From tragedy to triumph: Celebrating successful recovery of Natural Bridge Hotel 55 years later

Natural Bridge Hotel.
Natural Bridge Hotel. (2015 Anna Bowser Photography)

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There’s a well-visited place in Virginia that is known for its history, but more-so recognized for its resiliency after bouncing back from an unspeakable tragedy.

The Natural Bridge Hotel was a popular destination for visitors for nearly six decades when it opened in the early 1900s, but the future became unknown after April 24, 1963, when a fire destroyed the hotel.

The fire was rumored to start in the kitchen, but to this day, the exact cause isn’t clear.

The history of the hotel began when Thomas Jefferson built a two-room log cabin after purchasing 157 acres of land and the Natural Bridge from King George III of England in 1774.

Instead of lamenting the loss of a place with amazing memories, the hotel resurrected a new history to weave into the old one.

Contributed photo
Contributed photo (Natural Bridge Hotel)

This year marks 55 years since the Natural Bridge Hotel was fully reconstructed and reopened to the world in 1965, allowing visitors to once again connect to a significant piece of Virginia’s history.

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If you’re in the area visiting the Caverns at Natural Bridge, check out the hotel, and stay for a unique experience.

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