The Lake Drummond Hotel, also infamously known as the "Halfway House," was built along the Dismal Swamp Canal (right on the Virginia/North Carolina line) in 1829. Its nickname came from the fact that half of the hotel was in Virginia and half was in North Carolina, and it was this curious geographical characteristic that turned it into a magnet for trouble. Duels took place there, and a criminal element was drawn to the place because one merely needed to walk to the other end of the hotel to cross the state line and avoid the law. Adding to this dark mystique, there are claims that Edgar Allen Poe wrote "The Raven" while staying here.
The demise of the Lake Drummond Hotel is as sketchy and uncertain as its guests. The proprietors of the hotel were in financial trouble early into the venture, and it appears the hotel had fallen into disuse by the 1850s. A border survey in the 1880s shifted the Virginia/North Carolina border, placing the location of the hotel completely within Virginia. The drawing above is the only thing we have to show us what it looked like, as there were never any known photographs taken of the building. There was at least one photograph taken of a Lake Drummond Hotel located at the end of the Jericho Ditch in Suffolk, but this is not the same establishment. No trace of the hotel remains today.