Historical Federal-Style Inn Once Hosted US Presidents
In 1824, Rogersville resident John McKinney opened a tavern to accommodate politicians traveling between Atlanta and Washington, DC. Eventually, the tavern grew to become the Hale Springs Inn. Several famous political figures stayed at the handsome Federal-style building, including presidents Andrew Johnson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Jackson, who delivered a speech from the inn’s balcony. By the time it closed in 1998, Hale Springs Inn was the oldest continually running business of its kind in the state of Tennessee. Now, following a $2.1 million renovation and reopening in 2009, the property has been restored to its 19th-century glory.
Each elegant guest room is outfitted with hardwood floors and period furnishings, some of which were donated by Rogersville natives. Named for a prominent early citizen of Rogersville, the cozy James Wood Rogan room features an ornate oriental rug and a floral-print reading chair. Two queen four-poster beds, button-back chairs, and a decorative fireplace fill the more spacious Winfield B. "Hap" Hale III room.
In the morning, executive chef Jimmy Ellis treats guests to a complimentary hot breakfast. Offerings can include french toast, quiche, and biscuits and gravy. Ellis also prepares southern-tinged gourmet lunch and dinner entrees, incorporating produce from local farms.
Hale Springs Inn was named after healing mineral springs located nearby. The inn's onsite spa creates a similarly soothing atmosphere via lavender walls and flickering candles. Call ahead to schedule spa treatments, which range from all-natural facials to multimodal signature massages.
Rogersville, Tennessee: Historic Town Square and Picturesque Countryside
Located in Tennessee's northeast corner—about a 70-mile drive north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park—the town of Rogersville was settled in the late 1780s. Davy Crockett’s grandparents moved here around the same time and are now buried near the site of their first home in present-day Crockett Spring Park.
Rogersville’s historic town square is lined with 200-year-old Federal-style buildings housing museums, art galleries, and restaurants. The Knoxville Gazette was first published here in 1791—an achievement celebrated at the town's Tennessee Newspaper & Printing Museum. Located inside an 1890s railroad depot, the museum displays a replica of the first Knoxville Gazette as well as a linotype machine and the equipment from three print shops.
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