Gardens to Gables

Turnpike Tales: Frye’s Inn, Capon Bridge, West Virginia

On a recent road trip, I watched the interstate exits from the passenger side, taking stock of our lodging options (which were plentiful and brightly lit). Travelers straggling along 19th century turnpikes likely yearned for a light to left on – and the sight of a roadside inn surely provided great comfort.  I thought of this while exploring in West Virginia and coming across a long building on the north side of the road in the town of Capon Bridge. Like any historic traveler before me, I recognized the bulk of the two-and-one-half story building as a tavern or inn.

The early-19th century Frye's Inn in Capon Bridge, West Virginia.

The early-19th century Frye’s Inn in Capon Bridge, West Virginia.

Built between 1800 and 1818, the log and frame building has numerous windows and doors, and massive brick chimneys that likely serve a number of hearths. The inn is 10 bays on the first floor facade, with alternating doors and windows (9/6 double-hung sash on the first story, and 6/6 on the second). Margaret Caudy and her husband Eli Beall built the inn as a stop on the Northwestern Turnpike (now US Route 50). Their daughter married a Frye, and when the inn transferred to the next generation, the name changed from “Beall’s Inn” to Frye’s Inn.

Undated early 20th century photograph from http://www.historichampshire.org/old-pics/old-pic-cb.htm

Undated early 20th century photograph from http://www.historichampshire.org/old-pics/old-pic-cb.htm

At some point in the 20th century, the building became a private home. As I stood on the opposite side of the former turnpike, taking photos and wondering about the story of the impressive building, I wished it was my stop for the evening.

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One Thought on “Turnpike Tales: Frye’s Inn, Capon Bridge, West Virginia

  1. Rogers Barde on November 6, 2015 at 11:53 am said:

    I loved seeing the inn, knowing that the Bealls and the Fryes were probably on their way to Kentucky from Hampshire County. So many names are familiar in Hampshire Co!

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