Minnehaha Springs on State Route 92 in Pocahontas County was once the site of a popular resort and hunting lodge. In 1912, J. A. Viquesney and H. M. Lockridge organized the Allegheny Sportsmen’s Association. Membership included many prominent West Virginians, among them Governor Glasscock and former Governor MacCorkle. The association acquired 5,000 acres of land, which it stocked with fish and game. In 1913, Allegheny Lodge was erected on the land, its facade reminiscent of a Southern plantation house. Twin stairways curved up to a columned veranda on the first floor, covered by a second-floor porch, which was covered in turn by a railed roof. Gabled dormers projected on each side, with a white-railed widow’s walk at the top of the building.
In 1926, Harry R. Wyllie of Huntington, owner of the H. R. Wyllie China Company, purchased the lodge and grounds for use as a private estate. Also in 1926, an imposing stone wall and gateposts were built at the front entrance, and a handsome wooden gate was installed. In later years the lodge passed through the hands of many owners. Sometimes it was used as a private estate. Other owners operated it as a resort hotel. Famous visitors, including author Pearl S. Buck and Olympic gold medal skier Jean Claude Killy, were guests there. On October 17, 1983, the lodge building burned to the ground. The stone entryway is still standing.
The property on which the lodge stood is now owned by Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick. He hopes to rebuild the lodge with profits from a bottling company called Allegheny Enterprises that operates there.
Written by Leona Gwinn Brown
Brown, Leona G. Allegheny Lodge. Goldenseal, Fall 1991.