"Experience The Romance of Victorian Style"
"Rich in History and Lore"
What draws visitors to Strasburg and its quaint hotel?
Is it the view of Massanutten Mountain towering over the inn's backyard? Or is it the sight of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River skirting its foothills in a series of sparkling horseshoe bends? Maybe it's the town's slow pace.
German settlers first knew it as Stony Lick, then Staufferstadt and finally Strasburg, when it was established in 1761. On this frontier, the sturdy pioneers and their descendants survived Indian raids, the Revolution, and the Civil War. But what of the decades that followed?
Dr. Mackall R. Bruin who made house calls on horseback, riding the rough roads of the northern Shenandoah Valley originally built the Hotel Strasburg as a private hospital in 1902. When patients were able, they would visit him at his hospital on the corner of Queen and Holliday Streets. On the second floor, in the back hall, the Doctor's original shingle rests on a marble and metal washstand -- an artifact from his hospital. Among his papers in the hotel archives is a copy of a nurse's diploma dated 1907, and a number of bills for various "professional services rendered." One bill dated 1901, charged a patient $4.00 for treatment of an unknown ailment. It's no wonder the innkeeper wasn't surprised when one guest confided, "I was born here."
Rising to the hallmark of Hospitality The conversion from hospital to hostelry took place in 1915. From then, the three-story Victorian catered not only to travelers, but to residential guests like the teacher from Pennsylvania who taught in the elementary school. "When I lived here in the 1940s, I paid $35 a month," she said, "and that included two meals a day."
Mr. Leo Bernstein restored it to its original Victorian Age elegance in January of 1987. Its lobby guest register reflects a truly cosmopolitan parade of visitors from across the nation and from around the world. Television celebrities and Washingtonians of various political persuasions have stopped by the hotel while exploring the countryside, with its apple orchards, vineyards, and tidy towns clustered alongside US Route 11.