The History of Ellerbe Springs
The beginning of Ellerbe Springs dates back to 1820 when Capt. W.F. Ellerbe, owner of several South Carolina plantations, decided to invest in the legendary healing spirits of this area’s natural mineral springs. He bought 300 acres surrounding the springs and built a summer home here. After his death, his son inherited the property and continued the tradition of summer visits and winter fox hunts. After the Civil War, the Ellerbe family lost the property and it was sold at the courthouse steps. A group of investors bought it and built more than a dozen summer cottages and a boarding house.
The present Inn was built as a hotel in 1906 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ellerbe Springs developed into a widely known gathering place for dances, Fourth of July picnics and political rallies. A Presbyterian church stood on the hillside to the south of the Inn. Likewise, the Ellerbe Springs Academy, a well-respected private school, was located here. Sadly, the Great Depression took its toll on the famous resort. In 1938 the property served as a Girls Residence Center under the National Youth Administration using the hotel as a dormitory and training center. The property was rescued from destruction by Richmond County and later, in 1947, sold to the Boy Scouts of America. In the 1960’s, an Ellerbe man, Harris McRae, bought Ellerbe Springs. After his death, his family completely renovated the Inn, reopening as a “bed and breakfast” in 1988. J. Neal Cadieu Jr., former publisher of the Richmond County Daily Journal, purchased Ellerbe Springs in September 1991 and later sold it to Jim and Donna Lane in 2002.
Today the inn features 13 lovely guest rooms decorated in Victorian style antiques. Breakfast Lunch and dinner are served 7 days a week in the dining room. Another historic building, the McAskill House, was moved onto the property and serves as a guest cottage with 2 suites overlooking the lake and tennis courts. The historic Spring House, originally an old dancehall, has been renovated and offers casual dining, a full bar and entertainment on a regular basis.
Ellerbe Springs is an important part of this community and has been a source of many fond memories for those who grew up in the area, attended Boy Scout Camp, or lived here during the 1930’s. You might hear someone sitting beside you telling of their special memory of Ellerbe Springs!
Update (June 2015):
My husband, Mark, and I recently purchased and re-opened the Ellerbe Springs Inn as a bed & breakfast, and an event venue. Please update your website. If you have any questions, or need additional info, please contact me.
Ellerbe, NC 28338
Ellerbe Springs Inn & Campground
2537 North US Highway 220