Skip Navigation

"A Home Away From Home"
Harrisville's Whitehall Hotel

by Mary Lucille DeBerry

Edna Reeves and Stella Britton go back a long way. They still have vivid memories of the many years they spent living and working together, when their families owned and operated the Whitehall Hotel in Harrisville.

"Family" is a word that surfaces again and again when talking about the Whitehall Hotel. For more than 100 years, the largest hotel in Ritchie County was operated by families who truly made their guests and residents feel at home. There was also an extended family of workers, residents, and "hotel children" for whom the Whitehall was an integral part of their daily lives.

Whitehall Hotel Harrisville's historic Whitehall Hotel was a local landmark for more than a century. 1910 postcard cortesy of Edith Hedge Baker.

The Reeves and Britton families owned the hotel together from 1929 until 1964. Just prior to that, from 1921 to 1929, Mr. and Mrs. William Reeves owned the Whitehall. A death in the family, however, affected their personal lives and business affairs. Their daughter Violet died giving birth to twin boys, and Mr. and Mrs. Reeves opted to move out of the hotel and help their son-in-law rear the boys. Violet's brother Tom and his wife Ava – together with Ava's sister Stella and her husband Horace Britton – purchased the business in 1929 and made this building their home.

You can read the rest of this article in the Winter 1999 issue of Goldenseal, available in bookstores, libraries or direct from Goldenseal.