Located at Kanawha Boulevard is Holly Grove Mansion, also known as Holly Grove Inn or the Ruffner Mansion. Originally the home of Daniel Ruffner, the fifth son of Joseph Ruffner, and the grandson of the first Joseph Ruffner who came into the Kanawha from Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Brothers Joseph and David are the pioneers of the salt industry in the region, under the directive of their father who bough huge tracks of land in West Virginia.
Holly Grove was originally a plantation with its barns, shops, granary and other outbuildings placed across an open expanse where the West Virginia Capitol and Executive Mansion now stand. As the area grew and the James River and Kanawha Turnpike opened to Richmond and the east, the Ruffner house became a popular stop. The property has numerous bedrooms, extensive acres,
furnishing, and ample food for man and animal.
As Daniel’s position in the community became increasingly solidified and the area grew in population, the governor of Virginia agreed to appoint him as justice of the peace and later as high sheriff of the county. The Ruffner family was dominant in the Kanawha Valley for many years after 1800, and Henry Ruffner, a close relative of Daniel, became nationally known with the publication of the so-called Ruffner Pamphlet on the slavery issue in the 1840s.
The home of Daniel Ruffner and his descendants was an important center of commerce and industry in the Kanawha Valley during the first half of the nineteenth century, and its owner was a prominent citizen who played a substantial part in the development of the area.
Holly Grove Mansion
1710 E. Kanawha Blvd.
Charleston, West Virginia