History Nestled in the NC Sandhills

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Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Location
central NC
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The Holly Inn in Pinehurst, NC
This story begins in 1895, when Boston Philanthropist James Walker Tufts purchased 5,800 acres of ravaged timberland in the Sandhills region of central North Carolina. This land, which cost Tufts about $1 per acre, was a barren, sandy wasteland. Nothing remained but a pasture.

Locals labeled Tufts a fool for his purchase, but he was confident in his idea for a health retreat – far away from the cares of the world. He created his Pinehurst resort as a place for middle-class Americans to recuperate from the ailments of the time. Most believed those suffering from the respiratory illnesses as a result of the Industrial Revolution could be cured by the “pine ozone” only found in the region.

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By the first year, Tufts had directed completion of a general store, dairy farm, boarding house, more than 20 cottages and the Holly Inn, which opened December 31, 1895.

Recreation and gracious accommodations were premier features of Tufts’ health resort. Riding, hunting, polo, lawn bowling, bicycling and archery were popular in Pinehurst’s early days. Tennis was one of the first planned recreational activities at Pinehurst, with two courts on the original blueprints for the Holly Inn lawns.

Three years later, golf arrived. According to history, some hotel guests introduced the game in the cattle pastures, hitting little white balls that disturbed the herd. Tufts then hired Dr. D. Leroy Culver of New York to design and build a golf course in Pinehurst, and in February of 1898 a rudimentary nine-hole course was constructed.

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The Carolina Hotel​

The Carolina Hotel, now the centerpiece of the Pinehurst resort community, was built and hosted its first guests in 1901, six years after the Holly Inn opened its doors.

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The Holly Inn and the Carolina Hotel continue to thrive today. Golfers, spa lovers, shoppers and folks just looking to escape the day to day grind flock to the North Carolina Sandhills to sit on the porches, sip the cocktails and enjoy Southern hospitality at its finest.

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Yep. That's me enjoying a rocking chair on the front porch.

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Carolina Hotel Formal Dining Room

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All photos are courtesy of my hubby, @Southern Unionist .
 
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Eleanor Rose

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Location
central NC
It really is a great spot @ucvrelics . It's like an oasis in the middle of some fairly sad communities. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, I was working in some of the area schools - Lumberton, Maxton and Fayetteville. Some of the situations I have encountered have been heartbreaking. The Pinehurst and Southern Pines area is extremely nice. I would enjoy spending a weekend at the Carolina Hotel for sure.
 

ucvrelics

Major
Forum Host
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
The
It really is a great spot @ucvrelics . It's like an oasis in the middle of some fairly sad communities. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, I was working in some of the area schools - Lumberton, Maxton and Fayetteville. Some of the situations I have encountered have been heartbreaking. The Pinehurst and Southern Pines area is extremely nice. I would enjoy spending a weekend at the Carolina Hotel for sure.
only problem is there is more golf courses then time. We spent 12 days and played all the Pinehurst courses and a few of the out lying but could not get to them all. So I guess another trip may be in order.
 
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Rhea Cole

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
We had a family reunion there. It was a great place to stay. However, as a non-golfer, I endured an endless stream of anecdotes on that subject. In the car on the way home, I thanked the heavens to be free of golf talk at last. From the backseat, one of my granddaughters replied, "Ha! Now you how some people feel when you get around your Civil War friends." Guilty as charged.
 
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