Alleghany Springs Hotel
P.O. Address Mint, Tennessee
Some History Page 02
Provisions were made for croquet, tennis, bowling, dancing,
fishing, boating, and driving. A wide two-story veranda extending the
full length of the building and furnished a lovely panorama of the
countryside for the rocking chair brigade, and for the card players.
Daily mail connections were provided which also furnished passenger
service to Maryville. Medical services were furnished by a resident
physician, as was common in resort hotels. Rates were listed as two
dollars per day, five dollars weekly, and forty dollars by the month.
Benches or flat places on the mountainside nearby were used
to raise garden and truck produce for the kitchen in season.
The parlor was on the second floor. It was luxuriously furnished
in golden brown upholstered love seats, divans and chairs. The prisms on
the crystal chandeliers reflected rainbows over the rosewood piano, the
Brussels carpet and the rich brocade drapes. Bedsteads, marble topped
washstands, dressers and tables of walnut were used throughout the
hotel, except for the Bridal Suite, which was furnished in cherry. In
fact, all the appointments of the hotel were of the very best for that
day. The ballroom, on the ground floor could accommodate fifty to one
hundred couples and had ample room for the orchestra and spectator
(there were always a goodly number of outsiders peeking through the
screen from behind the shrubbery.)
In the office, there was a large safe that required seven or
eight yokes of oxen to haul it up the mountain (some say more.) This
safe was used to store valuables, which included several dozen sets of
table silver, a large silver pitcher and dozens of silver goblets, as
well as large serving pieces. The remains of this safe are all that
survived the fire that destroyed the hotel.
The guests had their choice of iron, sulphur or freestone water.
The Yellow Sulphur Spring was beside the drive around the side of the
mountain. The Medical spring was in the ravine to the left of the
hotel. It was also called the Eye or Beauty Spring, because the
small amount of arsenic in the water caused the eyes to become puffy,
which was the signal to stop drinking the water. Soon the old skin
peeled off and left a beautiful new skin (hence beauty). A small sulphur
spring was at the foot of the steps to the hotel. The freestone water
was piped from the mountainside above.
Business was good for several years and guests came from as far
away as Memphis and Arkansas according to the surviving fragments of the
guest register. However the invest did not show enough profit and the
bank called in the loan. Nathan McCoy bowed out of the hotel business
and retired to his grape vineyards, which he had planted nearby, and
conducted a prosperous business in wines until the state revenuers
convinced him that his operation was illegal.
In 1895, the hotel property was in the hands of a receiver
pending sale in Chancery Court. The Bank of Maryville held the property
for a while. The hotel continued operation under various managers, and
built up a large clientele from Knoxville and the surrounding area. When
the Louisville and Nashville Railroad was completed in about this time,
they established Allegheny Station (now Greenback) for the convenience
of people who came by train to Allegheny. Guests were met by the hotel
Hack and taken across country to the hotel. The cabins were
reported full in 1898.
John T. Hanlin and wife of Jay County, Indiana bought the
property and operated the hotel for several seasons, which were not too
profitable. The property was mortgaged to Dr. James Martin, who turned
the property over to Mrs. Lydia Hanlin in 1907.
The hotel continued to open under various managers until 1915. In
the later years reservations were handled by Luther Williams of
Knoxville. Reservations may have been available for groups during the
war years and after, but no information is available concerning this.
The hotel burned December 16, 1932 and in 1933 the County Court
Clerk of Knox County transferred the property to Dr. Joe E. Hall of
Loudon County, and it is now the property of his heirs.
In October, about the time of the Harvest Moon, men on foot with
flour sacks slung over their shoulders and their hounds on leashes began
arriving. They were joined
by others who came by mule, by horse, in buggies and in wagons. Some
came early in the week, but by Thursday or Friday everybody had arrived
and the fun began. A cabin just off the trail up the mountain served as
headquarters, and a well-equipped kitchen served fast food.
The grand finale of the convention was the Square Dance on
Saturday night. Earl Hall, the oldest son of Fox Hunting Bill, who
had called the dances at the hotel for years, directed the dance (his
son Ed was taught the fine points of the dance at an early age on the
Ball room floor at Alleghany, and is now one of the best known callers
in the region). Some of the Jones clan were always present to make
music for the dance. This affair always attracted a large crowd,
which included the families and friends of the Fox Hunters, as well as
When the Hotel burned in 1932 the closing dance was no longer possible. The Fox Hunters continued to meet for a few seasons at Dr. Halls cabin, which was nearer the foot of the mountain, but interest gradually died out, at least for a large organized group, and so closed another chapter of Americana in the midst of the Great Depression.