WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WVNS) — Did you know The Greenbrier in West Virginia has a unique military history?
Though the military doesn’t usually come to mind when thinking about West Virginia’s most known tourism spot, the Mountain State’s pride and joy played an interesting role in three separate wars. According to The Greenbrier’s website, the resort actually had a hand to play in the Civil War, WWII, and even had a bunker put in during the Cold War.
The Civil War – West Virginia was a first-hand witness of the brutality of America’s bloodiest wars, and several areas in the state were affected, including the Greenbrier. The Greenbrier resort was temporarily closed and was controlled by both the Confederacy and the Union. Depending on the circumstance, it was converted into both military headquarters and a hospital several times.
World War II – Though the was not fought on US soil, history repeated itself at The Greenbrier and the resort hotel would be purchased by the army to be converted into a 2,000-bed hospital known as Ashford General Hospital. During four years of war, 24,148 soldiers were admitted and treated at the surgical rehabilitation center.
The Cold War – Due to fear of nuclear fallout, the US government went to the Greenbrier yet again for assistance in the 1950s, but this time was to establish an Emergency Relocation Center. This classified underground bunker was located under a section of the hotel and was codenamed Project Greek Island. In 1992, the Cold War came to a close and the bunker was decommissioned.
While The Greenbrier at first seems like an odd place to think about when it comes military history, West Virginia’s most recognizable resort actually played a part in the protection of the United States in three different wars.