Historic Federal-Style Building Once Hosted US Presidents
In 1824, Rogersville resident John McKinney built McKinney's Tavern to serve as a coach house for politicians passing through town on the route from Atlanta to Washington, DC. The tavern grew to become Hale Springs Inn, attracting several famous political figures to its Federal-style building, including presidents Andrew Johnson, James Polk, and Andrew Jackson, who gave a speech from the inn’s balcony. The inn eventually became Tennessee’s oldest continually running inn before closing in 1998. After a $2.1 million renovation in 2009, the Hale Springs Inn was restored to its 19th-century opulence.
Each of the inn's elegant guest rooms is outfitted with hardwood floors and period furnishings, some of which were donated by Rogersville natives. Named for the town's early historian, the James Wood Rogan room features an ornate oriental rug and a bed and dresser made in the 1800s. Two queen four-poster beds, button-back chairs, and a decorative fireplace furnish the Winfield B. "Hap" Hale III room.
In the morning, chefs treat guests to a complimentary hot breakfast. Dishes have included french toast, quiche, and biscuits and gravy. There are also gourmet lunch and dinner entrees with a Southern twist, incorporating produce from local farms.
Hale Springs Inn was named after the local healing mineral springs, and the inn's spa creates a similarly soothing atmosphere with its lavender walls and flickering candles. Call ahead to schedule spa or in-room treatments, which range from all-natural facials to multimodal signature massages with licenses massage therapists.
Rogersville, Tennessee: Historic Town Square and Picturesque Countryside
Located in Tennessee's northeast corner, about a 70-mile drive north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the town of Rogersville was settled in the late 1780s. Davy Crockett’s grandparents settled here around the same time, and are now buried near the site of their first home in present-day Crockett Spring Park.
Rogersville’s town square has preserved the look of its earlier incarnations, as it’s lined with 200-year-old Federal-style buildings with museums, art galleries, and restaurants inside. The Knoxville Gazette was first published here in 1791, which is celebrated by the Tennessee Newspaper & Printing Museum. Located inside an 1890s railroad depot, the museum houses a replica of the first Knoxville Gazette, a linotype machine, and the equipment from three print shops.