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High Gate

"Marry and Bury"

Highgate Carriage House was built in 1908 by businessman and coal baron, James Edwin Watson, as part of the Watson family estate named High Gate (Yes, two words, "High Gate," refers to the entire estate, and the one word, "Highgate," refers to the wedding venue, except when referring to the contracting entity of the venue owned by RCG events, in which case the venue is "The Carriage House at High Gate." Yes, it's silly. Yes, Jess and Nick had a debate about it. Yes, Nick referenced the National Archives Catalog, the common usage, and the venue contract to settle the difference. Also, and finally, yes, the venue contract leaves it unclear whether we've contracted with RCG Events, a business registered with the West Virginia Secretary of State, or "The Carriage House at High Gate," which is not a legal entity of any kind to the best of our knowledge.)


Anyway! Watson was the founder of the Consolidation Coal Company, and hired Horace Trumbauer, architect for The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, to design High Gate. High Gate's stable and the adjacent mansion remain fine examples of Tudor revival architecture with half-timbering, stucco wall cladding and clay-tiled-roofs—an academic style based upon late Medieval English prototypes that was common among suburban domestic architecture in the United States in the early-20th-Century.

When James E. Watson died in 1926, High Gate was purchased by the Sisters of St. Joseph who used the mansion as a rest home and kindergarten for local Fairmont children.

Friends of High Gate, a non-profit organization, was formed in 1989 by a group of concerned individuals striving to save the Carriage House and Gardens of High Gate from the purchase of a fast-food franchise with plans to demolish the structure to make way for a drive-in restaurant.