White Sulphur Springs grew in the first half of the nineteenth century as the southern "Queen of the Watering Places". The springs resort first became the standard summer destination for wealthy Virginia Low Country residents seeking reprieve from heat, humidity, and disease of the "sickly season". As its popularity increased and it gained status as a socially exclusive site, the springs attracted elite guests from all areas of the South.
The resort, now known as The Greenbrier, remains one of the country's most luxurious and exclusive resorts. For many years, Sam Snead was the resort's golf pro. The resort has another significant place in golf history; in 1979, it hosted the first Ryder Cup to feature the current competitive setup of the United States and European sides. Golf in the United States began near White Sulphur Springs when the Montague family founded Oakhurst Links in 1884, making it the oldest organized golf club in the country.
In 1992 the Washington Post reported that, during the Cold War, the resort had been the site of a "bunker", the Emergency Relocation Center, which was intended to house and protect the U.S. Congress in the event of a nuclear attack.