THE HISTORY OF SPRING PARK
The town that is now Travelers Rest was long part of the Cherokee Native American hunting grounds. As the northwest part of South Carolina, including what would become Greenville County, was opened for settlement after the Revolutionary War, what is now the Spring Park property saw a succession of owners.
Architectural evidence points to the possible construction of the front section of the building as early as the 1820s during the time of owner Aquilla Bradley and his wife Mary Turner Bradley. Originally a private residence, the home became an owner-operated inn, situated on Buncombe Road, a prominent thoroughfare and primary trade route to the resorts in the cool mountains throughout western North Carolina’s Buncombe County and beyond.
Chevis and Mary McCarrell Montgomery acquired the property in 1850, enlarged the inn, and added rooms to both stories. He placed announcements advertising it as a stage coach inn and resort that welcomed visitors to take their rest.
Robert Wright Anderson and his wife Mary McCollugh Anderson acquired the property in the 1870s, and with the coming of the railroad, added a railroad stop in front for guests. Their daughter, Minnie Anderson Hillhouse and her husband Edward continued to operate the Inn, naming it the Spring Park Inn to advertise the refreshing spring on the property.
After his Aunt Minnie’s death in 1941, Mrs. Nell Anderson Gibson’s father, Robert LeRoy (Roy) Anderson, inherited the property and closed the inn. He and his wife Grace Neves Anderson continued to rent rooms to local teachers. Years later, Mrs. Gibson and her husband Tom returned to live there, and after her husband’s death, it continued to be her private residence until 2020.