Friday, December 16, 2016

CENTRAL HOTEL---By A. Bellamy,
Warrenton, N. C.

HAVING again taken charge of my old stand in Warrenton, (Warren County, NC), I take this method of informing the public that I am prepared to give comfortable accommodations to all who may patronize me. Considerable repairs have been effected and others are in progress that will enable me to furnish excellent bed-rooms; my table shall be set with as good as the market will afford, and stables supplied with good provender and attended by experienced Ostlers. Thirty  years experience emboldens me to believe that I shall be able to give satisfaction to the public.

   Warrenton, Feb. 20, 1853.

[Semi-Weekly Standard (Raleigh, NC) Mar 2. 1953] 

The following was written by Lizzie Montgomery in 1924.


“The information I have been able to obtain does not extend further back than 1840, as regards this old hotel. Some people consider it the oldest of all three of the hotels that were open for patronage (in Warrenton) when I was a child. It stood on the corner of Main Street and the cross street running from Main Street to Bragg. It fronted on Main, extending south to an old store building, used as the postoffice before and during the war, when Thomas Reynolds was postmaster. It was built of wood and was very ancient looking. It was quite a large house with upper and lower porches running across the entire front. The stables stood on the north-east corner of the lot, the present site of the town hall. I remember, as a child, that it was in this place that the drovers from Tennessee and Kentucky stabled the large droves of horses and mules when they brought them each spring to sell to the farmers of Warren and adjacent counties.

“In 1842 this hotel was kept by Mrs. Ann Bellamy. Her family consisted of her husband and three sons, George, Tom, and John Bellamy. George died during the war. John never married. He was a graduated physician, but I never remember that he practiced his profession. He was a very handsome man, always well and carefully dressed. He was a lonely man after his mother's death, and died alone in his room, upstairs in the small building used as a photograph gallery, immediately back of Hyman's store, on Main Street.

“Thomas was also a doctor, but, I think, never practiced but kept a drug store. He had a very nice one in one of the front rooms of his mother's hotel for a few years after the Surrender. He moved to Norfolk and married a Miss Grover of that city. They had several children. He returned to Warrenton for a summer in the eighties and took photographs. I have some of the old town houses that are his work.

"In 1842 Mrs. Bellamy's brother, Mr. Mayfield, was killed by her husband, it was said because Mr. Mayfield came to the defence of his sister when her husband was treating her very cruelly. She acted promptly in effecting his escape to Kentucky, by giving him a very good horse from her stable and all the cash money she had. He never made any effort to return. After this tragedy she built the house now owned and occupied by Richard Boyd (to the old people it was the "Cawthorn House") and moved there to live. She was a fine housekeeper and had one of the kindest hearts that ever beat in human breast! She leased the hotel for five years to Captain Peter J. Turnbull and later to H. G. Goodloe, returning to the hotel just before the war. All during that period her house was filled with refugees. She died there in 1868, quite an old woman.

“The Bellamy Hotel was entirely consumed in the great fire of June 21, 1881. On its site was built a plain wooden building called The Phoenix Hotel of two stories, and kept by Mrs. B. F. Long for some years. Stores were also built on the southern part of the old hotel lot.”

[Chapter 7, Sketches of Old Warrenton by Lizzie Wilson Montgomery, 1924.]