• A visit to Union 2013. If you grew up in Union, West Virginia and you have not been able to return to Monroe County recently, chances are you will enjoy a little tour of Union and the area.

    View a Picture Tour of Union & Monroe County.


The Beckett’s “Sunny Side Tourist Home”

Jim Beckett and his mother Leona Beckett, July 1989


The Sunny Side Tourist Home in Pickaway, WV


Today there are no hotels or motels in Monroe County, but for the many years a stately farm house on the west side of US 219,  just south of Pickaway once took in weary visitors from near and far starting almost 70 years ago.  An article in the Mountain Messenger back in 1985 stated “The home is representative of the many tourist homes that once dotted the countryside but have gradually diminished in number. It is a link to the past, a place where time is less hurried, where the traveler is treated like family.”

Leona Beckett and her husband Ray decided to open the Tourist Home after their children were grown and gone and the house had been remodeled.  Mr. Beckett died just a year later, in 1952, but Mrs. Beckett decided to continue to operate the tourist home with the help of Almina Dunbar, who came to stay with the Becketts for two weeks in 1947 and stayed for almost half a century.

Mrs. Beckett did not advertise; the news of her excellent service spread by word of mouth.  The Tourist Home’s eleven rooms were often busy, with full houses during events like the State Fair and weddings involving an out-of-county bride or groom.  During one Fair time they had 23 people occupying their 11 rooms.  In addition to renting rooms, for years they offered meals, and also hosted dinners for local groups.

It has been years since Mrs. Beckett’s passing, but still today its friendliness, hospitality and slower paced lifestyle set Monroe County apart from the outside world.

One wonders if in the age of “Airbnb” and short term, one night to one week rentals, there are people in the county who would enjoy the company of taking visitors in for a night or two….. and the income that would come along with it.  You can be sure lots of people would enjoy spending a mini-vacation in beautiful Monroe County.

The Beckett House has passed down thru the generations and is now owned by Dale Beckett who now resides there. He is the son of Jim and Maxine Beckett.

Information on the article by Doris Ann Taylor

Photos by Virginia Campbell

Article taken from The Monroe Watchman