November 15, 2010: Aracoma Hotel in Logan Badly Damaged by Fire
On November 15, 2010, the Aracoma Hotel in Logan was badly damaged by fire, leading to its demolition several months later.
Named for the Indian princess Aracoma, the daughter of Chief Cornstalk, the landmark hotel experienced many brushes with history. Built in 1917 for $50,000 by Syrian immigrant Harvey Ghiz, the hotel was the largest downtown building erected after Logan’s great fire of 1912. During construction, workers unearthed roughly a square-block field of bones and relics that had once been an Indian burial site.
The original four-story building fronted on Coal Street with an elaborate arched facade. It contained 94 rooms, most with private shower baths. It also boasted electric elevators and fine woodwork.
In 1921, during the West Virginia Mine Wars, local women set up an emergency food station in the Aracoma’s lobby to supply meals and supplies to the troops, police, and other antiunion forces quartered in Logan. Over the years, the hotel hosted such notables as evangelist Billy Sunday and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. And in 1960, John F. Kennedy used the Aracoma as his headquarters while campaigning for president in the region.