The Morris Harvey House is a bed and breakfast owned and run by Bernie J. Kania Jr. and his family. Bernie grew up in Oak Hill, then moved to Virginia Beach where he lived and worked for 30 years, and has now returned to the area because of it's beauty and the small town life and community in Fayetteville.
The beautiful three story, Queen Anne style home was built in 1902. The Morris Harvey House is located in historic downtown Fayetteville. It is on the Register of Historic Places with the Department of the Interior, and has appeared in numerous magazine and newpaper articles and even the book, Historic Inns of West Virginia. The original owner, Morris Harvey had the home built for himself and his wife, Rosa. Morris Harvey was born in 1821. He was a Confederate Veteran, a banker, chruchman, sheriff of Fayette County, and president of the Continental Divide Gold and Silver Company. He owned quite a bit of property in and near the New River Gorge and made his fortune when he sold land for the railroad to be built. Morris was considered one of the county's most outstanding citizens. He and Rosa enjoyed a long happy marriage in their home. After the death of Morris Harvey, the house stayed in the Harvey family until 1931. From 1931 to 1953, it served as the parsonage for Methodist ministers.
There is ample parking in the back that is convenient to the back porch and the rear entrance where Bernie often greets his guests. When entering the home through the back door, guests will find the modern kitchen that was added on since the original owners, Morris and Rosa Harvey, had a cook house behind the main house. Bernie now lives in the old cook house where he is close enough to give personal attention to his guests, yet he can slip away and leave visitors to enjoy the peaceful home.
The interior is very tastefully decorated with many period antique pieces. There are seven fireplaces throughout the home with the original Italian tile. Several fireplaces in the living rooms and guests' rooms have had modern gas and electric inserts which add to the home's coziness, while the fireplace in the dining room has been left untouched. The dining room is warm and open with a large oak table to gather around. The two living rooms downstairs are airy and comfortable with a touch of elegance. The more formal living room has windows facing the front gardens and Maple Avenue. There are photographs of Morris and Rosa in this room. The less formal living room is very tasteful and has a lovely window seat looking out to the side gardens. There is a side door leading to the porch which wraps around the side and front of the home. While guests often park and enter through the back door, they also come and go through the front door when walking to the shops and restaurants in town. One can just imagine returning from dinner and spending a relaxing evening on the porch. The shared living areas definitely have a feeling of comfort and relaxation.
There is one guest bedroom downstairs. Rosa's Suite offers a full antique bathroom complete with a clawfoot tub with a shower accessory and an old fashioned water closet - that's a toilet with the tank up high. In the front hall is a settee that was an original piece owned by the Harveys.
There are additional bedrooms on the second floor: the Grand Suite, The Harvey Room, and the Library Room. The Grand Suite has a fireplace and a garden view window seat. Each room is unique with different window views and furnishings, but all are relaxing and elegant. There is a small window in the hall of the second floor that offers a glimpse of the 800 gallon copper cistern that was designed to catch rain water from the roof. This gave the Harvey's the first home in the area with running water.
The third floor is the Loft with it's own full bath, seating area and two bedrooms. The Children's room offers a full and a twin bed and the other room has a queen bed. While there are enough beds for 5 guests, groups of up to eight often stay in the loft.
For breakfast, Bernie might serve made-to-order omlettes paired with granola, fruit, and yogurt parfaits. Another favorite is the pineapple-upsidedown-french toast.
The Morris Harvey House is a great place to spend a few nights while visiting Fayetteville and the New River Gorge area. Bernie offers many unique packages for guests to combine activities. Whether you enjoy rafting, shopping, taking in a play, or exploring local history and culture, a wide variety of dining possiblities, there is something for everyone within walking distance of this centrally located lodging establishment.