Y’all, a childhood dream came true for me on my most recent trip to my hometown. There is this beautiful, early 20th century hotel in Carthage, TN, where I grew up. It’s called The Hotel Walton, and it has always captured my imagination. I wanted to stay there. I wanted to own it. I wanted to have a coffee shop on the ground floor and a massive bookstore on the second!
I always hoped someone who loves history as much as I do would buy it and bring it back to life. Eventually, I started to consider working toward buying it myself and making my book and coffee shop a reality. It’s changed hands a few times over the years, but this was my first opportunity to actually stay there myself. Here’s what it’s like!
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You’ll find the Hotel Walton at 308 Main Street North, right in downtown Carthage. It’s close to shopping, local businesses, and restaurants, including a new coffee shop! Hotel guests can take advantage of free wi-fi and free parking during their stay as well. I’m sure you also noticed that beautiful second floor balcony–all guests have access to it!
Coming Soon: What to See and Do in Carthage, TN
The hotel boasts 10 rooms, each named for a notable Smith County landmark or historic figure, many of whom (but not all!) were Smith County residents. I stayed in the Daniel Smith Suite (Room #9).
I’m so thankful for the blackout curtains (because, streetlights), but the really pleasant surprise was just how spacious it was! Even the bathroom was large, and in a historic hotel from the turn of the 20th century, that’s not something I ever expected to find! The bed was comfortable, the antiques were beautiful, and there was not one, but two large, flat-screen TVs.
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My suite included a sitting room that was large and beautifully decorated. The couch was comfortable, and I appreciated the lamp and side table available. If I had been staying longer than just one night, I would have certainly utilized this beautiful sitting room more. I also love that there was yet another chest of drawers in this room. Storage space is a must, no matter where you are or how long you’re staying!
Each room includes a private, ensuite bathroom. Each bathroom includes a shower, linens, hair dryers upon request, and complimentary toiletries: hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. Again, this bathroom was quite spacious, especially given the age of the hotel!
The Hotel Walton is named for Colonel William Walton, original land grant owner and founder of Carthage, Tennessee, in 1789. In fact, this hotel is the second “Hotel Walton.” The original was located a block away, but it and the surrounding buildings were destroyed in a devastating fire in 1885.
The hotel at this location opened in 1904 with great fanfare. The grand opening coincided with a visit from Colonel Walton’s grandson, and a fine dinner was served along with musical entertainment from Nashville, of course. Early visitors included passengers from the railroad, as well as riverboats on the Cumberland River. Traveling salesmen would make the Hotel Walton their home base for a week at a time, and tourists on their way to and from the resorts at nearby Red Boiling Springs would stay here as well.
Find out more about the hotel’s history on their website here!
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