Anytime one contacts the federal government, one might expect long waits. A search for documentation of registered historic places seems to be the exception as when contacted through email, I was pleased to receive information about the York House within 24 hours! The York House is Georgia's oldest Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic places (NRIS item is 82002459 and the property was published 09/09/1982).
|Our daughter Ana 2013|
The York House is entering it's 118th year of hospitality, although the original house is entering its 170th birthday. Our same monument sign has been greeting guests for about 85 years! We hope you enjoy some of these National Historic Register pictures from 1981 juxtaposed with the same areas some 32 years later. What a positive difference time has made.
Originally the Inn was purpose built to house workers for the railroad and then catering to travelers or boarders on the Tallulah Falls Railroad.
Of the exterior structures our spring house is the only structure remaining, several were destroyed to construct the house next door and the smoke house and log cabin were relocated and reconstructed at nearby Foxfire center.
|Spring House 2013|
During its early history the Inn was described as “the large ideal country home with a farm run in connection with the house where all kinds of fresh vegetables are raised: chicken and fresh meats daily, milk and butter in plenty”. Amenities included “tennis court, mountain spring water, large verandas, shade trees, free access to grape, plum
|Spring House 1981|
The Inn was accepted to the Register for its evolution from log cabin to Victorian Inn, landscape architecture making use of the aesthetic features and natural setting, it’s significant association with railroad commerce and finally due to the Gibson and York family significance in local politics.
The York House design reflects similar hotels of the day, however most examples of the “Resort Era” were located in town square areas and not rural adaptations. Most are long gone, and in our area only two remain, the York House and the original Dillard House structure. The Beechwood Inn and Lake Rabun Hotel are later lodging structures also remain.
|Dining Room 2013|
|Dining room are 1981|
The landscaping and building orientation and well known two story porch make for excellent views of the Little Tennessee River Valley. Railroads have long been a part of Rabun County history, and therefore, that of the York House as well. The York House and its long gone dance pavilion were a community gathering place.
The Gibson and York family members were active in local politics, Hiram Gibson being Sheriff of Rabun County and William York being Sheriff of the City of Clayton. Many of the York women were colorful local personalities.
|Deliverance Room 1981|
|Deliverance Room # 4 Today|
Recent York family descendants stayed with us and reminded us of scenes from Deliverance (1972) being filmed in the Inns original kitchen, Room Number 4 and the interior stairway.
|Millie's Room #14 Today|
|Millie's Room 1981|
|Papa Bills Today|
We would love to hear of people who have any bits and pieces of York House history, they can lend us so that we may add to our archive.
|Rock Room 1981|
Remember, winter is a wonderful time of year to visit North Georgia’s great restaurants, wine tasting rooms and the abundance stores and antique shops decorated for the holidays!
Visit our website and contact us at www.yorkhouseinn.com.
Stan and Christine Penton