The century old stone inn overlooks the village of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
Since 1888, Historic Hilltop House has received some notable guests like Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain, Carl Sandburg, Pearl S. Buck, President Woodrow Wilson, President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.
Historic Hilltop House is an establishment that can be directly connected to African American history of Harper’s Ferry. Its first proprietor and manager was Mr. Thomas S. Lovett, an African American native of Harper’s Ferry.
Mr. Lovett managed several hotels in Harper’s Ferry including the Lockwood House. Mr. Lovett fulfilled his dream by building the first Hilltop House in 1888. His first building burned in 1912 and his second in 1917 or 1918. Mr. Lovett and his wife Lavonia, were determined to rebuild each time. Mr. Lovett maintained his proprietorship of the Hilltop House Hotel for 38 years.
In Harper’s Ferry, Storer College was created primarily to educate former slaves, and the first public meeting of the Niagara Movement was held to combat the injustices of the Jim Crow laws and legal segregation. Today, the Hilltop House stands as a testimony to the dedication and determination of the Lovett’s.
In 2008, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners of Leesburg, Virginia bought, opened, then closed the historic 74-room Hilltop Hotel. Since then the Harper’s Ferry hotel has been left to deteriorate and crumble, inside and out. SWaN also purchased between 28 and 30 residences near the hotel, but once the residents were evicted from their houses, those structures were left to decay.
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