The Traveler’s Inn was one of the oldest and longest-lasting of all of Holly Springs’ lodging places. The Inn went by many names over the decades, including the Schuyler Inn, Lawrence Inn, Schriver House, Tidwell House, Hancock Hotel, the New Elk Hotel and the Traveler’s Inn.
The Traveler’s Inn was first built in about 1868 by James House. The bricks for this original building came from the Magnolia Hotel, a brick hotel that had been built before the Civil War and destroyed during Van Dorn’s Raid in 1862. In the late 1860s and early 1870s the Inn was run by a Mr. Schuyler, and the Inn was called Schuyler House during this period.
In the 1870s the Inn was run by B. G. Lawrence, and the Inn was called Lawrence House. It was during this period that the most famous incident of the Inn’s long history occurred. In late August, 1878, former Mayor A. W. Goodrich left his house on Memphis Street, fleeing from the impending Yellow Fever Epidemic. Goodrich was staying at this hotel on August 31st when he succumbed to the Fever, becoming the first Holly Springs native to die of the Yellow Death. Goodrich was given a large funeral, which would be the last real funeral to occur in Holly Springs until the end of the Fever.
The Inn appears on the first Holly Springs Sanborn Map (1887) as the Waverly Hotel, and consisted of the main building, fronting Memphis Street, and a dining room and kitchen than extended west along Falconer Avenue. By 1893 the Inn was run by Moses Schriver, and was called Schriver House.
In the late 1890s the Inn was known as the Tidwell House and then the Hancock Hotel. At some point in the early 20th century the Inn became known as the New Elk Hotel, which is what it was known as when the only two known pictures of the Inn were taken, between 1900 and 1910. By 1915, the Inn was simply known as “Holly Springs Inn”, and the original kitchen has been reworked. The front portico was also removed.
By the 1920s the Inn was given its final name: the Traveler’s Inn, which is true to a building that stood for sixty years and welcomed many thousands of weary travelers. In the early 1930s, a devastating fire broke out in the Inn, resulting in the death of several visitors. The Inn wasn’t rebuilt, and a service station was built on the site, which still exists today (though modernized).
Throughout the years it was in existence, the Traveler’s Inn saw Holly Springs change in many ways, shown most clearly by its southern neighbor, which started as a livery (horse stables) and eventually became the first automobile dealership in Holly Springs.