Sometime during the first decades of the 20th century, this rubble-style building was constructed overlooking the Shenandoah River just south of what is now called the “Narrow Passage.”
The early history of this site is not well known. Some accounts indicate that a general store operated here in the 1870s. This would have been a part of the Willow Grove community, which once featured several stores, a train station, and two hotels. Today almost the entire community has disappeared.
When the current structure was built, the owners of the property must have seen a need for a new rest stop and nightlife attraction along Route 11. They built this structure, complete with hotel rooms, restaurant, bar, and dance floor. The attraction that opened was named Dorothy’s Inn. Over the years, it developed a reputation for where people could enjoy its food, its alcohol, and where local men could find a “good broad.”
When traffic patterns relocated with the addition of Interstate 81 in the 1960s, the inn's decline in business lead to its closing. Eventually, the Narrow Passage Inn opened in the building and operated through the 1980s. It was reported to have the largest bar in Shenandoah County, an indication the building continued to be a social center.
Since the inn closed, the building has sat mostly vacant, despite several attempts to locate businesses, restaurants, and hotels in the structure.