On the summit of Paris Mountain
|Altamont Hotel circa 1895 [source]|
I had a day off Monday and, in response to a suggestion from Tom Taylor at RandomConnections, I went up to the summit of Paris Mountain to look for any ruins from the old Altamont Hotel. Large towers filled with antennas and surrounded by razor wire fences now stand on the area where the hotel once stood, so my chances of finding hotel ruins were tiny. The summit features a nice view of the surrounding area, however, making the trip worthwhile for that reason alone.
The Altamont Hotel (also known as the Paris Mountain Hotel) was built in 1889, but was sold 8 years later in 1898 to Reverend N. J. Holmes. N. J. Holmes repurposed the hotel to serve as the home of the new Altamont Bible and Missionary Institute, with later name changes to Holmes Bible and Missionary Institute and to Holmes Bible College. The hotel would become vacant when the institute moved away to Columbia, then Atlanta, then to the city of Greenville. The institute sold off the hotel to help pay for the new Greenville location in 1918 to Augustus M. Hayes. Hayes had intended to develop the property as a modern resort or a sanitarium, but in 1920 the hotel burned down and wasn't rebuilt.
In the mid-1940s, the South Carolina Forestry Commission relocated the Paris Mountain fire tower to the summit from its former location reachable from Fire Tower Trail in Paris Mountain State Park. Towers for television and other services would sprout soon after.
|Fire tower, now decommissioned|
|Two of many towers at the summit|
The view from the summit does present a nice view of the surrounding areas below:
|Piney Mountain from the summit|
|Greenville from the summit|
|Site of abandoned building, now gone.|
|Closeup of site of abandoned building|
These bricks could be from the hotel, but, more likely, they are leftovers from the construction of the buildings associated with the towers.
I found an exposed pipe near the site of Caesar's Head Hotel, and I found one here too in the kudzu.
|Exposed pipe near site of Caesar's Head Hotel|
|Exposed pipe near site of Altamont Hotel|
|Line of rocks running through the frame and beyond|
Near the campfire pit is an abandoned car, long ago stripped of anything useful.
Also nearby is an SC Forestry Forestry Commission abandoned building.
The building seemed in no danger of imminent collapse and no signs were posted to keep out, so I explored the inside.
Unfortunately, the summit is littered with trash, lots and lots of bottles, and even a few CDs.
Along the side of the road, I even found what I will euphemistically call a "marital aid".
A few feet away, I found another "marital aid".
Anyway, I also noticed a lot of graffiti. With all these goings on, it's no wonder all the buildings up there are equipped with razor wire fencing and surveillance cameras.
I didn't find what I didn't expect to find anyway, and I found some things I didn't know were here. And the view from the summit is nice. So I'm going to call this trip a win.
Update: I went back a few days later in Back on the summit of Paris Mountain.
References and Further Reading
- An Act to Incorporate the Paris Mountain Hotel Company in Greenville County from Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of South Carolina (1883 session).
- The Paris Mountain Hotel in the April 16, 1889 The News and Courier tells of how quickly the idea for the hotel became reality.
- The August 4, 1898 Keowee Courier announces sale of hotel and adjoining property to Reverend N. J. Holmes for $5000.
- 1901 deed recording the sale of the Altamont Hotel property to Reverend N. J. Holmes for $4500.
- Book 33, page 511 deed recording the sale of the Altamont Bible and Missionary Institute to August M. Hayes.
- Augustus M. Hayes in History of South Carolina, Volume 4.
- Paris Mountain Lomo photo by Flickr photographer RandomConnections.