Part 2 Southern Hotel
In 1904 the Lexington Tennessee paper “In the Southern Hotel the weary traveler finds a combination of elegance and homelike comfort which never fails to satisfy. Mrs. Day ,besides being strictly business, possesses in the fullest degree of southern hospitality. Her hotel is the rendezvous of a large number of the best and highest class of commercial travelers to
Jackson. Jackson is a hustling city and Mrs. Day’s hotel which stands to her credit and is boasted by all West Tennesseans.”
Over the course of her ownership Mrs. Day made additional improvements around the hotel never compromising the southern charm. When she died in 1914 it was written “Mrs Day was the esteemed landlady her motto was “ Be not unmindful to entertain and make friends of strangers. She departed this earth to put her name in the best of all “Registers” in the House of God.”
In 1924 when the family decided to sell the hotel is had 175 guest rooms,2 dining rooms and a large meeting room. The hotel was sold July 7th 1924 to Mr Albert Noe of Hopkinsville Ky.
He started remodeling the hotel bring it up to date. In 1926 he presented plans to rename the hotel “ The New Southern Hotel.” When the remodeling was completed the hotel boasted
250 rooms, a new “fireproof building”equipped with air conditioning in all the public rooms and a public elevator. One of the most favorite public rooms was the Gold Room. The coffee shop on the corner was the place where many a world problems were solved.
In the mid 60’s the hotel was sold to Morris Crocker he attempted to keep it open as a hotel . That did not work out
In 1968 the some of the rooms were made into offices. Then in
the 70’s the part of the original building ,that was used for storage was torn down to make way for a parking lot. Later the majestic hotel was converted to apartments for the elderly and disabled.
In 2001 Mr. Morris pasted away leaving the property to his family. Hal Crocker had begun to update the building when tornado hit downtown Jackson . With the insurance money and other investments Hal began to update the building making it an important part of the redevelopment of downtown Jackson. Now the New Southern is the center for social affairs and home for many residents.
“The grand lady looked so sad but now she seems happy and proud of all the improvements she has seen not only to her but her town.”This is a quote from Just Joe who sat on one of the benches around the Courthouse. When I was working in my office in the Phytian building I would go visit with him when most downtown workers went home. Yes, you are right he lived in one of the apartments in the grand lady. My friend passed away in 2006.
Research from the Tennessee Room inJMCL and interviews of many individual that lived the history. published in my book Downtown Wanderings 2002