The New Southern
|This is the text for a newspaper
article I found at an auction, celebrating the Sesqui-Centennial of
Elizabeth City, North Carolina in 1951. This woman, Mattie Lister
White, recalls her childhood in the 1890s and turn-of -the-century
for the Daily Advance. She werote a column for the hotels in town at
"The Albemarle House, now the Southern Hotel, had been built in that earlier era. Its exterior of natural brick was very atractive, and across the western wall, in huge letters, was painted 'The Albemarle House.'
The building was unoccupied in the late 90s. Two small hotels, 'The Arlington' and 'The Central,' both down town-- 'down to the water'-- took care of travelers.
Years afterwards, but before it was remodeled as the Southern, I was shown over the entire building. There was a huge ballroom on the fourth floor, on the third were bedrooms, also on the second, and on that floor also were the parlors and the dining room. I had heard much of its elegance. But there were no bath rooms, no plumbing."
|This advertisement for the 1951
Daily Advance showed two large hotels of Elizabeth City, Hotel Virginia
Dare (the largest and most elaborate in North Carolina at the time) and
the Southern Hotel. Both have pictures, but I only scanned the Southern.
"Congratulations Elizabeth City on your Sesqui-Centennial! Elizabeth City, you are indeed to be cogratulated on your Sesqui-Centennial year. The Virginia Dare and the Southern Hotels feel proud and privileged to be a part of your community life. We, the owners, our employees and staff take this opportunity to express our sincere salutations to a city that has been prosperous and friendly to the many thousands of visitors that have passed through and returned to our city to work, live and play."
|This article is a rare find. It has
a photograph copied from a dageureotype of the Leigh House (history
explaned on previous page). It was the second hotel on this site and
opened in 1856, replacing the one that burned down. James Leigh owned
the first hotel and rebuilt it, renaming it the Leigh House.
According to a history of the hotel I have, the Leigh House was the second
hotel, since the first burned before EC got its fire department. The
first was known as the "Mansion House" before it burned.
"Shown above is the old Leigh House, believed to be Elizabeth City's first hotel, which stood on the site now occupied by the Southern Hotel. Picture of the hotel was provided by Mrs. Garland Towe, daughter of Professor and Mrs. S. L. Sheep. Mrs. Sheep, the former Pauline Hinton, was born in the Leigh House while her mother and father, William Thomas and Mrs. Margaret Hinton, were boarding there one winter. The pile of rubble in front of the building, according to data told relatives by Mrs. Sheep before her death, was caused by cannon bombardment during the Civil War. The Leigh House was replaced by the Albemarle House which in turn was replaced by the Southern Hotel. The above reproduction of the picture was made by Sheep's Studio from a small dageurreotype owned by Mrs. Towe's brother."
|"City's Two Hotels Offer
Comfortable, Modern Facilities" was the headline for this article about
Elizabeth City's two most prosperous hotels, printed the same year as
the other articles above. This is what the article said, describing the
Virginia Dare and Southern Hotel.
"There is real southern hospitality at the two hotels in Elizabeth City owned by the Hotel Company of Elizabeth City Inc., and operated by Ray S. Jones, who is secretary and manager of the firm.
C. O. Robinson is president of the Corporation and J. W. Foreman is vice president.
The larger of the two hotels is the Virginia Dare, appropriately named, with eight stories and 100 rooms all on the outside. It can care for 100 guests and has recreational and entertainment facilities in its large ballroom which is used for dances and conventions. A coffee shop attracts the patronage of local citizens as well as those who spend the night or several days at the hotel and the garage offers service both for its patrons and local residents.
The Virginia Dare is fire proof and lives up to its name, 'the finest hotel in Eastern North Carolina.'
The New Southern Hotel, recently renovated and completely rebuilt, is much older. Steeped in the traditions of the south it can offer first class accomodations at popular rates.
All the rooms of the Virginia Dare have baths and are quiet and cool. From those on the east side, one has a fine view of the Pasquotank River and waterfront with its shipyard, its yachts, its lumber barges loaded high with cut logs and many fishing craft. This hotel is only two blocks from the water and almost directly across the street from the Carolina Theatre. It is in the center of the shopping distric.
The New Southern Hotel has 55 rooms, half of them with private baths. Adjoining the hotel is the Central Restaurant which is air conditioned and which specializes in southern style cooking at moderate prices."
|"Every building preserved is another part of our history not forgotten in the midst of technology and progress."|
© July 2006, by
Stephanie N. Macomber/ All these articles are copies from the Daily
Advance, Elizabeth City, NC-- Sesqui-Centenniel Edition,