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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Abbeville in Abbeville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Belmont Inn (1903)

 
 
Belmont Inn (1903) Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 16, 2003
1. Belmont Inn (1903) Marker
Inscription.
Opened August 1903 as $30,000 hotel "The Eureka" under management W.T. McFall. Built to cater to "drummers" of the textile trade with 30 rooms and 1 public bath. Banquet rooms used to show their wares while Curtain Call Lounge was a barber shop. Touring theatre companies performing at Opera House also stayed there during railway stopovers in Abbeville. Closed in early 1970s but restored and reopened in 1984 as "Belmont Inn" full service hotel with 25 rooms.

 
Erected by Abbeville Historic Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina, Abbeville County Historical Society/Commission, and the South Carolina, Abbeville Historical Sites Tour marker series.
 
Location. 34° 10.637′ N, 82° 22.696′ W. Marker is in Abbeville, South Carolina, in Abbeville County. Marker is on East Pickens Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 104 East Pickens Street, Abbeville SC 29620, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abbeville Opera House (1908) (a few steps from this marker); Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina (a few steps from this marker); Abbeville County Courthouse (1908)
National Register of Historic Places Medallion image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
2. National Register of Historic Places Medallion
Listed in the National Register September 14, 1972.
(a few steps from this marker); Abbeville County Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Operation Desert Shield / Storm Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Humane Society Alliance Fountain (1912) (within shouting distance of this marker); The Law Offices of John C. Calhoun (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Bank Building (ca. 1865) (within shouting distance of this marker); Abbeville County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); "Big Bob" (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Abbeville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Welcome to The Belmont Inn. Official website of this historic Victorian country inn located on the square in Abbeville, SC. (Submitted on April 16, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

2. Abbeville's "Heart" Turns 100. See page four of the publication. (Submitted on August 5, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Abbeville Historic District. The Abbeville Historic District is comprised
The Belmont Inn and Marker (Far Right) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, March 29, 2008
3. The Belmont Inn and Marker (Far Right)
of a large portion of the city of Abbeville, the county seat of Abbeville County, South Carolina. Of the 528 properties in the district, 319 contribute to its historical character. (Submitted on December 27, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Belmont Inn (youtube.com). An historic Victorian inn listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Belmont Inn offers 25 exquisitely decorated guest rooms with all the amenities of home. (Submitted on November 10, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Belmont Inn: ETV Roadshow. Opened August 1903 as $30,000 hotel 'The Eureka" under management W.T. McFall. (Submitted on September 14, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. The Opening of the Eureka
Abbeville Press & Banner
August 26, 1903

The formal opening of the Eureka, under the management of that prince of hotel men, Mr. W.T. McFall, an event that had been looked forward to with no little interest by our people, was signalized by a sumptuous dinner on last Wednesday evening, at which were the Board of Directors and their wives, besides a number of invited guests.

Dinner was served at 7 p.m., consisting of quite a number of courses and embracing so
The Belmont Inn and Marker (Far Right) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 16, 2003
4. The Belmont Inn and Marker (Far Right)
many substantial and dainty dishes and exhilarating potions as put it beyond the power of anyone short of an expert in such maters to describe, and therefore we are forced to forego the undertaking – suffice it to say, however, that in our opinion it could not have failed to satisfy the taste and cravings of the most pronounced epicure.

The beautiful parlor and spacious dining room fairly ablaze with scores of incandescent lights, and with every nook and corner filled with lovely begonias, palms, ferns, and various potted flowers, presented within themselves, truly, an enchanting scene; but when to this was added the presence of quite a number of Abbeville’s loveliest ladies, the combination far surpassed out descriptive powers.

The Eureka differs altogether from the ordinary style of hotel buildings. It is of Spanish architecture, and with its broad and extended verandas, its wide spreading roof, reaching some six or eight feet beyond the outer walls of the building, makes it highly suggestive of restfulness, ease and comfort.

The interior is most fittingly arranged, having large airy rooms handsomely furnished, and with a number of bath rooms and other modern conveniences on each floor.

Along with the other numerous attractions at the Eureka, is “The Eureka News and Cigar Stand,” in the hands of Mr. Thomas H. Cobb, who will
Belmont Inn (1903) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 10, 2010
5. Belmont Inn (1903)
supply you with cigars, cigarettes, tobacco, and books of the highest grades at the lowest prices.

