History of the Belmont Inn

Image may be subject to copyright
Image may be subject to copyright
Image may be subject to copyright
Image may be subject to copyright
Welcome to the Historic Belmont Inn,

Built in 1903, The Belmont Inn (originally named the Eureka Hotel), was the conception of Mr. P Rosenberg of Abbeville in 1901. "A modern hotel will do as much toward the building up of our city as any enterprise established in the past few years. Abbeville neither sleeps nor slumbers when the question of pushing forward is considered." These words were quoted by the editor of the Abbeville Press and Banner concerning the building of a "new and modern hotel" in June of 1902. Under the guidance of city fathers, the $30,000 hotel became a reality and a formal opening was held on August 19, 1903.

For over 113 years The Belmont Inn has been a landmark in Upstate South Carolina. The Belmont Inn has been an impressive architectural landmark from its early days as a railroad hotel, place of lodging for Vaudeville stars, it's middle years of neglect and long term rental, and through the extensive renovation of the 1980's and 1990's. Originally, this historical beauty of Spanish architecture was comprised of thirty-four guest rooms, several public rest rooms with baths, an elegant dining room, beautiful parlors, shops and a sample room (what is now the ground floor) traveling salesmen displayed their wares to the local merchants.

During the day of Vaudeville great road-show companies traveling between New York and Miami stayed at the Eureka; Abbeville being a mid-way stop. The need for a suitable place of performance for these companies was soon apparent and on October 1, 1908 the "Grand Opera House" opened its doors to the public. For many years the Eureka operated serving the railroad, textile industries, and guests of the Opera. Distinguished guests included Fanny Brice, Jimmy Durante, Ricky Nelson, President Jimmy Carter, and Kelly McGillis.

The Eureka began its second wind of transformation during the twenties through fifties as it transitioned from the Eureka Hotel to the Belmont Hotel. Frank Fleming began his tenure at the Belmont as a bellboy and by the 1950's he became the owner of the Belmont Hotel. The Belmont transitioned from a stop for Vaudeville stars to a semi-residential inn for the elderly.

1970's was a decade of turmoil for the Inn as it was closed and defunct; for nearly a decade the inn remained a memory of days of splendor. Arrival of the 1980's brought a new hope to the Inn when the restoration of the property continued. November 23, 1984 The Belmont Inn hosted a grand opening boasting twenty five rooms (each with a private bath) and the conveniences of (a then) modern hotel. Remodeling the Inn established current spaces such as the Heritage Dining Room, Conference Rooms, and the Curtain Call Lounge (now Tinker's Alley). A feature unique to the Inn are its entrances and doorways, no door or entrance is standard and required the skill of a seasoned cabinetmaker; all of the doors and floors seen in today's Inn are still intact from the 1980's renovation.

1995 was yet another year of disappointment for the Inn as it closed but quickly changed hands to Alan and Audrey Peterson in 1996. The Peterson's retained the Inn's original appearance by keeping the slate roof, marble veranda, and many of the period antiques and furnishings. During the mid-ninety's it was important to maintain integrity of the Inn by displaying its antiquated glory. Guests will notice marble terrazzo floors on the first floor and hand crafted armoires in each guest room as closets were not used in the early days of glamour and swing. Each floor of the Inn serves a variety of needs.

Ground Floor hosts: Check In Desk, Belmont Boutique, Edward Jones Conference Room, Paw Spa, and Tinkers' Alley. The ground floor has been the floor to experience the most transformation as it was previously used as storage for carriage's. First Floor accommodates : receptions, reunions, dinners, public restrooms, Main Dining Room/Peacock Parlor, Wine Parlor, Breakfast rooms, and guest rooms 1-8. Second Floor houses guest rooms 9-26. Guests will notice an absence of room 13 in keeping with tall tales of superstition current owners elected to honor the tradition and upon counting guests rooms there are only 25. Recent additions to the Inn were added to improve guest experiences such as: refinished floors to display the heart of pine hardwoods, high speed internet, Cable TV, hair dryers, new bedding, and mattresses.

The Inn went continued to change hands and went up for auction on Oct 6, 2008 under the tenure of Fred Rhans and then returned back to Fred Rahns on the same day. In 2013 Jurgen and Tatjan Laatz assumed the role Innkeeper but their time ended in 2015 as the Inn went into foreclosure and current owners Edie New and Ren'ee Smith purchased the historic property.