Located across the street from the courthouse, the Saluda Hotel operated from 1855-1937 and provided county visitors with lodging and meals. This brick, three-story structure had four chimneys, a wide veranda porch across the front of the building, and grounds in the back with croquet and tennis in the summer. Case witnesses, both for the defense and prosecution, as well as trial lawyers, stayed at the Saluda Hotel during their case hearings. Traveling salesmen and sports fishermen also stayed there according to historic records. Lodgings there provided 3 meals a day and featured farm to table cuisine utilizing local fruits and vegetables and fish and oysters.
The hotel was built by Thomas W. Fauntleroy in 1855. He lived on Oakenham Plantation there in Saluda which he had built in 1837. After his death, Addison Hervey Ward and his wife Eudora Catherine Roane Ward bought Oakenham and the Saluda Hotel in 1884.
They later sold the hotel to a succession of owners, but during much of the 1920s and 30s, their daughter, Mrs. Lena Ward Blakey operated the hotel. Her granddaughter Patricia lived with her there and recorded many memories of this time when she was an adult. Pat’s daughter, Jean, donated a hotel register to the museum this month. It will join photographs, keys and service ware from the hotel already in our permanent collection. All will go on display in a newly created Saluda Historic District section of the museum.