Cooks: First Cook, A.R. Rook; Second Cook: Robert Jackson
Waiters: James Thomas (Head Waiter), Jos. Wright, Richard Gantt
Bell Boys: John Griffin, Luther Davis
    — Submitted September 12, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. A Brief History of the Belmont Inn
"A modern hotel will do as much toward the building up of our city as any enterprise established in the last few years. Abbeville neither sleeps nor slumbers when the question of pushing forward is considered." These words were quoted by the editor of the Abbeville Press and Banner concerning the building of a "new and modern hotel" in June 1902. This conception by Mr. P. Rosenberg became reality in October when construction began and on August 19, 1903, Abbeville had a "thirty thousand dollar hotel" know as the Eureka. During the days of vaudeville and the great road show, companies traveled between New York and Miami stayed at the Eureka, Abbeville being a mid-point stop. The need fir a suitable place of performance for these companies was soon apparent and on October 1, 1908, the "Grand Opera House" opened its door to the public. The Eureka operated for many years serving the railroad,
Eureka Hotel image. Click for full size.
Abbeville County by the Abbeville County Historical Society, circa 1910
6. Eureka Hotel
textile industries and quests of the Opera House.

In 1972, the hotel was closed and stood defunct until 1983 when Mr. and Mrs. Joseph C. Harden purchased it. In December 1983, restoration began and the grand opening of the Belmont Inn was held on November 23, 1984.

Originally, this historic beauty of Spanish architecture was comprised of thirty-four quest rooms, several public rest rooms with baths which were used by all occupants, an elegant dining room, beautiful parlors, shops and a sample room for traveling salesmen to display their wares to the local merchants. The 1983 renovation transcended the hotel into a twenty-five room inn with private baths and all modern conveniences. The inn has retained its original appearance from the slate room to the antique reproductions in furnishings. Hand-crafted armories are used in each guestroom instead of closets in keeping with the style of the turn of the century.

In June of 1996, the present owners, Alan and Audrey Peterson purchased the Belmont and began remodeling. On July 10, 1996 the Belmont Inn reopened and the owners have committed themselves to restoring the inn to its former grandeur.

As history goes, we will still serve the textile industry, opera house patrons and guests, as well as many people who tour the Great Historic City of Abbeville. (Source: Flyer from the Visitor's Center.)
Post Card Showing the Old Eureka Hotel image. Click for full size.
Historic Postcard, circa 1910
7. Post Card Showing the Old Eureka Hotel
    — Submitted November 15, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. Eureka Hotel
Two-story, brick hotel with full basement. The hotel is built on an L-shaped plan with a combination hip and gable roof of slate. A shed roof porch, supported by brick pillars with a marble floor, extends across crook of ell. A recessed balcony is located on the facade. Windows have six-over-one lights and are either paired or single. First story windows have segmental arches. Two shops in the basement have wide)segmentally arched storefronts facing East Pickens Street. The east elevation contains a large, semicircular arched carriage entrance. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted November 10, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

4. The Belmont Inn: Not All Guests Check Out by 11 a.m.
The Belmont inn is located across the street from the Abbeville Opera House and is White [which haunts the opera house]. It opened in 1903 as the Eureka and served as an overnight rest stop for railroad passengers and for actors playing at the Opera House. The Belmont in is on the National register of Historic Places. It is also one of the most haunted hotels in inland South Carolina. at least two ghosts
Historic Postcard<br>Eureka Hotel image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
8. Historic Postcard
Eureka Hotel
have been seen in the building and several other odd events have been reported to the owners.

One of the ghosts is known as Abraham and has been seen on the ground floor, though never for long. In fact, Alan Peterson, one of the current owners, says that Abraham mainly appears as a flicker of motion in the corner of the eye. The other ghost, a Scotsman, has been seen on the main stairs. How it was determined that the ghost is a Scot still puzzles me, but I will take the witnesses at their word. Many guests in different rooms have reported hearing knocks on their doors at odd hours, only to fund no one there and no sign of anyone having passed by recently. Mr. Peterson told me that some minor poltergeist activity has been reported over the years. This activity is limited to staff members having small objects moved or misplaced and the occasional glass being broken while untouched by human hands. (Source: Ghosts of the South Carolina Midlands by Tally Johnson (2007), pgs 18-19.)
    — Submitted November 10, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. 20th CenturyArts, Letters, MusicIndustry & CommerceNotable Buildings
 
Belmont Inn (1903) - Southwest Side image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 23, 2008
9. Belmont Inn (1903) - Southwest Side
Belmont Inn Front Porch image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
10. Belmont Inn Front Porch
Belmont Inn (1903) - Bird Bath - Southwest Side image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 23, 2008
11. Belmont Inn (1903) - Bird Bath - Southwest Side
Two days before Christmas, the upstate of South Carolina was on the end of a cold wave which resulted in frozen baths such as this one.
Belmont Inn - Front Porch Arches image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
12. Belmont Inn - Front Porch Arches
Abbeville Court Square from the Belmont Inn image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 23, 2008
13. Abbeville Court Square from the Belmont Inn
 
 
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