July 23, 2014 - 05:51
White Cliffs Hotel
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From Polk County News, 9/13/34 Famous Monroe County Hotel Is Now No More People from All Over South Visited the “Saratoga of the South” in the Good Old Days.

Famous old White Cliff Springs Hotel, located 2,500 feet above sea level at one of Monroe County’s beauty spots, is being torn down by the owner, Harry Burn.

Tearing away of the old buildings brings to the minds of the old settlers pleasant memories of the time when the place was known as “the Saratoga of the South.” People from all over the United States were guests at this hotel.

Doors, columns, stairways and banisters for the old hotel are hardwood and fashioned by hand. These will probably be used in building a residence. Lumber for the hotel was cut from nearby timber and sawed by hand.

In the days when the hotel was patronized a narrow trail led from the foot of Starr’s mountain, three miles to the hotel, near which were several springs of different kinds.

In 1860 a company of Englewood businessmen headed by Joseph Peck built the hotel at White Cliff. Ten years later the building caught on fire when a girl overturned a candle into some cotton batting.

May 1st 1871, the building, which is now being torn away, was opened. Harvey M. Magill of Niota was the owner. Mr. Magill was manager of the hotel for 25 years.

An old register of the hotel reveals the fact that at one time guests from 31 states had visited there. Many times the pages of this book show from 500-1,000 registered.

Among the famous persons who were visitors at the hotel was Judge Walker, of the supreme court of Texas, who had standing reservations for two rooms. Each year he spent the summer at White Cliff.

Located a quarter mile from the hotel is White Cliff, from which the hotel took its name. Although thousands have climbed the mountain to view the country from this cliff, only one tragedy is known to have occurred there. One day in August1896, a Mr. Reynolds, whose father was at the head of the First National bank of Atlanta, climbed with his sweetheart to the edge of the cliff. The young lady dropped her handkerchief, and in his attempt to pick it up, young Reynolds lost his balance and crashed to and instant death on the rocks in the valley below. On the day of the tragedy the hotel registered 500 guests.

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