fireplace and floors remain. The upstairs front hall and a portion of the Eleanor Roosevelt guest room has the original 1780 wood floor.
In 1853, the original 2 story structure was bought by the Teter family, in whose hands it remained for the next 110 years. The Teters gave it its Carpenter Gothic (the first American Victorian style) appearance, adding the bulk of the building, including the parlor, library, conservatory, five bedrooms on the second floor, four more rooms on the third, and of course, the extensive wraparound verandahs which are so unusual for a Virginia house. The Teters acquired the barn that currently sits on the property. The historic 1875 barn had served for many years as the town’s livery stable. After Goshen switched to vehicles to provide the town’s horsepower, the barn was sold to the Teter family.
Since Mr. Teter had patented inventions, their wealth allowed them to travel extensively, and the house was rented out frequently during the latter part of the 19th century at various times as a railway hotel. In early 20th century, it was a boarding house managed by a lady friend of Pearl Teter-Wood. Pearl spent her first married years living and teaching in Millboro, VA, one railroad stop west of Goshen, where her husband J.B. Wood was Railroad Agent.
Pearl Teter Wood, the last of her family, was the first lady of Goshen, principal of the the town’s school, active in the community, and the wife of J. B. Wood, Goshen’s railroad agent (thus Wood Lane). In that position in 1935, she was the natural choice to host Eleanor Roosevelt, who drove from Washington, DC to visit the Stillwater fabric factory at Franklin Roosevelt’s request. After Pearl’s death in 1963, the house fell into disrepair and eventually into decay, until the mid-1970’s when Frank Miller, a Williamsburg antique dealer, saw it, recognized its architectural significance, and rescued it from a slow but certain death.
Although the home was structurally sound as a result of Miller’s extensive renovations, it had not been occupied for several years prior to its purchase by Jeremy and Diana Robinson in 1991, and was beginning another decline. It had three bathrooms and three half-baths for an obvious five guest rooms, but only one bathroom was functional. The Robinsons took a small bedroom and split it into two portions, making a bathroom out of each. Since that time, additions have included one new full bath and a half bath on the first floor, one on the third, and two other remodeled baths for a total of 7 1/2 bathrooms, two of which had double whirlpool baths installed.
In 2003, the Inn was purchased by Pam & Dick Matthews. They added a spacious deck on Mill Creek adjacent to the barn, a pleasant place to sit during the Spring, Summer and Fall. And while they made some interior changes to the house, nothing was done to alter the charm and appeal when they found it in 2003.
In July 2008, the Inn was purchased by Patty and Dan Harrison. The Harrisons ran the Inn with impeccable guest service for 7 years and are responsible for the latest renovation of 3 guest rooms, brand new state of the art spacious spa baths installed in Spring 2015 and acquiring the adjacent lot for expansion.
Hummingbird Inn 2015
On June 29, 2015 Sandra and Jeff Shaffer purchased the Inn and opened to a full house for the fourth of July weekend. Well-established, the Hummingbird Inn has served as a bed and breakfast for the past 30+ years. In 2016, the Shaffers built Serenity Cabin on the adjacent lot with its private deck facing Mill Creek. Other improvements include Stable View guest room renovation, three common hallway renovations, a new laundry room, a portion of metal roofing upgrade, and a roof added to the deck beside the barn on Mill Creek.
We are located a scant 20 miles northwest of Lexington, Virginia, home of Washington and Lee University, The Virginia Military Institute, the Stonewall Jackson House and Museum, and numerous other sites of historic interest. Natural Bridge, owned by Thomas Jefferson, and surveyed by one George Washington, is just 15 minutes south of Lexington. We are 25 minutes east of Warm Springs, where the 150+ year old bathhouse recently still featured the crane used to hoist Mrs. Robert E. Lee’s wheelchair into the warm baths for her arthritis. Daytrips to Monticello, Ashlawn, and New Market’s Civil War battle site and museum are popular with guests who choose us for lodging in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.