A History of the Glennwanis Hotel
The Glennwanis Hotel's first operators were Dr. & Mrs. J.M. Hughes of Glennville who sold their home on Caswell Street, now known as The Hughes House. The Hughes' management of the hotel lasted from Nov. 1926 until September 1928.
At this time, Dr. Hughes wanted to devote full time to his medical practice and did not desire to renew his lease. The corporation then sold the hotel to W.A. Abercrombie of Athens, Georgia. A year later, Mr. Abercrombie returned to Athens leaving Mr. J.E. Cabler of Chipley, Florida, to operate the hotel until December 1929. That same year Mr. & Mrs. Grady Trapnell assumed ownership of the business from Mr. & Mrs. Norman Lawrence (no records found concerning the time the Lawrence family acquired the hotel).
On October 29, 1929, Black Friday, the New York Stock Exchange crashed and plunged America into that long night that we now know as the Great Depression. But the old Glennwanis Hotel weathered that economic storm and never closed its doors.
In 1946, D.C. Harrison and Mrs. E.J. Claxton purchased the property. Extensive interior remodeling and an addition of a new dining room reflected better times. Mrs. Claxton operated the hotel and dining room. The dining room quickly became a popular eating place serving three meals a day. In the late 1940s, the Glennville Lions Club held their weekly luncheon meetings in the dining room. Mr. Harrison was the operator of the Pal Theater just a few steps from the hotel. The Pal Theater was the only "movie show" in Glennville and continued operating until 1970.
In February 1949, L.C. & Pauline McGinnis bought the hotel. Mrs. McGinnis continued the tradition of excellent food and fast, efficient service. Mr. & Mrs. McGinnis sold to Mrs. Mae Luke of Glennville in 1956. Since 1956, the hotel has been owned by Ola Campion 1962-63, John M. Smith 1963-1980, Mrs. Zelma B. Keels 1980-81, and Rev. & Mrs. Carl Milton 1981-88. In 1981, Mrs. Milton established her office of Advance Realty in the hotel. The Glennville Sentinel, local newspaper, was published there for a short time. In 1988-92, Major General (Retired) Gene & Gloria Anderson purchased the property and real estate business from the Miltons. Stan Ragsdale became the last owner in 1992. His real estate business, Assets Unlimited, and ten efficiency apartments were also located in the Glennwanis Hotel. In March of 2001, the Glennville Downtown Development Authority purchased the property for $70,000.00 from Stan Ragsdale. The intentions are to renovate the 1926 structure for multi-purpose community use and help stimulate downtown revitalization. On April 11, 2003, the Glennwanis Hotel was named to the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, 82 years after its establishment, the Glennwanis Hotel still stands on the corner of Barnard and Tillman. After three quarters of a century, the building is structurally sound but needs an extensive remodel inside. Plans are underway and donations are being accepted for this historical project. Donations may be made to the City of Glennville, Attn: Glennwanis Hotel, 134 S. Veterans Blvd., Georgia 30427.
(This information provided by The Glennville Sentinel)