Saturday concert to raise money for Hale Springs Inn improvements

Jeff Bobo • Jun 26, 2018 at 6:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — It's been about a decade since a massive renovation was completed at the 194-year-old Hale Springs Inn, and the inside of the old building is due for a bit of paint and polish.

The nonprofit Rogersville Heritage Association, which owns and operates the inn, recently completed improvements to the small dining room and the bar, but an influx of cash will be needed to upgrade the rest of the building.

A fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m., which will give the community an opportunity to see what's been done so far as well as what the RHA hopes to do to the facility if it raises enough money.

There will be "goodies" available and silent auction bids taken all day along with a Seth Thomas concert from 7 to 10 p.m., a beer garden and the debut of HSP’s new dinner menu.

A $15 contribution gives you all-day access to the inn and the evening concert, but food and drink will cost extra.

The work so far in the bar and small dining room includes new paint and lighting replacement, and the bar was remade.

RHA board member Dean Fowler, who is overseeing the renovation design, estimates that it will cost about $30,000 to complete the rest of the building.

"What we'd like to do is repaint the entire place inside from the first floor up," Fowler told the Times News on Monday. "We want to remodel the main dining room, and I will actually have an image that shows what that would be. That would be more involved. We'd mainly just like to renovate it a bit."

Fowler added, "We're trying to go back to more of what it would have been like at the turn of the century, keeping in mind our limited budget and resources. Obviously, when it was in its heyday it was primarily wallpaper. We don't have a budget for that, but we try to choose colors and lighting and all of those elements to sync up."

The RHA is also planning to upgrade its kitchen to make it more modern and accommodate its new menu.

Dinner is served in the main dining room and McKinney's Tavern Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m.

Most of the work that the RHA wants to do at the inn is cosmetic. Some of the shine from the 2009 renovation has started to dull, and it’s time to spruce up the old building again.

"Structurally, electrical and plumbing — all of that is great," Fowler said. "It's just more the paint, mostly, and a lot of new things you can do that have become available. We had a couple of lighting elements built by hand using materials and elements from the turn of the century. We're trying to utilize things like that. All of the work has been done by locals — the painting, the metal work, the bar work, all has been done by locals, just trying to go back to that (vintage turn of the century) idea."

The Hale Springs Inn is Tennessee’s oldest continually operated inn and has hosted three U.S. presidents: Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson and James Polk. 

All proceeds from Saturday's fundraiser will go toward the renovation project. For more information, contact the inn at (423) 272-5171.