The Greenbrier has storied past - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

The Greenbrier, home of 2014 Saints Training Camp, has storied past

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Courtesy: The Greenbrier Resort Courtesy: The Greenbrier Resort
Courtesy: The Greenbrier Resort Courtesy: The Greenbrier Resort
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WEST VA (WVUE) -

The resort has never hosted an NFL team before, but it does have a top secret government shelter. The Greenbrier Resort, home of the 2014 Saints Training Camp through August, has a storied past.

The earliest guests arrived in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in 1778 to "take the waters" to restore their health.

The resort entered its first period of prominence in the 1830s. Politicians, judges, editors, lawyers, diplomats, ministers, planters and merchants, primarily from the Southern states, congregated here for relief from the heat and humidity from the lowlands. Prior to the Civil War, five sitting presidents stayed at the resort.

During the war, both sides occupied the grounds, using the hotel as either a hospital or military headquarters. The resort re-opened shortly after the war.

The early 1900s brought new prominence to the resort underwent expansion, including adding a world class 18-hole golf course.

Jack Nicklaus would later redesign the then fifty-year-old Greenbrier Course in 1978, bringing it up to championship standards for the 1979 Ryder Cup Matches. That course was also the site of three PGA Seniors tournaments in the 1980s and the 1994 Solheim Cup competition.

A PGA Tour event was contracted in 2010 under the name The Greenbrier Classic, one of golf's premier PGA events.

In the height of the Cold War, the US government had several contingency plans in place, including a secret bunker underneath Greenbrier Resort.

"So it is unusually huge. It actually is 112,544 square feet; it could have accommodated the legislative branch of government," said Linda Wells, Manager of Bunker Tours."This was a top secret for 30 years, never discovered by the Russians, never discovered by any foreign adversaries but it was made public by an article in the Washington Post."

At the end of the Cold War, and prompted by exposure in the press, the project was terminated and the bunker decommissioned. 

For a complete timeline of the history of The Greenbrier Resort, click here. 

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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