The Biggs House was known far and wide as Portsmouth's premier hotel from the 1870s through 1890s. Located at the foot of Market on the river front, directly above the steamboat landing, the Biggs was popular with travelers and businessmen.
After a major fire destroyed the original hotel, along with what is remembered as the Massie Block, William Biggs, the owner and proprietor rebuilt his hotel in 1872. The original Biggs House dated to before the Civil War, when Biggs, a resident of Greenup County, Kentucky, owned numerous slaves.
The "New Biggs House" included a barbershop and other small boutiques and business offices, including that of the Western Union and Scioto Valley Telegraph companies. Steamboat and railroad ticket offices, a bar, and a "gentleman's reading room," provided all of the services expected in a big city hotel.