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In the process of being built by Thomas Carter on the corner of Second and Main Streets and was almost completed at the time the old Carter House on Front Street (where the Vanceburg Christian Church is now located) burned down. The three-story building was built of brick, adorned with Italian marble, and had wrought-iron balconies on the Main and Second Street sides. As of 1905 the hotel contained 43 furnished guest rooms and served meals in a dining room well known for its high quality. Thomas Carter’s nephew Jack Carter took charge of the Hotel in March 1898 at the age of 37. He kept a well-stocked bar, according to a business listing in “The Sun '' in 1900. The bar was lit with electricity and was stocked with pure Bourbon and rye whiskeys. Sohl’s Old Gold beer was kept on tap and the Anheuser-Busch and BlueGrass bottled beer were sold. The hotel became known as one of the finest hostelries in Eastern Kentucky and was a favorite stopping place for traveling men.
In 1906, local option laws banned saloons in Vanceburg, and this caused difficulties for the economic viability of the Carter House. The Carter House was a well-known landmark for hotel guests for approximately 20 years, but with the changing of alcohol laws, travel patterns, and cost of labor, it became unprofitable. In 1919 the hotel was run as a rooming house by John Austin, for employees working on the first set of locks and dams on the Ohio River just below Vanceburg. In 1920 flames greatly damaged the third floor of the Carter House. The property was purchased by Max Block, who removed the upper story, renovated and built an apartment on the top floor, and opened a department store on the first floor. It eventually came into the hands of his son and daughter-in-law, Celia, and David Timmer. Upon the closing of the department store, the upstairs of the building later became the home of Stanley and Bertram, attorney at law. The first floor housed Cabinet for Health and Family Services until they moved into their new building next to Dollar Store on the AA HWY
The Carter House was purchased by Shirley and Cary Cagle, who turned it into the current Event Center. They also have a Friday night Steak Night with steaks grilled by Shirley’s brother, Kenny Claxon, well known in the region from his former Kenny’s Restaurant on Second Street. The Cagle’s vision is to recreate the elegance and reputation of the first Carter House
- Lewis County History by Dr. Wm. M. Talley