History of the St. Charles
The original, wood-framed St. Charles Hotel was built in 1850. It occupied most of the east side of the Pocahontas Court Square. In 1860, a brick addition was made to the old hotel. That addition still remains, and will become The St. Charles Bed and Breakfast Suites in Pocahontas by 2013.
The St. Charles Hotel served as headquarters for two generals during the U.S. Civil War, first as Confederate headquarters when troops of the Confederate States of America occupied Pocahontas early in the war, and later as Union headquarters while troops of the United States of America occupied Pocahontas later in the war. The Union troops burned most of Pocahontas, but not the St. Charles since it served as their headquarters.
The wood-frame St. Charles Hotel burned about 1920, but the brick firewall between it and the brick wing protected the current St. Charles from burning. The photo below shows how the firewall steps up where it met the roof ridge of the old wooden St. Charles, providing the fire protection that saved the brick building.
After the wooden portion of the St. Charles burned, the brick wing continued to serve as a rooming house, on the second floor, until about 1960, while the first floor housed commercial space. The left side of the first floor housed the local newspaper, the Pocahontas Star Herald, all through the Prohibition and Great Depression eras, while the right side housed the OK Barber Shop for many years.
The vacant property was purchased in May, 2011, by Pocahontas native, Dr. Patrick Carroll, for rehabilitation into guest suites and first floor commercial space. Dr. Carroll is the grandson of Warren Blankenship, owner and editor of the Pocahontas Star Herald during the years the newspaper occupied the St. Charles building.