Online Reservations
# Guests

About Your Stay

We’ll do our best to make your stay at Laurel Lodge comfortable and enjoyable.  Please read over this section and, if you have further questions or need special assistance, just give us a call.  We look forward to your visit!


Each day at Laurel Lodge begins with a satisfying two-course breakfast in our great room.  The first course features a fruit dish and warm-from-the-oven breads, pastries or muffins.  The second course offers a hot entrée. 

Breakfast at the Lodge includes fresh juice, hot coffee and assorted teas.  We strive to incorporate fresh, local, organic and seasonal items on our menu whenever possible. 

We are happy to accommodate those with special dietary restrictions when notified in advance of your arrival.


  • Prior to a confirmed reservation, rates are subject to change without notice.
  • Room rates are for single or double occupancy.  An extra twin bed and breakfast seating may be arranged for a third person in any room for a cost of $35/night.
  • We require a two-night minimum stay on weekends and a three-night minimum stay on some holiday weekends.
  • Rates do not include applicable state and local taxes (which are subject to change).
  • Rooms may be guaranteed with a credit card or an advance deposit equal to the first night’s stay by check. 
  • If you cancel less than 14 days before your arrival, your first night’s room charge plus applicable taxes is nonrefundable.  Upon arrival, you are responsible for the full balance of your confirmed stay.  If you cancel your reservation less than 24 hours in advance, or do not arrive for your reservation as scheduled, or depart early, you will be charged for the entire stay.
  • We gladly accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover cards.
  • Check-in hours are between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM.  We are a small inn, so if you expect to arrive late, please let us know in advance so we can make arrangements to greet you when you arrive.
  • Check-out is no later than 11:00 AM on the day of your departure.
  • Laurel Lodge can accommodate well-behaved children over the age of 10 with adult supervision.
  • Regrettably, no pets are allowed.
  • Due to insurance and fire code restrictions, candles are not allowed in our guest rooms. 
  • The Lodge offers a smoke-free environment for the enjoyment of our guests.  There is no smoking allowed anywhere on the property.  Those violating this policy are subject to a $100 cleaning fee and may be asked to leave early.
For government employees traveling on official business, we offer per diem rates, with the following restrictions
  • Weekdays only
  • One guest per room
  • Breakfast is offered at an additional charge

About Us

Proprietors Chris Craig and Ed Wheeless purchased Laurel Lodge in 2001 while living in Washington, DC. They began extensive restoration of the house and gardens a few years later and became full-time West Virginians in 2005.  Continuing in the tradition of the Shugart family who originally built Laurel Lodge, Chris and Ed are eager to welcome visitors to their home in Harpers Ferry. 

  • Chris Craig, Innkeeper, is a native Kansan and former school teacher. When not hosting and introducing guests to his favorite places, Chris enjoys music, bicycle touring, reading and the outdoors.
  • Ed Wheeless, a native of North Carolina, has had extensive training and experience in the culinary arts.  He continues his day job developing software for the government.

If Walls Could Talk

It was the beautiful stone construction and the spectacular view that first attracted Ed and Chris to Laurel Lodge. As they investigated the house further, they found artifacts imbedded in its walls and curious inscriptions in its porches and walkways. This was the beginning of their exploration of Laurel Lodge’s early history and its colorful owners.


The HGTV program “If Walls Could Talk,” which features lore and intrigue of historic homes, contacted Ed and Chris about sharing their discoveries and some of the home’s history.

During renovations at the Lodge, Ed and Chris discovered a business card under the floor boards that provided a crucial link to the original owners of the house and its curious past.  The card, from proprietor Mrs. Frank E. Shugart, advertised rooms and meals at Laurel Lodge. 


Not long after, Ed and Chris received an unexpected call from Frank Shugart, Jr, the son of Mrs. Frank E. Shugart.  Over time, Frank Jr. and his sister Margaret generously shared family lore about their grandparents, Eugene and Maggie Shugart, who built Laurel Lodge.

Rogers, Chris, Ed and
Frank Jr. review Shugart family photos

Ed & Frank Jr. at Shugart family plot

Eugene and Maggie

Ed & Chris filming for HGTV

Eugene, a seven-term mayor of Harpers Ferry, constructed Laurel Lodge in 1914 using stone from the powder magazine of the Harpers Ferry Federal Armory, which had been in ruins since the Civil War.  The house became a popular stop for visitors to the town, for imbedded in the walls are Civil War-era bullets, guns, bayonets and epaulettes arranged in fanciful designs.  In the stone pillars are bottles, keys plates, jugs, coins, spoons and war relics of all sorts collected by Eugene.  He was described in newspaper accounts as a "faddist for collecting." 

C&O Canal Chain

Hilltop House Fire Relics


Sidewalk Inscription


Iron chains that stretch between the porch columns are reputed to be from the lock gates of the now defunct C&O Canal.  Printed in the sidewalks and steps are such inscriptions as "Don't Worry - Grunt", "What a Pity Bryan Had To Worry" and "Please Don't Worry." After Eugene's death in 1919, Maggie took advantage of the notoriety of the Lodge by opening a boarding house that served dinners to tourists on weekends.  This business was continued by her daughter-in-law, Anne Wise Shugart (aka Mrs. Frank E. Shugart) into the early 1960s. Ed and Chris are proud to continue this legacy of hospitality at Laurel Lodge.

Mr. Eugene Shugart
Mrs. Maggie Shugart


HGTV spent a full day filming at Laurel Lodge in December 2007.  Ed and Chris were delighted to have the company of Frank Shugart, Jr, his nephew Rogers, and his son-in-law Gary here to share in the excitement.