A Guide to the Virginia Ball Invitations, 1870-1871 Virginia Ball Invitations Ms2009-103

A Guide to the Virginia Ball Invitations, 1870-1871

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2009-103


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2009 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Lora Settle Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Virginia Ball Invitations, 1870-1871
Physical Characteristics
1 folder; 0.1 cu. ft.
The three invitations represent events at the Montgomery White Sulphur Springs, Yellow Sulphur Springs, and the Hancock House resorts.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Virginia Ball Invitations must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Virginia Ball Invitations, Ms2009-103, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Virginia Ball Invitations were donated to Special Collections in 2004.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Virginia Ball Invitations commenced and was completed in July 2009.

Historical Information

The Montgomery White Sulphur Springs resort–located near Blacksburg, Virginia–was incorporated in 1855 and construction began soon after. This resort, like several others in Virginia and West Virginia, was a popular getaway for visitors to benefit from the supposed healing powers of the mineral spring water. While the White Sulphur Springs resort in West Virginia had the reputation of being the best of these resorts, the Montgomery White, as well as many other similar resorts in Virginia, offered other alternatives. Beginning in 1862, the Montgomery White served as a Confederate hospital. After the war, the Montgomery White was restored and reopened, hosting such important historical events as the Southern Historical Society's first meeting, at which Jefferson Davis was in attendance. Economic hardships at the end of the 19 th century caused the closure of the Montgomery White; in 1904, all remaining buildings were razed.

Around 1810, the Yellow Sulphur Springs resort was built by Charles Taylor between Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia, and by the 1850s, it was a popular resort that was constantly expanding. Like other resorts built to take advantage of the healing powers of the mineral water, this hotel had several structures, including a grand hotel, guest cottages, and a gazebo under which guests could drink the restorative waters. Today, the Yellow Sulphur Springs Resort still stands with many of the original buildings intact, making it the only surviving resort in Southwest Virginia from the ante-bellum period.

While various resorts and inns in the United States claim the name of Hancock House, the particular institution to which the ball invitation refers cannot be determined.

For more information on Montgomery White Sulphur Springs and Yellow Sulpher Springs, see: Reniers, Perceval. The Springs of Virginia; Life, Love and Death at the Waters, 1775-1900. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1941. Rare Book Collection: Spec Large F226 .R4 c.4 or Spec Civil War F226 .R4 c.5

Scope and Content

The ball invitations in this collection represent events at the Montgomery White Sulphur Springs resort, the Yellow Sulphur Springs resort, and the Hancock House. The invitations feature the type of ball, the date of the ball, and the names of the floor managers and/or committee of invitation. While resorts like the Montgomery White Sulphur Springs and Yellow Sulphur Springs were well-known for the healing powers that the mineral water supposedly contained, they were also popular vacation destinations.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Related Material

Montgomery White Sulphur Springs Guest Book, Ms2003-007. Finding aid available on the Virginia Heritage database. The Guest Book is also available as a PDF on the Special Collections website.

A brief history of the Yellow Sulphur Springs resort is available on the University Archives website.

Separated Material

Index Terms


  • Blacksburg (Va.)
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Montgomery County (Va.)

Contents List

Folder 1
Invitations, 1870-1871.