July 22, 1930: Fayette County's Dun Glen Hotel Destroyed By Arson


On July 22, 1930, one of West Virginia’s most popular—and most notorious—landmarks burned to the ground. On that day, arsonists destroyed the Dun Glen Hotel in Fayette County.

The Dun Glen was opened in 1901 across the New River from the town of Thurmond. Thanks to the coal and railroad industries, money poured in and out of the region. At one point, the town of Thurmond and the surrounding area accounted for almost 20 percent of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway’s revenues, shipping more freight than Cincinnati or Richmond.

The opening night gala at the Dun Glen featured an orchestra from Cincinnati. The hotel was four-and-a-half stories high and had 100 rooms. Alcohol, which was banned in the town of Thurmond, flowed freely at the neighboring Dun Glen. Its reputation as an early 20th-century party palace added to the hotel’s lore and popularity among big spenders. According to a longstanding legend, the Dun Glen once hosted the longest poker game in history, lasting for 14 years. The burning of the Dun Glen brought a swift demise to one of the wildest places in West Virginia history.