Print | Back to e-WV The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Drover’s Inn


The historic Drover’s Inn, a Brooke County landmark located east of Wellsburg, represents an era when livestock, including cattle and swine and even geese and turkeys, was driven overland on foot to eastern markets. The drovers and their flocks and herds were served by inns and stockyards along the way. Drover’s Inn, standing on a high point on the old Wellsburg to Washington, Pennsylvania, turnpike (now Washington Pike, State Route 27), was one such place.

The inn, built in 1848–51 by John Fowler and originally called Fowler’s Inn, has also been known as the Inn at Fowlerstown. The handsome Greek Revival main structure, two and a half stories tall, was built of bricks fired on the property. Related buildings, including a log house and a frame house older than the inn itself, stand nearby. In its heyday, the Drover’s Inn complex included a post office and general store, as well as extensive stockyards.

The stock drives ended after the arrival of the railroad, which happened in the 1850s in the Northern Panhandle, but the Drover’s Inn survived to the present and is in public use today. The inn now offers a historic restaurant, tavern, and gift shop, as well as overnight lodging. The Drover’s Inn was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

Read the National Register nomination.