The Delmonte Hotel – A Case Study
In Downtown Revitalization
Elkins, WV: The Delmonte Is Built – 1899
In the late 1800s, Elkins was a bustling transportation hub. The general offices of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railroad were located downtown, and the Elkins Railyard Depot was a focal point for the community. In 1899, The Delmonte Hotel was built adjacent to these rail facilities on land purchased from the H. G. Davis family. Davis was state senator, railroad executive, and self-made millionaire of national renown with strong ties to the transportation, coal mining, and finance industries.
Origins In Railroad Lodging
The Delmonte Hotel was built by Joseph Nallen, a stone mason and employee of Mr. Davis, and was built expressly as lodging for local railroad crews and passengers of modest means. The Delmonte served as an alternative to the many small frame structures that were previously used to house this group of people. It was a larger, more substantial structure that included a ground floor restaurant and washhouse. The Delmonte was the “poor man’s” facility. The much larger West Virginia Hotel, built by the railroad one block north on Railroad Avenue, was the facility for guests of the railroad and travelers of means. The fact that Mr. Davis owned the railroad and adjoining property, and that the Delmonte was built by a Davis employee, would establish a strong link between the Delmonte and the local railroad/transportation history.
Rehabilitated & Ready for Occupancy Once Again
The Delmonte has approximately 9,500 sq ft of space, including prime first floor space facing the Elkins Depot and Railyard, a two story porch fronting on Railroad Avenue, and an open third floor. The RCHA assumed ownership of the Delmonte in 2008 and worked to rehabilitate the building to its current condition suitable for occupancy.
The Heart of the Transportation Industry and Tourism In Randolph County
Elkins and Randolph County, WV are poised to reclaim their positions as the center of transportation activity via rail, trail and automobile. The Delmonte is located in the heart of all of this activity and provides facilities that enhance the travel experience of residents and visitors to the area. It is also a visual reminder of the transportation history of the area and services to promote cultural/heritage tourism.