Clio Logo

This building was constructed in 1897 to replace buildings destroyed in the fire of the same year. It replaced the burned Bank of Lewisburg that later became the Greenbrier Valley Bank. For many years, Lewisburg had the only bank between Staunton, Virginia, and Charleston. It was designed by James M. Lee of the Lee Military Academy and built under the supervision of Joseph F. Wright of Huntington. The woodwork was done by William L. Wetzel of Lewisburg. The building was initially trimmed with blue sandstone that was brought from Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to the bank, it was built to accommodate a retail store and post office on the ground floor and rental offices on the second floor. Today, it houses Lewisburg's City Hall and two retail stores. Noteworthy is the bracketed cast meal cornice atop the facade with a centered pediment bearing the date 1897.


  • Aftermath of the fire of 1897. Photo courtesy of Judy Deegans.
  • Greenbrier Valley Bank Building soon after completion in 1897. Photo courtesy of Judy Deegans.

The fire of 1897 destroyed most of two blocks of Lewisburg's downtown commercial district.  The fire began in the back of H. T. Bell's clothing store and spread rapidly. Lewisburg had no fire fighting equipment or organization. The Ronceverte fire engine was summoned but delayed due to a misunderstanding. The fire was fought by men and boys with buckets and wet blankets. Women of the town "worked like Trojans" carrying furniture, goods, etc. out of buildings and standing guard over them until their owners could claim and stow away their property. Two banks and several stores were destroyed, but there were no fatalities. 

Greenbrier Independent, May 5, 1897; September 23, 1897; December 16, 1897.

Historical Booklet Greenbrier County 160th Anniversary 1778-1938.