Coats Hotel

History of the Quilt


Project Description

Evaluations of Accomplishments

Future Plans for the Project

Proposal Letter

Request to Commissioners

Biographies by Homemakers Clubs

Biographies by Friends of the Library


Coats Hotel: A Mirror of the Past

There is no special name for the tall wooden house with the giant columns in front which faces Highway #55 going through Coats. The aged, stately place, built in 1908 is known simply as "the old hotel.

For most of the 20th century the hotel has served as a kind of watering stop for travelers coming through the Coats area. Its heyday was from the time it was built until the late 1930's.

The Coats Hotel was built by Ben Byrd, and operated for several years by Mrs. Molly Stewart, grandmother of Mrs. Lib Curtis Guy, who is presently living in Coats. Molly Stewart was the wife of Elmond Stewart. She ran the place from about 1910 to the 1930's.

In talking about how it was around the hotel, Delmar T. Grimes of Coats, discussed with the reporter several interesting aspects of yesteryear.

He noted that there was a long table at the hotel. Traveling men, mostly from the railroad would stay there getting room and board.

Grimes said, "at the time most of the land around the hotel was farmland, open fields, with few buildings. The salesmen would come and work Coats for a while, then leave."

There are no dramatic legends connected with the hotel. It is mostly a history of longevity with a constant, devoted service to traveling people. Good management obviously kept things and people in line.

The appearance of the hotel, according to Grimes, is about the same as it always was. The only thing missing now is a large open porch, located in the back, upstairs and downstairs. It was always the large two-story size it is today, including the colonial style architecture that dominates the building. Some of Harnett County's noteworthy people have lived in the hotel from time to time. Dr. Fred Fleming, reportedly stayed there while practicing medicine. Vada Stewart, daughter of Molly Stewart, lived there for years, raising 3 children.

Dan Stewart, retired Vice-President of Carolina Power and Light Company, was raised in the hotel from childhood to college years.

Dr. Harry Roberts and his wife, Mrs. Edna Butler of Coats, once lived there for about 2 years during his internship.

Herman Parrish from Lillington recalled the hotel where he used to stay while traveling. He said, "it was a transient place for travelers, mostly from the railroad for there were few cars." It was an American Plan, meals and lodging. Mrs. Molly Stewart, owner, took a great deal of pride and pleasure in serving watermelon to her guests every Christmas. She had to go to special lengths to get it at times.

So it goes, no glamorous tales, no chilling stories, however, it is satisfying to know of a quiet, everyday type place that constantly was open for the needs of traveling folks.

In recent years the building has been divided into apartments.


Written by: Charles Malone, a news reporter Submitted by: Evangeline Stewart

For: Coats Extension Homemakers Club

Quilt Square: Row 7, Number 38

Embroidery and Applique by: Ruth Parrish

Coats Extension Homemakers Club