Meet the Georges
We’ve been asked that quite a bit.
The Georges occupies five historic buildings on Main Street in Lexington, Virginia. We feel deeply connected to the two excellent universities down the street, Washington and Lee and Virginia Military Institute. Washington and Lee owes part of its name to George Washington, and VMI’s most famous alumnus was George Marshall. We are honored to name our hotel after these two very important Georges.
The Washington Building
The building, and its renovations through the years, tell the story of our town. In 1796, when nearly all of Lexington was destroyed by a great fire, this building was one of only two left standing, along with The Castle on Randolph Street. In 1851, when the city lowered the streets, the house received a new level underpinning it. Then in 1855, owner George Baker replaced the original gable roof with a stylish, Italianate one.
The Historic Lexington Foundation was formed in 1966 to raise funds to purchase significant city buildings, stabilize them structurally, and resell them with protective covenants requiring that the exteriors remain essentially true to their roots. The Washington Building was the foundation’s first acquisition. It became part of a larger project to revitalize the entire block of North Main Street between Washington and Henry, and it purchased the building from the Withrows in 1969 and oversaw a significant renovation to stabilize the exterior in 1970.
The Marshall Building
The Marshall Building, just across the street from the Washington Building, represents three periods of construction. Even though it has long been painted to look like one building, we love the charm of each wing. If you look closely, you’ll see small changes in the brickwork and the slightly different window sizes.
The oldest section of the house was erected in 1809 by John McCampbell. In 1816, a small section on the southern end was added, and in 1857 a large addition was made to the northern end of the building. The structure has served many purposes—from a residence to a jewelry store, doctor’s office, telegraph and post office, and, of course, a hotel.
When owner John Lindsey added porches to the side and rear of the building in 1907, the property became the Central Hotel. It operated as a hotel and boarding house for nearly 65 years, but fell into disrepair. In 1971, the Historic Lexington Foundation purchased the inn, stabilized it, and restored the exterior by the following year. The building then sat empty for another decade until Peter and Susan Meredith rescued it, oversaw an extensive and thoughtful renovation, and it became a guest inn once more in 1979. We reopened the inn as part of The Georges in the spring of 2014 and renamed it the Marshall Building.
Dating back to 1887, the Sheridan Livery building was a horse stable and stagecoach depot. It was owned by Captain John Sheridan, who served in the Calvary during the Civil War and developed a great love of horses during that time. Sheridan’s livery was highly successful and was responsible for the mail, as well as a stagecoach line between Lexington, Staunton, and Hot Springs. Captain Sheridan was renowned for his charity, kindness, and love of horses. It was said that if he ever found evidence that a customer had mistreated one of his horses, he would never rent to that customer again. (Courtesy of W&L Library)
Special Projects Coordinator
Guest Services Supervisor
TAPS Kitchen Supervisor
When we acquired these buildings, we wanted to devote our resources, passion, and energy toward creating an inn and restaurants we think you’ll really enjoy. Our intention is to offer a place of comfort, traditional Virginia hospitality, and delicious food with regional ingredients—all in an environment that carries the history of the last couple of hundred years in its bones, and now with every modern amenity and convenience.”
Ann Parker Gottwald, Owner