The Blackburn Inn: A Hotel with History

aerial shot of the blackburn inn

Calling all architecture and history buffs! Welcome summer with a weekend in the Shenandoah Valley. The Blackburn Inn & Conference Center is rich with history and architecture to enjoy while you relax at our beautiful resort. Learn more about our history below and start planning your trip today!

The Beginnings of The Blackburn

The Blackburn is a historic hotel in Staunton, VA, but it didn’t start that way. The property only opened as a 49-room boutique inn in 2018. So, what was this historic hotel before it became your go-to spot in the Shenandoah Valley?

Thomas Blackburn began construction on this property in 1825 when he was 30 years old. It would become his personal architectural masterpiece. He learned the trade under Thomas Jefferson while Jefferson constructed the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

Following its construction in 1828, the hotel served as the Western State Hospital until 1976. The complex consisted of 22 specially designed buildings in total. It was known to provide some of the best mental healthcare in the U.S. at that time under Dr. Frances T. Stribling. It was a “resort-style asylum” in its early days with terrace gardens and roof walks with mountain views.

However, this utopian style of care didn’t last long. By the mid-19th century, the facility was overcrowded, and new techniques were being practiced. The hospital was moved to its present site near Interstate 81 in 1976. The facility was then converted into Staunton Correctional Center, a medium-security men’s penitentiary.

Transforming The Blackburn into a Historic Hotel in Staunton, VA
After the prison closed in 2003, the complex was left vacant for several years. Robin Miller and Associates then purchased the land, and have been redeveloping the site, building by building. Eventually, “The Village at Staunton” was created on-site, and the first condominiums were sold in early 2008. Soon after, Robin Miller and Associates renovated the main administration building, which is now home to the hotel followed by the Conference Center and Spa.

During its renovations, the hotel combined modern and historic architecture with elegant touches. You’ll see this in the vaulted ceilings and intricate molding as well as the light-filled hallways. The Blackburn is a member of Historic Hotels of America since its establishment.

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a newly renovated boutique hotel packed with history, you’ve met your match. The Blackburn Inn & Conference Center in Staunton, VA is the perfect weekend getaway for history lovers.. Start planning your stay.