The Pine Forest Inn is a lost treasure in Summerville. It sat on sixty acres and welcomed its first guests in 1891. The internationally renowned hotel had four floors, elevators, and 150 sleeping apartments. They hosted several famous guests, including U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.
The Pine Forest Inn was very modern for its day: Having its own power plant, telegraph office and long-distance telephone service. The Inn also had three water supplies: An artesian well for mineral water, spring water and a charcoal purifying cistern.
The weekly rate in the 1934-35 season was $49 for a single room with a private bath and $168 for a double, which included meals. The Inn had a glassed-in rocking chair porch with 150 rockers and a dining room that was larger than the 1600 square foot dining room inside the White House.
The amenities could rival some of today’s resorts. They included bowling alleys, shuffleboard, billiards, a swimming pool, an 18-hole golf course that sat on 130 acres (today’s Corey Woods) hunting, fishing, tennis, croquet and a 50-horse stable.
By the mid-1930s the Pine Forest Inn’s popularity was waning, and it closed. In 1939 T.W. Salisbury reopened it. During WW ll it housed officers and defense workers. After the war, the Inn was transformed into the Adventure School. It did not last long and graduated only one class.
As it sat vacant for an extended period of time, Mr. Salisbury feared a fire might occur at the old Inn and had it demolished. He was very conscious of preservation and removed as much of the interior as possible. Today many Summerville homes have mantelpieces from the Inn.
President Circle, a residential community, occupies the original site of the Inn. The only remaining part of the Inn that can be seen is the entrance gates. There are lots of photos and an excellent blog by Vacation Rick about what it was like to visit the Pine Forest Inn in its heyday.
Check out some other Summerville History Blogs here.