History of the Jefferson Inn
Southern Pines, North Carolina was founded in the late 1800's by John Tyrant Patrick, following the construction of the railroad through the town's current location. The warm climate and clean air began attracting many Northeasterners to the area. John S. Reynolds and his wife were among those who became enamored with the region. The couple ran a guesthouse known as the Cold Springs House during the summer months in their hometown of Jefferson, New Hampshire. They eventually built a winter home on New Hampshire Avenue in Southern Pines, a half-block from the train station in the center of town.
In 1901, Mr. Reynolds enlarged their winter haven by attaching the Hayes News Depot building, one of the oldest structures in Southern Pines, and opening it to the public as The Jefferson Inn. The Hayes building had been the center for all news and dry goods for the area, and was rolled to its current location on logs. It is now the kitchen for the inn's dining room. Reynolds subsequently acquired the electric shop next door, adding it to the inn, and capped the three structures with a third floor.
Shortly after the turn of the century, the Town of Southern Pines commissioned Donald Ross to design and build a 27-hole golf course, which became known as Southern Pines County Club. The sport quickly became a favorite activity of guests, along with hunting and visiting local orchards.
The Reynolds were known for their holiday tables and the family atmosphere they created at The Jefferson Inn. They scheduled events and gatherings for the guests, many of whom were long-term residents. Their activities included card games, performing musicals, and organizing picnic outings to local lakes. They once even held a children's theme party for adults. Recognized guests of The Jefferson Inn ranged from well-known golfers to accomplished authors, including famous female golfer Babe Zaharias, and Elise Lathrop, who wrote "Early Taverns & Inns in America."
The restaurant at The Jefferson Inn was renowned locally throughout the twentieth century, and spawned several outstanding chefs. The inn's courtyard has been a gathering place for locals and guests, and the setting for a variety of live music events, weddings, and other occasions over the years. The front porch was another popular local meeting spot. Thankfully, these traditions are as much alive today as they were in the past.
Until The Jefferson Inn closed for its 2006 renovation, it had been the oldest continually operating hotel in Southern Pines – possibly even in the Southern Pines, Pinehurst, and Aberdeen area. The current owner, who purchased the inn in late 2005, completed the historic restoration in early 2007. While the ambiance of the 100+ year-old inn, restaurant and tavern was maintained, the size of the guestrooms and suites was dramatically increased, and the accommodations were upgraded to combine the elegance and charm of the storied institution with the comforts and amenities of a fine boutique hotel. This will allow The Jefferson Inn to deliver an experience that no other in the region can boast – Today's Luxury with Yesterday's Charm.